Wednesday 8 September 2010

Holey socks

My socks generally look like this. They're quite wearable until the hole gets big enough that your whole toe fits through- then you get the uncomfortable toe-strangling sensation.

I'd put up with that for a few washes and then chuck them in the bin. Well- no, I'd put them in a pile and look at them mournfully and think: if only there was something else I could do with holey socks. It's such a waste throwing them away.

This year, I decided, things would be different.

I asked for a darning set for Christmas and on boxing day sat down with my Nan and my Gran-in-law and learnt how to darn. It's ridiculously easy.

I had asked for red wool with it, because I knew my early efforts at darning would be amateurish and ugly: I thought I'd rather make a feature of it than try to hide it.

Over the next few months I darned on buses, in pubs and at parties. In the lovely Fat Cat over a Pint of local ale (Ha! I lie. My friends drunk low-carbon local ale, I continued in my brave and unstinting efforts to drink dry the gin reserves of the world. Fear not- Lilian and I have it covered). Friends looked at me curiously. "Are you darning?" they asked, incredulously. "Yes" I replied placidly. They of course took the mickey something rotten- until they saw me turn uncomfortable holey sock after uncomfortable holey sock into ugly-but-usable socks. Sometime after the third pint came the first request: "Could you darn my socks?". "Of course" I replied, and appointed myself the pub's darner in residence.

When the pub closed, we repaired to a friend's house and once indoors socks and inhibitions both were merrily tossed aside. That night, I darned until I was sore.

Even now, my darning has something of the Frankenstein about it- but I don't think socks need to be pretty. I think they need to be comfortable and long-lasting- and they're certainly achieving that. It's nine months since my first darns- & they're showing no signs of giving up the ghost.

And it's great fun.

I'm more than happy to show you how. Which pub shall we choose?

1 comment:

  1. Darning in the pub - I wish I'd been there to see that Elena! Let me know when you next give a darning lesson in the Cat and I'll buy you a gin - and give you some carrots :)

    Great photos and post!