Darn It!

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If there’s an activity that screams “thrift” it has to be darning socks. I love thick wool socks. They’re cozy, warm and double as slippers in my house. Last December, I bought these fab “surfer socks” (because when you surf on the West Coast of Canada, you surf year round in a wet suit and need to put wool socks on afterwards to ward off hypothermia.)

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But here’s the thing: I’m super hard on socks. This is what they look like after only 4 months of wearing them, even though I wear a thin pair underneath to prevent this very thing from happening. Sigh. It’s particularly galling because I paid full price for these bad boys – $27 – so tossing them so soon felt criminal.

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So I did what every 21st century thrift-minded-wool-sock-loving person would do: I youtubed “how to darn socks” and watched a less-than-stimulating-but-highly-informative video on how to darn a sock. Then I went to a thrift shop and bought wool.

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I couldn’t find either a darning needle or a darning mushroom (that’s this thing) so I bought needles and used a stemless wine glass instead.

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Funny thing about the needle, though – I didn’t notice that it said “sack needle” (not “sock needle”) until after I’d darned the socks and took this photo. Worked like a charm anyway.

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It is actually super easy to do this. It’s basically weaving and the only reason you need a special needle is to have one with an eye big enough to handle the thickness of the wool.

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I can’t imagine doing it with a standard sock because you’d go blind but for wool socks like this, it’s totally worth the minimal effort.

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Now I have renewed surfer socks! (and no, I shan’t be taking up surfing any time soon.)

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What other activities “scream thrift”? Let me know what you think and maybe I’ll document my attempt at that too!

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This entry was posted in alterations, darning, socks, thrift, thrift lifetstyle and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Darn It!

  1. Waltrude Gortzen says:

    hehehehe loved this post and it sure brought back so memories of my Oma Nickel teaching me how to do this when I was just a youngster, but here’s the thing….. she made me use a good old fashioned light-bulb,because.. seriously… who had ever heard of a darning mushroom?
    Light-bulbs have the perfect shape for sock darning, wouldn’t you say?

    Happy darning! 🙂

    • Dolores Martens says:

      No more “flour sacks” to bleach and embroider for use as tea towels, or to sew little girls dresses! My mom did a lot of that.

      • my mom used to talk about making clothes from yerba sacks. when i was in Ukraine in 2003, we visited a home ec class in a high school and the girls were learning how to do all that fabulous traditional embroidery; only instead of embroidering peasant blouses (as in their traditional costume) they were embroidering jean jackets and baby clothes. i thought that was so great. it’s definitely another lost art!

    • light bulb! (i feel like there should be a cartoon image of me with a light bulb idea going off over my head!) brilliant! i’m so doing that next time – because there will be a next time!

  2. plhuyoung says:

    This is so thrifty and I love the improvisation of the wine glass! Super cute socks (I love the bright colors!)…I wouldn’t have wanted to throw them out either!

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