Today’s episode is all about repairing hand knit socks. I have a pair of socks that I have accidentally worn through the heel of, and I wanted to repair them. I’ve collated some resources and options for repairing knitted items.
If you’re struggling with existential crises/dread/ennui as a result of over-thinking everything, Dr Shiny’s recommendation is vigorous consumption of comedy videos and memes. And Tiger King.It’s a tough old time at the moment, and when you think you have done well during the day, it’s still possible to be sideswiped by questioning the meaning of life. The Morbs can be but a throwaway comment away. Any ill-advised media consumption can set it off.
This is where the meme consumption comes in handy. There have been plenty of crackers doing the rounds. Feel free to send me your favourites!
This particular video had me in tears of laughter for DAYS.
Methods for Repairing Hand Knit Socks
I’ve a pair of hand knit socks that I’ve had for several years. I wear them often in bed, as I have cold feet all the time. I notice they had worn through in a somewhat spectacular fashion, but only one one heel.
Before the Hole Appears
The easiest way to repair worn-through hand knits, is to repair the thin patch before it actually wears through completely. You can do this using several different methods.
Using reinforcing thread is a popular way, where you follow the pattern of the stitches to make the existing ones more sturdy. Some sock yarns (Jawoll) come with a little spool of reinforcing thread, which is usually nylon based. Alternatively, you can buy reinforcing thread separately.
Here’s a tutorial from Very Pink Knits which shows a couple of methods using reinforcing.
Swiss Darning to Repair Hand Knit Socks
Swiss darning is another method to reinforce the socks. Either use the same yarn you used initially, if you have any available, to duplicate all the stitches. Alternatively, you could go in-between and use a finer gauge yarn to duplicate stitch and strengthen the yarn. This method is known as Swiss darning or duplicate stitch.
It’s helpful to have a darning mushroom or egg to do the repair, to spread the stitches out to make them easier to see. It will also help to avoid sewing the two sides of the sock together! Apparently an incandescent lightbulb will also suffice as a stand in.
Repairing a Hole in a Hand Knit Sock After it Appears
If you’ve already worn through the fabric and are the proud owner of a holy sock, you’re going to need a different approach. There are no stitches to reinforce any more, so you need to create some.
This will take the form of making a patch of some sort. You can either pick up stitches and knit a patch, or knit a patch and sew it on. There are a few options that are a combination of the two as well.
Jackie E-S does a great tutorial for the knitted on patch, which you can find here.
This technique will produce a very strong patch, but it doesn’t look especially pretty.
Music for this episode is with kind permission of Adam and the Walter Boys, with ‘I Need a Drink,’ available on iTunes.