A darn good job

I know that I’m a big proponent of mending things, but there is one job that I’m not very keen on and that is darning… I always put it off. However, it’s a useful skill to have* and it is great to be able to mend a knitted garment, particularly one that I made myself and put lots of effort into.

The first set of threads in place (darning is like weaving)

The first set of threads in place (darning is like weaving)

So, it was quite a job to persuade myself to start repairing Mr Snail-of-happiness’  slipper socks. In a way, it’s my own fault they wore out… I chose a lovely soft wool that wasn’t really up to the job. I should have chosen something more rugged; and I will, when I need to knit a new pair, but for the time being I want to keep the old ones going as long as I can. I do have quite a bit of the yarn left, but I think I will use if for a soft, warm hat rather than more footwear!

And the finished job... not too bad and it should last a while longer

And the finished job… not too bad and it should last a while longer

Yesterday afternoon (I really needed good light and it was a nice bright winter day) I settled down with needle and yarn and started the repair. It was a big hole in the heel and he did keep wearing them for a while after it formed, so it had got worse. Sadly, the wool seemed to have no tendency to felt, so I had to do quite a lot of work around the edges of the hole before I could start the actual act of darning. Once I got going, I did quite enjoy it, and I certainly feel pleased that I have managed to eek a few more moths of life out of this particular creation. Next time, though it’s tough Icelandic wool if I can get it!


* I don’t intend to give a tutorial, but there’s some great information here.

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  1. They do look comfortable…
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  2. It’s a dying art, and one I would have put money on you knowing well! Have you ever considered knitting socks far too large, and then felting them into boots and sewing leather soles on the bottom? Felt does last better, and is very cosy. Plus you can get dyed sliver in all sorts of gorgeous colours, and felting lends itself well to blending colours too.


  3. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’d rather darn socks than throw them away, but I guess I was fortunate to have a wonderful Mother-in-Law, who happened to be a generation older than my own Mum, and who taught me many of the frugalities of a household with little money.
    She’s gone now, and I’ve not only lost a good friend, but an amazing fount of much knowledge that’s either forgotten now, or dismissed as too much bother by a throwaway society – I was proud to learn all those, almost lost, arts, and I made sure that I passed them on to my own child 🙂


  4. gentlestitches

     /  December 10, 2013

    I had a little session of classes last year called “mending is better than ending” and I taught darning. I believe the skill is coming back. It is so lovely to be able to keep something one loves a little longer


  5. I used to repair all my clothes as a poor uni student and taught myself basic darning. I’m only competent with small holes and patches though (but I can do a marvellous job on jeans). One day I should teach myself how to knit as it seems entirely useful!


  6. Mending is an honorable task, and you did a fine job!


  1. Circle of friends | The Snail of Happiness
  2. Slippery | The Snail of Happiness
  3. D is for… | The Snail of Happiness
  4. I got sole | The Snail of Happiness

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