“ ‘You may seek it with thimbles–and seek it with care;”
My last mending project of this year is sock darning. I have to admit that my darning was far from perfect, but since this is my first time, the darn is in an invisible position and it is only visually – not structurally – unpleasing , I’ll let it be. So, instead of a step-by-step of the darning, I’ll talk about what makes a knit long-lasting.
These Bacchus Socks are an example of how good pattern, tight gauge and <coughcough> good knitting combine into something almost invincible.
I used a sport weight yarn (Filatura di Crosa Principessa), knitted with 2.75mm needles for a tight gauge of 9 sts/inch. The pattern allows easy customisation of foot width, and I took out 1/3 the stitches for a snug fit.
The dense gauge created socks which have worn like iron. They have been my usual traveling socks for three years; they’ve felted slightly on the bottom – which I take to be a good sign since it means the fabric is meshing together and getting stronger; and they’re still warm, snug and perfect for long flights when your feet want to bloat out.
One small hole along the side of one sock.
There are some great darning tutorials on the internet, all of which fall into two categories: one method asks you to create a warp over the hole and fill it in with weft, creating a little woven patch in the middle of the knit fabric; the other fills in the hole with knitting fabric.
I went for the second method to make sure my darning blended right in. Because knit stitches are, in effect, their own warp and weft, this method requires a framework of waste sewing thread to hold live stitches. But it is very easy and quick, despite the complicated sounding instructions.
Here’s the before and after:
As you can see, I followed some knit columns incorrectly, so it looks a little messy close-up. But I’ve understood the principle now, and will remember to trim the fuzzy edges next time so I can see the columns clearly. And now I can use my socks again!