Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Stitch in Time ...

... saves nine.

I finally figured out what that saying meant. I know. I'm slow sometimes.

But it wasn't until I started doing things like darning socks that the saying made sense. I mean, how many of us in our throw-away society actually do any stitching these days? How many of us know that it's better to stitch the hole when it's small than to wait until it's bigger and it will take more time and effort to fix?

After a winter's worth of daily wear, my Merino wool socks will, invariably, end up with a hole in the heel. I'm sure there is something I could do better to prevent the holes, but I just don't know what it is, and as they are just the most comfortable socks I've ever had, I figure it's better to have them and have to repair them, than to not.

I have serveral pairs, and I swap them out so that (hopefully) one pair doesn't get worn more than the others, but I've accepted that socks are not something that is made to last indefinitely, and if I wished to prolong the life of my socks, I needed to learn to repair them.

That's where the saying comes in, and I've learned the importance of making the repairs sooner rather than later.

I noticed a dime-sized hole in the heel of my sock,

And I figured it was a good time to do something about it ... rather than waiting until the hole was bigger than a quarter (which I've done before).

I don't have honest-to-goodness sock yarn, but I figure for a repair, this will do.

I learned the sock darning technique on a YouTube video, and I will be forever grateful to the makers of the video for the many pairs of socks they saved ;).

When it's all done, I have a colorful patch.

If I were a purist or cared about such things, I'd want to match the yarn color to the sock, but I don't really care that the patch doesn't match. With each patched sock, I'm making a statement, and if people notice my sock and comment, it's an opportunity to share.

I could probably afford to buy myself a new pair of socks, but that may not always be the case, and I love the fact that I know how, that I am able, to fix what I have, even if it's something as insignificant as a pair of $8 Merino wool socks.


  1. Good for you! $8 for a pair of wool socks sounds like a steal to me. But I think it's always better to repair than to replace, if we can. I need to watch that video.

    It's funny, but I've noticed that different people put holes in different parts of their socks. I never get a hole under the heel. Mine are always under the ball of my foot. And somehow my husband always wears out the back of his sock where the Achilles tendon meets his heel. My mom wears out her heels though. We're all different!

  2. I have a lovely tye dye shirt that I bought back in 2000, my freshman year of high school, on vacation in Michigan. I've worn it at least once a week since it was bought. The lettering has worn off, the moose is still more or less visible. I'm wearing it now. I have sewn it back together so many times I probably have used a whole spool of thread on it.
    Like socks, tshirts have their own little places where they wear out. The bottom hem gets separated, the collar detaches from the shirt, the armpits blow out. I sit down and sew it and others shirts a couple times a year.
    Like you I could probably buy a new tshirt, but... why? It is empowering to fix things back, there's a greater satisfaction with that than sighing and throwing something in the garbage.

  3. Ah, there is nothing insignificant about comfort!

    (Sounds like an ancient saying, doesn't it?) :)

    Good job on the darning!

  4. Next step: knitting your own socks!