Sunday, August 2, 2015

Darn Smart

[Good illustrated "how to darn socks" post, from Zigzag Stitch]

I've discovered that in sewing, I like running stitches best--just the plain old straight stitch, back and forth. This morning, I found the perfect use for that: darning socks.

Some darners seek to make their repairs invisible, but darning is so old-fashioned, it's become almost exotic. Why not flaunt colorful weaves?
Of course you'd have to take your shoes off... so flashing your darned heels might best be reserved for friends or intimate relationships. Sort of a Victorian Secret.
My first pair of darned socks:

Second Pair: I darned Baymax, the "personal healthcare companion" from the animated movie Big Hero 6.

As I was darning at the coffee shop with bink, I said, "I bet I'm not the only one with a drawer full of holey, expensive socks." [SmartWool-brand socks, for instance, like these above, cost around $20/pair.] Maybe people would hire me to darn their socks."

"Yeah," she said, "you could call your sock-repair service Darn Smart."

I could really see doing this, once I practice a bit more on my own. It's hardly rocket science, but you do want smooth darns, especially on the toes, and the thread-ends should be woven in (though I like the fringe-effect here, and I wonder how they'll wear).

Update: The loose ends should be fine: the foot's pressure mats down or felts the wool darn, so it doesn't unravel. Still, I will weave them in.

And my instinct to not knot the thread is correct: don't add any lumps that might rub the foot, and darn on the outside of the sock: the smoother side will be inside, against the foot.


As I was writing this, the toy animals here started clamoring for socks. They didn't even know what socks were before, and now they think they should have some. 
I told them socks are for winter, to buy myself a little time to make some for them.

May I say, I'm not losing my mind, I've always been this way about toy animals, though mostly I've not lived with plush animals (mostly ceramic or the like). Several came to stay, however, after Marz moved here, and just lately they've taken up residence in a wood box. 

They sleep for long periods (months, even), but when they're awake, they can be rather demanding. They've been up-and-at-'em since they saw Mad Max, and today they see that Zhoen has introduced her animals, for instance, and now they want me to introduce them too.  

So, here they are. (Lollpoop is an old word for a lie-about.)


Zhoen said...

I stopped wearing anything like expensive socks, went through them so fast walking around Boston. Now, interchangeable and cotton with lycra. I wonder if good wool might be better? Ultimately? Dunno. Always had good shoes, but socks? Not so much.

I like your darns. I have a quote about that I will find and post, Pratchett of course.

To the Fluffies: Hi, there! She's right, socks are only for winter, unless you *have* to wear shoes.

Fresca said...

bink has sensitive feet and pays attention to socks, and she loves SmartWool brand (regular wool is too rough).

The Fluff-butts of course, have pads and hooves and the like, but ever since I made them a couple little mail bags (you can see one in the photo: red, with pearls), they have discovered the pleasures of adornment.
They are way fancier than I am myself!

Fresca said...

P.S. The nice thing with wool socks is that they last forever---except for those darn heels (and sometimes toes)!

Zhoen said...

Ah, found it...

He watched her dully. She was darning his socks. They had maids in this place and she darned his socks. It wasn’t as if they didn't have so much money that he could have a new pair of socks every day. But she’d picked up the idea that it was a wifely duty, and so she did it. It was comforting, in a strange sort of way. It was only a shame that she wasn’t, in fact, any good at mending holes, so Sam ended up with sock heels that were huge welts of criss-crossing wool. He wore them anyway, and never mentioned it.

-Terry Pratchett.

Zhoen said...

Only time I had wool socks was in the army, rough and green they were. Never felt much need to replace those, somehow. They weren't as bad as I'd feared they'd be, though, honestly.

Fresca said...

Exactly what I want to avoid: "huge welts of criss-crossing wool."
Makes me wonder about T.P's personal experience with bad darns...

Wool is magic, I do think. Even rough and green.

It's them sheeps, I hear, what grows it. :)

The Crow said...

Naturally-colored cotton comes in a sage-y green, looks like faded Army green. What genetic magic would have to happen for sheep to come in shades of green - or orange?

Those were mighty darn good repairs, there, Fresca.

Zhoen said...

There was an episode of Good Neighbors, the Goode's dyed their wool green with nettle.

Apparently, there are a number of good natural dyes.

Fresca said...

CROW: I didn't know that about natural cotton.

You'd almost think wool would be naturally green, from all the grass, eh?
I was pretty shocked when I first met a sheep in the pasture---at how filthy they are!

And when I was little, my mother amazed me by telling me that natural butter and cheese is not bright yellow or orange. And mint ice-cream is not green!

The Crow said...

Oh. I need to clarify what I wrote about cotton - normal cotton, like the stuff I used to pick when I was a kid in Arkansas, is a fluffy off-white, boll-guts thing. The naturally colored cotton is a recent (last 15 or so years) development out of Arizona ag college. Their experiments involved crossing the white stuff with cottons from India and Egypt that resulted in tan and sage-y green - respectively - fluff. I can't remember where I read that, but this was the same group involved in finding legal uses for hemp other than rope. Another thing these researchers were trying to come up with were plants that didn't require heavy pesticides or harsh chemical processing and dyeing, that could be grown in the least hospitable soil under near desert conditions.

Geeze, I wish I could remember more about what I read...brain fog strikes again.

Fresca said...

CROW: Ah, well now, that I reeeally didn't know!

I don't remember a lot of stuff I read either. I recently looked back at my blog posts about books I'm reading, and I didn't even remember some of them from a couple years back.
(Or, even, barely remembered some from a few months back.)