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Darning Wool Socks ( A Lost Art?)

Newfoundland Lost Arts & Traditions-www.saltjunk.com

Well it’s time of the season again to start darning those holey socks. Back in the good old days, people didn’t throw away socks with holes in them, as we do today, they mended it. Actually there was a time set aside during the year for that purpose usually between September and October.  There was always a full box of socks requiring attention.

As Robert Simon would say, “it’s the easiest thing in the world”, all you need are socks, a darning needle, yarn and a scissors. Back in the day, we used our teeth or an old razor blade to cut through the yarn.

To make darning a little easier, listed are a few items required:

  • Holey socks;
  • Darning needles;
  • Hard plastic balls or light bulbs;
  • Yarn; and
  • Scissors.

Here are the instructions to make life a little easier:

  • Acquire yarn of the same color (if you can) and texture of the sock you are darning, and a darning needle;
  • Place a light bulb or ball in the sock, position the hole over the light bulb or ball. The darning needle will slide or glide over the bulb or ball surface easily;
  • Thread the darning needle with yarn leaving the ends unknotted. The darning method should not have any knots. The surface should be as smooth as the rest of the sock;
  • Start darning about ½“ to the left or right side of the hole. Make several small vertical running stitches in the intact fabric of the sock, then turn the sock upside down and make another row of stitches next to the first;
  • As you get closer to the hole, increase the number of running stitches. When you reach the area the hole begins,  your stitching should extend ½” above and below it;
  • Continue your vertical running stitching until you reach the hole again. Take your yarn over the hole to the fabric on the other side, forming a vertical bridge. Your stitching should extend ½“ above and below the hole’s edges;
  • Cut the yarn end once you have covered the hole with vertical yarn stitching. Make sure you extend the stitching by ½ “ past the hole so that both sides look the same;
  • Re-thread your darning needle and begin work at ½“ from either side of the hole at the top or bottom. Now, take your threaded needle and weave it under and over the vertical yarn that cover the hole; and
  • Once you have reached the opposite side of the hole, turn the sock upside down and weave another yarn strand next to the first. Continue until the hole as been covered or filled. Trim excess yarn.

Tips:

  • Ensure your darning needle’s eye is large enough for the proper yarn size you are using
  • A running stitch should be sewn by bringing the needle up through the fabric, then down again and up again
  • Your stitches should be done evenly. Darn or stitch close together to create a tight weave

who knit ‘ya – who is your mother, where did you come from

kjp