Okay so it’s true, I admit it: I am an old woman: I wear bedsocks in bed.
Well actually they are old walking socks which are now relegated to bed socks as they are too thin for hiking.
However, one such pair of these bedsocks has been attacked by one of my ferrets. I have told you about my boys haven’t I? Here are three of them looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths, curled up on my home-made beanbag (which it used to be a curtain, which used to be a bedspread.)
Once again I digress. So my bed sock now has a hole at the toe which needs darned. Recently I have had a spate of crocheting slouch hats for sale and some of the wool I have used for this will be an ideal colour to use for the darn.
The dark green on the crown of this slouch hat will be perfect for the sock. While it might not seem to match when both yarns are in solid colour next to each other: for the small amount of darning necessary the colour will be fine. However the three-ply thickness of the yarn was a problem and I needed to separate the strands to get a thinner darning yarn.
To separate the strands I simply worked out which way the ply was spun, and then rolled my length of wool the opposite way between my slightly dampened thumb and forefinger. This separated the strands enough that I could then gently tease one away and begin to pull it gently from the main ply.
I carefully pulled this strand away from the main, for the entire length of my piece of yarn. At intervals I would stop and let the ends unravel themselves from the twist; not just the ends which were unravelled but also the yarn which was yet to be separated.
I then took my one-ply piece of darning yarn, and threaded it through the eye of a large, flat-eyed needle. The best way to do this is to loop the yarn over the needle, and then pull the needle out, leaving you with a flat thin double of yarn which when pinched between your thumb and forefinger can be more easily pushed through the eye of the needle.
After that it was a simple job of threading the darning yarn through the stitching of an inch or so of good sock in order to lose the end of the thread, before then picking up all the frayed stitches and sometimes sewing back up along the stitch column to make sure I had caught all stitches securely.
Once I knew I had picked up all of the stitches I then could begin to weave my needle perpendicular to these first stitches in order to finish the darn. I made sure my weave was reasonably tight using the needle to push down the threads of the row I just woven. Again I picked up any damaged or loose stitching as I worked. Finally, I stitched the thread into the main knit of the sock to secure my work before cutting the yarn.
The finished article, while not perfect is certainly good enough to wear in bed, although it won’t be long before I am using the rest of my handmade darning thread to reinforce the heel and sole of these same socks. However in the meantime, I plan to keep them out of the teeth of certain little mustelids…