My Darn Socks


I think it is a dilemma all knitters go through when they get their first hole in their hand-knit socks. Do you darn? I don’t darn my commercial socks when they get holes, but I didn’t put howevermany hours of work into those ones, nor did I spend $20 on the yarn to make them.

I consider darning worthwhile, because for just an hour of your time, it is like you knit a new pair of socks!


These are the same socks (Rosa’s Socks, in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock) back when they were new. The picture at the top of the post was the heel last night. I found a good darning tutorial here, then got out my great-grandmother’s darning mushroom and went at it.

DSC01312.JPG Partway Through

And now I have one of my favourite pairs of handknit socks back!

DSC01318.JPG Toe

This pair didn’t have any actual holes, just incredibly worn spots. See-through spots. I did the entire bottom of the heel, and a little patch on one side of the bottom of the toes. Why one side only? I don’t know. I do know I’m looking forward to wearing these socks again, after they’ve been out of commission for so long!

Next for the mushroom block are my Jaywalkers, which also just have thin spots. After that, I’ve got holes. My Monkey socks have small holes, and the Vinnlands have giant holes, so the Vs will go last, once I’ve got the technique down. It was easy doing the thin spots, you’re just duplicate stitching over what is there.

3 thoughts on “My Darn Socks

  1. Excellent Job!! Duplicate stitch works where there are thin spots but no hole. I call that ‘pre-darning’. I also pre-darn by simply running a strong yarn up-and-down between the stitches. If there’s a hole, a woven patch works best. I teach a “DARN IT!” class at Stitches Events, currently scheduled for Sts West and Sts Atlanta. This covers predarning, darning, what to do when you can’t darn over the darns anymore and how to knit those areas you KNOW are going to wear out first.

  2. That’s such a good idea to duplicate stitch the thin spots rather than waiting until you have a hole! It’s so much prettier than the fix for a hole. I just had to mend my first hole in a pair of hand-knit socks… but it’s definitely worth it!

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