Darning Socks

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Motomom34, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    When is the last time you fixed a hole in your sock? I remember learning to darn socks with Grandma and decided to re-learn the skill. Darning socks is easy if it is a small hole but one still needs to remember that this seam will be on the foot so if you make the seam to big it will be uncomfortable.

    When darning socks, you will need a darning egg or something like it. If you don’t have a darning egg, use a baseball or plastic Easter egg. I have read that people use lemons or tennis balls instead of a darning tool but I do not like those suggestions. When using a tennis ball, I can see the thread getting connected to the fuzz on the tennis ball and could cause issues. And using a lemon could get messy if you stab the fruit. Something smooth and rounded is needed, like a light bulb.

    Darning a large hole in a sock it is best to use the woven repair method. It takes practice but works well. Here is a great tutorial on the woven repair method.
    Darning resize.
    How to Darn a Sock Using a Woven Repair | Custom Woolen Mills BlogCustom Woolen Mills Blog

    Here are two pages that you can print out with visuals on darning and repairing clothing. I fix many button holes so I find these pages useful.


  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Smooth rocks the "right size" work well in place of a darning egg. (Yes, I KNOW this.) However, if you have an egg with the handle on it, it is a lot easier.
    UncleMorgan, 3cyl, sec_monkey and 2 others like this.
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I buy my socks in quantities of a dozen per color (24 socks) and every six months or so buy a different color of a dozen pair. Six month later repeat with 3rd neutral color. Buy the 2 year point the 1st dozen socks are getting close to replacement time and may well be reduced to somewhere between 8 and 10 pair. Time to repurchase that color. works for me at little overall expense, and always have plenty of good socks.
  4. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    I save my old wool socks and make wrist gaiters out of them
  5. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Blimey! What a cool post!

    (I confess--I'm a secret seamstress.)
  6. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    It's been quite a while, but still have the darning egg (why is it red on one side and white on the other?) and am rather confident I could pick the technique back up rather quickly. I think it's with my sewing machine.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  7. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    I was going through a commanding general inspection and sewed all holes in my uniforms socks underwear my staff Sargent told me to go buy new stuff I told him I wasn't spending my money on new stuff my est said if it was sewn it was serviceable he thrashed me that day and the next until he realized I like pain and he did not come close to hitting my threshold I was asked three questions by general Neal why did I not go out and buy new uniforms I told him any one can go buy new gear but it takes a great some one to take care of the gear they have the next question was what was the quatrafoil on a Marine officers cover stand for I told him I did not know what one was he took off his cover and showed me the top of his cover and I knew what it was for it was to identify Marines when they board ships so snipers would not shoot them the last was what is the maximum range of the ,m16 a2 service rifle 3534 meter's he said take this Marines name down two weeks later I got a accommodation the only gear he looked at was my socks
    Zimmy, chelloveck, tacmotusn and 6 others like this.
  8. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    This is a cool post Like UM said above. I had my first sewing class in 6th grade. Believe it or not, I enjoyed it and took to it quite fast. One of the things the lady showed us was darning socks. Honestly I haven't used it in many years. Used to on my wool hunting socks but that's about it. I have a thing about socks, I won't go into the reasons, but I will always have good socks. As soon as I see they are wearing thin or develop a hole I toss them.
    Zimmy, chelloveck, Ganado and 2 others like this.
  9. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I buy all pretty much the same sox and don't worry about paring . no one sees them any way, and if they do we have a laugh I DON'T CARE.
    If the toe develops a hole I use the machine and sew across it and trim off the access . being synthetic I use a flame and seal/weld the ends of the fiber to prevent fraying. If a hole is in the heal it's not worth fussing with.
    When I wore cotton then darning was practical but I've discovered that those retain moisture, more of a problem than a solution.
    The synthetic serve me better.
  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have been thinking about you and all those socks. Since darning seems to be out, how about taking all those old socks and making a braided rug? The link below shows how lovely a braided sock rug is. Or you can do like the lady did and make a small one then wear it as a hat. :D
    The Tangled Yarn: Birthday Sock Rug
  11. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    My Grandmother used a small light bulb as a darning egg.
    oldawg, chelloveck, Ganado and 2 others like this.
  12. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Darn them socks, I always loose one in the dryer so I got like 20 pairs of one sock. This was quite a problem until I standardized and started buying just redwing wool socks with a life-time guarentee. Now if I loose one, I only have to wait until I loose another one then I'm even again and if I get a hole in one, they replace them at Bass Pro Shop for free.
  13. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Holy socks don't last very long here. I am sorry for not positively supporting your very excellent informative how to thread. When stores and amazon delivery are no longer available I have no doubt this knowledge will be something very helpful to know. However at present my plate is so full with things I need to do, that most all other items gets pushed to the side and time pushes by them. I pair up my intact socks of the same color and age usually and use them until they are getting threadbare and obviously a candidate for the next holy sock.
    chelloveck, Motomom34 and Tully Mars like this.
  14. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Me too i swear the damn socks transform themselves into something else! because they disappear all the time.. good to know im not the only sock challenged person

