Saturday, June 06, 2009

Them darn socks!

OK, I am about to eat my words!!! I am sorry everyone! I know I said that I doubt I would ever learn to darn socks. Well that is true I didn't ever think I would want to darn socks! AND I didn't really learn how. But I did end up taking a stab at sock darning this week. To tell the entire story I first need to show you one of this years finished projects I haven't shared yet. Here is a picture taken end of Jan. beginning of Feb. of some socks I was working on.
It was my first time knitting 2 socks on one set of circular needles at the same time. I love this method and it was very easy for me to pick up. I was knitting 2 socks at the same time on 2 sets of dpns and that was a more complicated way of doing things and required 2 sets of sharp dpns in my lap (not very safe with little children climbing on me). If you are wondering the sock yarn is NOT one I would recommend to anyone. The yarn is Moda-Dea Sassy Stripes Yarn. The color is called vintage. It is a sport weight sock yarn. IT STUNK! As in the smell! It had a very strong odor! Rob thought it smelled nice. BUT he didn't have it in his face forever! Not a skunk stink more like a excess dye or sizing smell. I have bought some fabrics in the past with the same smell. It smells kind of like new denim jeans. The cost was about $5 for a small ball so it was $10 for a pair of socks and I don't spend much over that to buy wool sportswash, no odor, sock/fingering weight yarn. Next time I am yarn shopping I will pick the wool and skip on this stuff! HOWEVER, if I needed some sock yarn and it was on sale or the only sock yarn I could get my hands on I would buy it and give it another try (I don't hate it enough to refuse to ever use it again I am just stating that I have knit with several yarns that are a lot nicer yarns for about the same amount of money I spent on this stuff). The yarn was a bit thicker than the sock yarns I am use to using and it squeaked on the needles. It is an acrylic yarn and I wonder if it squeaked because it was acrylic or because I sized down the needles a size to knit them a bit tighter (in hopes they would hold up longer). As I was knitting them my hubby suggested I make them longer socks. Because of that I knitted and knitted until I used every last bit of yarn. It took me forever to finish them ( I worked on them for over a month). Here they are!
I think I finished them just before my parents came home from Florida. I think that was the end of Feb. This is the only picture I have I didn't have time to wash or block them I ran them over to my mom. She told me she could smell the odor but thought the smell didn't smell bad to her (but she didn't have them in her face for a month). The smell did wash out after she washed them.

OK, I know you are now wondering what this has to do with me eating my words. Well my Mom got a snag in her socks and ended up with a hole. She sent them back to me to fix. Here is the hole in the toe.I noticed the heels are already worn very thin and looking like some tiny holes are starting. This set of socks I am sure I knitted them for long wearing heels. I knit them tight and the yarn is a strong acrylic. My Mother LOVES her hand knit socks. She had to wear them a TON to have them this worn out like this by the end of May!
I didn't have any yarn to match so I took 1 inch of yarn off the ribbing of both socks. My hubby thought I was confused in how to fix socks when he saw me taking an inch of the knee when the hole was in the toe (I laughed at that). I used the yarn I took off the top to sew up the hole in the toe (I am sure I didn't do a proper darning but I did my best at fixing the hole. When I look I can see the spot I mended but it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. After fixing the hole, I went over the heels adding a bit more yarn (added a layer of new yarn). I copied the stitches to make the heels thicker making them two layers thick. I hope that helps the socks hold up longer. I now see that my Mom loves all the socks that I make and I think the best way to fix the wearing out sock problem is to make her up a large collection! She now has 4 pair I knit for her but I see that isn't enough! I hope to get a few more knit up over the next couple months. Then maybe she will have enough to rotate so they hold up a bit longer.

Here is the mended socks. This time I did wash them and block them. I hope they last longer than 3 months this time!
Here is a close up of the fixed toe.
Here is a close up of the fixed heels.
After I finished them I thought how cutting out the heel and adding a new afterthought heel would have been quicker. I like making afterthought heels when I knit socks I just need to remember to do that on my sock mending. The socks don't look as good as they did new but they don't look real bad so I guess they are OK. I do hope the thick heels hold up a bit longer. 2 layers of sports weight, acrylic yarn, tightly knit should hold up. I will let you all know if it doesn't.

I guess I am now a person who darns socks! I never thought I would ever want to fix socks! I am the type of person who will often start a new sewing project so I don't have to use a seam ripper to pick out a small seam. Spending a few hours fixing things has never been my thing..... I guess I am getting old! What's next? Stuffing bread in my purse? I can't do that! No, seriously I can't do that.... the bread crumbs would get all over my knitting projects in my purse. I always have a pair of socks I am knitting in my purse. A roll or a bread stick would mess up my socks. I would not like to spend hours picking crumbs out of the knitting.

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