Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sock Darning, 102a

NOTICE: Desperately seeking Bouton D'Or Flash in a vaguely gold colorway--I think the color number is 075 but I'm not sure (I'm looking at the ball band, but who knows...)
Contact me at MamaOKNits [at] gmail [dot] com if you are a goddess who is in possession of such stuff...

I'm a fanatic for sock darning now that I've been knitting the darn things.Here's my step by step for you, so you can join me in my new nuttiness. Understand though, that this isn't probably the most detailed tutorial. I do expect that you have a basic idea of what you're about to undertake, but I also figured you'd not be knitting socks if you didn't:
First, create a vertical scaffold for your darning. It'll help keep you in line and give you some useful strings to hang on when you need them.
(yeah, it's blurry, but it's close-in and you can see the white vertical stripes)
In fact, the more regular you can be about the placement of said scaffolds the happier you'll be.
 If you can put them on the insides or outsides of stitches all the way across, so that you KNOW what your threads are doing, you'll be in good shape. If you have no idea what I'm talking
 about, don't worry. It won't kill you (and you may figure it out by the end).
Start a few rows below where you need to be. You're going to either create stit
ches in that void using the thread guides, or you're going to pull stitches down from the top and darn them together with stitches at the bottom of your hole...or a little of both. Which is what I did.

So here you can see a couple of rows completed in duplicate stitch. If you've never done this before check out this tutorial (and this video...scroll down to "joining a new color yarn"... oh, and this tutorial too...). It's MUCH easier than you think, though I found working on the purl side even easier when I first started. But this is pretty easy too.
See where the needle comes in and out? That's actually connecting the top loops of the stitches on either side of that needle. Like linking elbows in a long chain. That's it. That's the whole secret of knitting right there.
This is the next pic in line. Notice in the pic above this, the yarn tail is coming down from the top? Now it's coming up from the bottom. 
And the top is where it'll end up at the end of this stitch. You'll also see (even through the haze of the flash) that there's VERY LITTLE that I'm able to grab onto with the needle. In fact, most of what I'm stitching through is ground-down fluff from the original sock yarn.

C'est la guerre.

Regardless, this is where those little white threads come in handy. I can hook those as well as whatever fluff I can manage. From this point on, I'll be using those guide threads until I can get close enough to the top row of the hole to start snagging those loops...until's a high wire act.
And in this pic you can see just how far I've had to reach UP to get at anything...even a tiny little snag that I know would pull out with a gentle tug. That's fine though, because I'm going to continue my rows above that, so I'll be "linking arms" with those stitches. I just can't pull it hard NOW.

And that's pretty much it. Go AT LEAST two rows past where your hole was...

And now, I'm off to darn another!


Delighted Hands said...

How appropriate and timely-just arrived at my daughter's home for Christmas and she gave me 6 pairs of socks I have spun and knitted for her all with holes in the heels! She knows I love all things knitty and will not mind the 'chore'! Your idea for scaffolding is great-thanks! Sorry-I don't have the yarn you are looking for!

madame_leiderhosen said...

Oh, you are brilliant! I am saving this for later use.
Cheers, Darling.

JudyT said...

Thanks so much for your verticals--I'd never have thought of that, either. I have my Mom's old darning egg, but have just been weaving the gaps closed. I don't think she was darning socks by the time I was growing up, and she didn't show me her method to use it. Your duplicate stitch method looks so much more neat. I've been carrying buttonhole thread on the foot of the socks as I knit them, to hold them together longer, and give me something to darn over.

Thanks again,