    darning really is designed for a heavier wool sock. the thin ones i wear most of the tiem are not worth saving (when i can find them )
    Motomom34 and chelloveck like this.
  15. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus


    I recollect, as a child that my mother used a darning mushroom, to repair socks. It was wooden, turned on a lathe, and it resembled a mushroom.

    Via: WWMM - 1940s Mining Life  15/21

    I saw one today in an antique store for A$22, though someone with elementary wood lathe turning could knock a bunch of them out in a high school, woodwork workshop. A men's shed should be able to do the same.

    Via: darning mushroom – cleveroldstickblog

    A darning mushroom could be plastic moulded (there is a thread somewhere else on the site on this process.....a 3D printer could probably make one....or one could be improvised from an old door knob....the door knob should have a large smooth convex surface and a shank to serve as the spindle.

    Via: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S55W7CQ/?tag=survivalmonke-20

    Some smallish food containers with convex lids could possibly work for darning....

    Darning hand knitted socks represents a good return on time and effort invested in keeping a sock that represents a considerable investment of time, effort, expense, (and often a lot of love) in producing it, to stay serviceable longer. Darning cheap, mass manufactured socks...well...that's a cost benefit analysis you'll have to work out for yourself.
    Motomom34 and Tully Mars like this.
  16. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++

    This I inherited from my grandmother. My grandfather was a blacksmith and may have made it. It's a wooden nest egg painted emerald green with a handle made from a silver eating utensil (now tarnished). I get a kick asking younger people to identify it. They never know or understand why anyone would need it. The thought of repairing a sock never crossed their mind.
    Ganado, oldawg, Motomom34 and 2 others like this.
  17. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @chelloveck I didn't think of an old door knob. That is a good idea.

    @T. Riley that is a beautiful darning egg. Very simple to make (I think). I see those wooden eggs in craft stores and I have some old antique silverware. I may try to make one. Can you see how it was attached?
    Ganado, chelloveck and oldawg like this.
  18. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Moto it seems you have craftsmen in the making already. Delegate.
    Tully Mars, chelloveck and Motomom34 like this.
  19. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++

    I'll look when I get back to the BOL. Left there today. I think...he drilled a whole in the end of the egg and ground the end of the fork or spoon down to an long point, like a 8 penny nail. Inserted it and glued it. I will verify. I think these things are unique and could be sold at craft shows and shops or sewing shops. Ugly plastic ones are $10 on Amazon. Dipped a bright enamel with a decorative band they would sell for $25 I bet. I may be rich!
  20. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++

    Mine swivels. I have assumed it was just loose and needed to be re-glued or do you think it was made that way deliberately? BYW, I think the photo above is a darning mushroom. I think that's funny.
    Motomom34 likes this.
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