Darn It!


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.)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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

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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