Darn Socks

Sometimes, if there are tasks I don’t want to do, I justify not doing them by telling myself that it will take absolutely forever and I just can’t waste all that time at the moment.  I use this with doing the laundry, vacuuming, cooking for myself, and other tasks that aren’t my favorite.

As it turns out, it does not take hours upon hours to vacuum my 600 square foot apartment.  It takes about 15 minutes… at most.  And yet, every time I look at the floor and think “I should vacuum” my next thought is something like “but I have to do X in two hours so clearly there’s no time to vacuum right now.”  When I finally suck it up and do the vacuuming I’m amazed that this time it went so quickly.

I also do this with mending.  I will spend hours and hours at the sewing machine making something happily.  However, if whatever it is later gets a hole that will take seconds to sew up, it can sit in the pile for months before I steel myself to the arduous one minute task.  This is why it took me over a year to darn my socks.  A pair of socks I knit many years ago was wearing thin.  As you can see, there were patches on the heel and balls of the feet that were so thin that one more wearing would result in holes.

Thin spot on the heel
Thin spot on the ball of the foot
I’m ashamed to admit that I let these socks sit for about 2.5 years needing darning without doing anything about it.  I told myself it would take forever to fix.  That it would be hard.  That it would be boring.  That it wouldn’t work.  That the socks wouldn’t be as comfortable afterward.  Excuses excuses excuses.  Then came this Christmas when my mom picked a random assortment of things from my Knit Picks wish list (interesting the things non-knitters choose, very random) one of which was a darning egg.
Today, I decided to suck it up and devote as much time as it took to fixing my socks.  I found the yarn I had originally used for the socks (why yes I did keep the leftover yarn for more than three years, why do you ask?)  Then I got a tapestry needle and used some of the extra yarn to reinforce the weak stitches by tracing over them with the new yarn.
The darning egg slips inside the sock and gives you something to pull the fabric tight over so that you can see the stitches and trace them more easily.  Between the two socks, there were five weak spots that needed fixing.  It took me about 90 minutes to do the darning from beginning to end.  Not quite the all day task I’d been building it up in my head to be.
As you can see, the socks (which have been washed many many times) are slightly faded compared to the new yarn, but I’m not too worried about the balls of my feet and the backs of my heels being beautiful.  I am very excited to increased my winter wool sock collection by a whole pair of socks for less than two hours of work.  Since these socks have been out of my wardrobe for over two years it feels like I have a brand new pair.  Hopefully the next time I wear out a pair of socks I will remember how quick and easy the fix is and fix them right away, but if my vacuuming habits are any indication I may not have permanently learned my lesson…