Make do and Mend

It’s that time of year again: time to put away the sandals and dig through my collection of warm, comforting handknit socks. The only problem is that my sock drawer is empty – all of my socks are in the darning pile!

I’ve often heard folks say, “Darning? That’s when I say “darn!” as I toss them out!” I, however, prefer the old wartime motto: ‘Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.’

Now, I’ve knit over 100 pairs of socks. I could easily just knit new ones when I blow out a heel or poke a toe through. But that would be like abandoning an old friend! New socks are great things to give, so I focus on sending those off to charity (most of the socks I’ve knit are on someone else’s feet), and keep my familiar, comfortable friends for myself. A little bit of TLC now and then – patching a heel and darning a cuff – adds character, makes them more unique, and makes it so obvious that they are a much-loved part of my wardrobe. This keeps them wearable for years, even through the beating they take. Until they give up on me, I won’t give up on my socks!

With another small patch to cover a thinning toe, I should get another couple of years out of this 6-year-old pair. Store-bought socks just can’t compare.

With this in mind, Jenny and I have updated the old set of Darning tutorial videos so that you can see everything in clear HD. In these videos, I’ll show you how to duplicate stitch, knit over a large hole, patch up toes, and so much more.

These tips will help you keep your socks (and your other knits) in tip-top shape for years to come. Keep calm, and darn on!