Saturday, January 5, 2008

darning...a lost art

In this day of reuse, recycle and try not to breathe out, why is it that we throw away clothes that have a little tear...or a favorite sweater with a wee hole? What ever happened to mending the item and wearing it for another season?

I'm all in favour of mending...I have a pile of items in my sewing cupboards awaiting me. It really doesn't take much time if I ever get around to it.

But today I am reviving the lost art of darning. My son-in-law's favorite sweater is going to get a new least a new elbow! I'm thinking it can't be all that grandmother and mother-in-law darned socks by the dozen. Apparently one needs a darning egg (according to Martha Stewart), but a light bulb is a satisfactory substitute. Never mind that...I always saw my grandmother darning with a large wooden spoon tucked into the sock, so I'll give that try. Now I need to form horizontal rows of yarn across the hole...and then weave vertical rows in and out. Do not tie a knot at the end, but weave a few more stitches to secure. There!

It may not be pretty...but it's much less noticeable than a hole. Enjoy your new old J. Crew sweater, Tim! And should you find your other elbow getting cold, send your sweater my way...I've got enough 100% pure alpaca yarn to keep you in elbows forever!

Have a good day! I'm off to keep my Saturday morning might almost be enjoyable this time, since I'm bringing a friend along.


  1. I used to darn socks...I learned that in 4H Club. Haven't done it in years though.

  2. I've just packed up all my sweaters with holes and hope you can teach me to darn in the class, incase it's boring.

    Looking forward to that darn sweater!

  3. why...didn't he ask me to darn his sweater?

  4. Just yesterday, I was hemming some pants for my grandmother...23 1/2 inch inseams...hahahaha...and, while searching for needle and thread in my mother's sewing desk, found four darning eggs. Four! I think that she could part with one, don't you?

    Great job, Judy! I remember my paternal grandmother darning a lot. She kept 16 grandchildren in freshly darned socks, etc. That little nub in the heel of a sock wasn't so much fun, but on an elbow, it really does look better than a hole.

  5. I've seen people darning socks on tv..but no one in real life! Never even thought of doing it! When I was a suit wearing working girl I used to sew up the toes of pantyhose all the time...does that count? *lol* Now I'm a steel toed shoe working girl...I should look into that darning thing! :)
    Take care!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson