“A stitch in time saves nine” – or How to darn a sock.
Darning a favourite pair of socks is an easy job and it is even possible to darn a relatively large hole in the heel of a sock using some basic stitches.
A Darning Needle
Thread or yarn
A darning egg, mushroom or other hard rounded object bigger than the hole in the sock
Small pair of sewing scissors
Which thread or yarn to use:
Choose a thread or yarn that is close in colour and thickness to the sock. For the purpose of this How To instruction we used a contrast colour of yarn to show the procedure.
Stitches You’ll Need to Know:
Running Stitch: Push needle down through fabric until your knot reaches the cloth and bring it back up through the fabric a little way along from where you first pushed the needle through. A little way along from this push the needle down through the fabric and again, push it up through the fabric. Repeat this as far as needed.
How to mend a sock:
1. Thread the darning needle using one or two strands of yarn, depending on the thickness you need.
For ease in threading the needle use a needle threader.
Tie a knot in the end of the yarn.
2. Trim away any ragged ends around the hole, trying not to make the hole bigger!
3. Turn the sock inside out.
4. Insert a darning egg or other object on the inside of the sock facing you through the hole.
Make sure the knotted end of the yarn is facing you on the outside. As you are working on the inside of the sock the knot won’t show when the darning is finished.
5. Insert the needle and make the first stitch at one edge of the hole, a little way from the worn edge of the fabric, so it will be secure. Ensure the yarn knot holds fast in the sock material.
Ensure the yarn knot holds fast in the sock material. Pull the yarn of the first stitch through the sock material, making a running stitch to secure it well in the sock material. Repeat this from the other direction until you have stitched up to where the hole begins.
6. Stick the needle in the sock material making a large running stitch over the beginning of the hole and stitch to the other end of the hole on the same side.
Going in the opposite direction make another long running stitch back to where the first stitch over the hole begins. Repeat making long running stitches until you cover the hole with these stitches in one direction.
7. Continue stitching just beyond the hole. Make a running stitch in the sock material as in the beginning, after you have covered the hole. This secures the yarn on the other side of the hole.
8. End this row of running stitching by knotting off your yarn. To knot off stick the needle into the material of the sock next to the hole. Pull yarn through and then loop the needle under the yarn you have just pulled through two or three times to secure the it, then cut it, not too close to the last stitch. (You will find your needle runs out of yarn and you need to thread it again from time to time. Just knot as described it on the side you are working on and carry on with a newly threaded needle.)
9. Now place your needle on the perpendicular side of the hole, again making two or three running stitches in the sock material to secure the yarn.
10. Continue using the long running stitch pattern over the hole but weaving in and out of the first long stitches you made.
Once you have covered the hole with long stitches over the hole in the perpendicular direction weave over and under the stitches you made over the hole initially to secure the stitch and finish off the darning.
Kaye Poole volunteers at Significant Seams on Wednesdays. She runs the Stories and Sticking session for Pre-schoolers on Wednesday mornings and the Mending Club on Wednesday afternoons. Kaye has been sewing since she was a teenager and enjoys making clothes and toys for her granddaughters. She also does quite a bit of mending for the whole family.