How to darn socks
Posted 2nd October 2015
Darning socks was something your parents did. You just chuck old pairs out when you’ve finished with them, right?
But a good pair of high quality socks shouldn’t just be discarded if you’ve poked a hole in them, or worn out a patch.
Inspired by National Knitting Week (Oct 6-12), here’s our guide to darning your socks.
Get your kit ready
Get your socks out and prep your kit. You’ll need:
- Thread: Try and match the thickness to your sock – a fine merino wool sock will need a fine thread while a wool sock will need something thicker.
- Yarn: The thread is simply the base for the yarn. You could go for a yarn that matches but we’re quite fond of going for a different colour to highlight our handiwork and add some design flair to the old pair.
- Needle: You’ll need a darning needle, which tends to be thicker than a normal needle, and a regular needle as well.
- Darning egg: A wooden egg that goes inside the sock. You can however use anything from a tennis ball to a lightbulb – it just needs to be rounded.
- Scissors: Make sure to have them close to hand as you’ll have your hands full with thread and socks when you need them most.
Prepare the sock
Turn your sock inside out and thread your needle, tying a knot in the end of the thread. Push your darning egg (or tennis ball) into the sock to the area where the hole is.
Tidy up the hole by trimming the lose threads. Err on the side of caution at this point – don’t cut into the good parts of the socks, just take away any that are hanging over the edge of the hole.
Using your thread, sew a simple running stich (in, move along slightly, out. Repeat) around the edge of the hole. This strengthens the hole and prevents it from getting bigger.
Still with the thread, create lines across the hole by simply going in one side, across the hole and into the other side. This should end up looking a bit like a barcode pattern.
If you’re fixing a worn patch instead of a hole, do the same but weave the thread in and out of the worn patches as you go to strengthen them.
Bring in the yarn
Switch to your darning needle and yarn. Once you’ve threaded the needle, start stitching.
Anchor the first stitch through the sock but avoid using knots to hold it in place as you’ll feel these on your feet. Go at a right angle to the thread to start, weave in and out of the thread as you move across the hole.
Go through the sock at the other side and turn around and come back.
Once you’ve done one way, move at a right angle and do the other way, weaving through both yarn and thread this time. You can use the needle to push the yarn together to create a tight patch.
To finish, weave some of the yarn into the good part of the sock. This will keep it tightly in place and prevent the need for knots.