Friday, March 27, 2009


I don't know how to darn a sock.

This thought came to me in the middle of the afternoon on this day, a Friday, when I was supposed to be working on the backlog of articles that await my attention.

Instead, I was cleaning out my husband's sock drawer.

We both have a lot of socks. We collect them. My husband in particular never wants me to throw out his hosiery.

So I was surprised yesterday when I sent him out on errands and he actually followed my suggestion to buy himself new socks. If he did, I told him, I would throw out every one of his old socks and replace them with new.

I actually had already purchased 12 pairs of new socks for my drawer with the intention of doing the same. I made that purchase three weeks ago and had left them in the bag because I hadn't found the time to dump my sock drawer.

I always feel guilty when I throw out old socks. Shouldn't I darn them, fix the holes, shore them up for reuse? Doesn't this make me one of the consumers, part of the disposable society?

Well, yes. But I don't know how to darn a sock. Nor do I have the time to learn. And when you think about how long you wear a sock, they're pretty cheap.

Old socks can be used for dust clothes or for stuffing a stuffed animal, or for an oil rag out in the garage. But generally I just throw them out because if I don't they end up back in the drawer.

If I were really keen to preserve and reuse, I would make a sock quilt out of them. "See, honey, that's the sock from that time you stepped into the pond when you were saving the cow and your boot came back all covered with black gunk that wouldn't come out. Remember?" I can see us now, in our 80s, recalling those fond times.

My husband's socks are filthy even after they've been washed three times. The man is a farmer and a fireman and he digs ditches (he does have those three jobs) and they are all dirty jobs. He grinds the dirt into his socks and no amount of bleach will get it all out.

His work boots also bleed color into his socks, so they often turn brown.

His socks get very thin quite quickly, too, and I have been remiss in not replacing them sooner.

Perhaps it was for this reason that he brought home 24 pairs of brand new socks yesterday.

And a few hours ago I dumped them in the wash (we wash everything before we wear it around here), and then I ignored the writing that beckoned me and headed for the sock drawers.

Because my husband is a hard-working man, and he deserves comfy socks on his well-worn feet.


  1. I love new socks! Hope he's feeling all comfy in his!

  2. I think socks were easier to darn (more darnable?) back in the old days when they were made with natural fibers. Now that they're synthetic or a blend, they're not so amenable to repair.

    Our old socks become rags or dog toys.

  3. My husband's a mechanic so you could imagine what his socks look like. I now only buy him grey or black ones because the white ones end up that way anyhow. What still befuddles me is why I always end up with only one sock??? I have bags of them that have yet to find their mate...

  4. They don't make socks like they used to. They stretch out and won't stay up or keep their shape almost immediately. I'm sick of it!

    But I recycle them by using them for my horses. Now I don't feel guilty any more! I use them to wipe out the gunk in the corners of their eyes, or to cover my hands when I'm applying conditioners to their feet (perhaps THEY need socks?) or for scrubbing buckets, saddles and yes, horse peckers, lol.

  5. My husband is a carpenter and maintenance man, so he goes through socks really fast. I'm always amazed how quickly he wears a hole in the heel. He likes only one kind of sock (a grey work sock from Walmart) so I never have to match his socks up because they're all the same! :-)

  6. My socks always get holes in the heels.. guess cuz I walk around stocking footed all the time....

    Do rug weavers/loomers use socks to make rugs? There's a blogger that makes rugs... maybe she would know. I'll check.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  7. Here's the rug weaving ladies blog... Maybe she wants your old socks??


  8. My husband taught me to darn a sock. Stick an egg in it to get the curve right as usually it wears out on the toes or the heels. Makes it much easier to sew up, and feel good!

  9. I darn socks. But it only works well with wool socks and those are the ones worth saving.


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