Prevention is better than cure

I’m having a very productive bank holiday weekend indeed. There has been bread baking, spinning, plying and erm, *cough* sock mending.

I’m quite, completely and utterly rubbish at the sock mending malarkey. Socks tend to sit ignored for a while in my craft box while I procrastinate for an age or three before reluctantly attempting to mend them. I think my lack of darning skills has a lot to do with the procrastination. I did think that buying my nifty little vintage darning loom might help but I found the instructions quite baffling. One day I hope to do a course with Tom Van Deijnen and then magically it might all click into place but I fear I might soon run out of socks in the meantime.

While I was botching mending one of my socks it occurred to me that perhaps the answer lie in reinforcing the socks before the yarn wore too far. So once the hole was kind of darned I checked my other socks to look for ones that were getting threadbare. My Orangina socks that I knit for the Richmond Knitters 2010 Socktober KAL fit that bill perfectly. I have to say that these socks have worn extremely well.

So a few rows before The threadbare bit I started duplicate stitching up the row. I left quite a bit of tail at the bottom though because I find duplicate stitching down a bit problematic and I’d formed a cunning plan.

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I was particularly careful to ensure that the stitch was properly duplicated in order to maintain functional integrity. Once I gone beyond the height of the threadbare patch I took the needle off leaving that tail long at the top because cunning plan. I then threaded the tail of yarn at the start of the row and started to duplicate stitch the next row.

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Once I reached the top of the second row I threaded the tail of yarn I previously left at the top. Now my thinking was that I currently have two rows of duplicate stitch sitting side by side. However, to increase the strength of the mend the two rows should be connected like in knitting. To do this I used the technique for weaving in ends and wove the yarn tail down connecting the right hand leg of the first row with the left hand leg of the second row.

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Cunning yes? Now I worked out this method this morning but that doesn’t mean it’s new in any way. I don’t think that there is much more one can invent in knitting, after all it’s been going on for centuries. I’m sure there are lots of really clever people out there who’ve done this before. I thought I’d post how I reinforced these socks because I’d never seen it before but then on the scale of things I’m a knitting ignoramus and should probably read more. I’d love to know if anyone has seen this technique before or has any other interesting suggestions for mending or preventing holes.

The finished fix is nicer than any previous attempt I’ve made at darning proper.

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The back looks quite tidy too, compared to my previous attempts at fixing my socks.

ps. Sorry for crappiness of photography. My bad ­čśĽ

It’s been a while…

Since I last posted, I have started my new job, finished two gift knits, started spinning for a gift knit, started another gift knit and come to the conclusion that non-superwash yarns make better wearing socks. The follow your arrow project is hibernating until I can buy more yarn sadly.

Gift knits include
A Quincey Quade Quentin for my nephew Ethan’s birthday

A Wisp scarf for my sister Fiona’s birthday

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As for the superwash socks, I have mended a sock using this method, I maybe need more practice and to use a contrasting yarn and then duplicate stitched an area that was becoming worn but not worn through rather poorly too. My Zauberball socks have worn beautifully since they have felted in areas where they have a lot of wear. It could just be this yarn base but it coud also be the superwash-ness. The only way to find out is to knit more socks, yes?

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