Darn it!

darned socks

I really like to knit socks. And to wear hand knit socks. I think I have 8 pairs in my drawer. Some are getting old, which means worn. Although I would never dream of fixing store-bought socks, I’ve thought about learning to darn my hand knit socks for a while.

Earlier this week I watched 4 different youtube videos on darning. Specifically Swiss darning, aka duplicate stitch. This method only works if the sock is worn but does not yet have a hole. The toes of these socks were quite thin, so I took a deep breath and decided to dive in. My technique wasn’t great and it was certainly a slow process for me, but I got it done. The best thing is that the toes don’t feel lumpy or clumpy – they feel great!

I have been having fun in my garden. Here’s a closeup of those parrot tulips. The red is so red and the white is so white – stunning.

parrot tulips

And the back of my house.

back of the house garden

I’m very happy with its new look. Should have taken a before photo, but all you would have seen was masses of violets and wild asters. Now there are coral bells, astilbe, tiarella, hosta, English primrose, wood hyacinth, hellebore, Japanese painted fern, lady fern, and pulmonaria. Very colorful now, and I should have interest for most of the summer. At least that’s my goal. I didn’t spend as much planning time as I might have, so if that doesn’t work out, I can always just pop in some annuals for filler.

On the down side, I had machine failure. Sewing machine. I bought a new simple Janome in October of 2014. Supposedly the model that they sell to schools, so it was designed for hard work. I was sewing bags for my packaging yesterday. I’d cut enough pillowcases for about 3 dozen bags. On about bag number 28 the motor basically seized up. I immediately called a local sewing machine repair place and brought it in. I won’t know for several days what the problem was and how much it will cost to repair it, but I can assure you that I am decidedly unhappy. The machine is only 19 months old. And it’s not like I sew on it every day, or even every week. Sometimes not even every month. Bah!

6 comments to Darn it!

  • Alma

    Point number 1 – Would a darning egg help with your socks? I have Great Grandma’s darning egg on a handle that I’ll bring to you.

    Point number 2 – Can I help by doing the sewing for you – – at least until you’re back in action. I’d be glad to offer pick up and delivery service, too!

    Your gardens are a wonder – love the particolored tulips!

  • Charlene Schurch

    Have you tried just reknitting the toe, if you are a knitter and have extra sock yarn, just cut off the old toe and reknit. You can have fun contrasting bits on your socks and then do not have to learn about darning or worry if it is as strong as knitting. It has worked for me in the past – even done heels.

  • I have knitted a few pairs of socks in my life for friends and family and they have been worn and loved. Glad you have found a way to extend the life of your pretties! I bet a darning egg might make it easier if you don’t already have one.

    As to the sewing machine. I’d be pretty PO’d too. Here’s hoping the repairs don’t cost as much as the machine. My much loved Pfaffs are not what they use to be but I have heard good things about the Pfaff Passport and it is well priced. The Bernina’s are terribly expensive but still well made and family owned. I have an older one and it is the machine Gene uses to sew his heavy duty neoprene and velcro stuff.

    Garden looks lovely!

  • Peg Cherre

    Alma – I thought I’d want a darning egg, but at least at this point in my skills it would actually have made my life harder. Maybe in the future? And I have enough bags sewn to get me through the next 2 shows, so I’ll be fine no matter what they say about my machine, but THANKS LOADS for the offer!

    Charlene – You know, I never considered re-knitting the toe. I prefer knitting my socks toe up, so I don’t know how I’d actually pick up the stitches and do that. Would it work?

    Theresa – I’m hoping it’s not what the guy told me it might be…like a bad design issue. If that’s what it is, I’ll be contacting the place I bought it from, even though they’re now 90 miles away from me, since I showed them exactly the kind of sewing I do and this is the machine they recommended.

  • Peg….couldn’t respond to your email…..and couldn’t find your email…….so here I am……circles on 8 shafts… draft #30230

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