Thursday, October 13, 2011

Holes in sock. Darn!

  Admiring my favorite socks the other night before I took them off, I was shocked to see the heels were almost worn though. There were no actual breaks in the yarn, but in places it was the thickness of a single hair. Eek! Time for drastic action. 
  The sock pattern is Pomatomus, a free pattern by Cookie A available from Knitty, an on-line knitting magazine. If you like to knit and don't know about Knitty, check it out immediately as it's a treasure trove.
This is one of the most popular sock patterns on Ravelry and thousands have knit it. It's the only sock pattern I've done so far that I plan to do again in a different color. Meanwhile I want to get some more use of this pair and even have some of the same yarn in my stash so I resolved to repair them.
  My mom used to darn socks—not because we were poor but because she grew up in the Great Depression and that's what people did. To darn you need only some yarn, a blunt needle and something round to put inside the sock, called the darning egg. Mom used a light bulb as her darning egg and stitched back and forth across the hole, then wove over and under those threads.
  Because I noticed before there was an actual hole, I was able to use duplicate stitch on the existing stitches, trying to follow the trajectory of the original yarn. I'm not great to duplicate stitching and it gets very confusing in a hurry as the new fat yarn obscures what one is trying to do. In spite of wandering from the true path many times, my patches look quite acceptable and I think they will be functional.
  I used a cuckoo call as my darning egg. I don't actually call cuckoos, but I bought this because I thought it was beautiful. I actually use it to let Mr. Rududu know when dinner is ready. I'm not saying he's a cuckoo...
   I found a really good explanation of how to mend a sock with duplicate stitch even if there is a hole here.

The nitty gritty: Pomatomus uses a lace pattern, but I found the large holes I got when I knit it as written distracting. To reduce their size, I knit through the back on all stitches after a yarn over. (ie sittiches that were marked on the pattern as a purl after a yo became knit through the back stitches.) I knit these in Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet.


Evelyn said...

Wow -- what an impressive post! I don't think I've read about anyone else darning socks that they hand-knitted and it sounds like you did an incredible job saving those gorgeous toe warmers!

vayankeegrl said...

Thanks for this. I literally cried a couple weeks ago when I noticed my wollmeise pomatomus socks had worn through right above the heel flap. I had noticed when they were starting to get thin and should have taken action then, but now I have a hole. I'm a little nervous about fixing them because of the lacy pattern, but I figure I'm the one wearing them, not many people are going to notice a patch on the back of my ankle, and I'd like to see most of the people I know knit such a kickass pair of socks.

The next time I make a pair of pomatomuses (pomatomi?) - because it is such a beautiful, and deceptively easy, pattern - I'm going to start the heel ribbing before I start the actual flap so that it will wear a lot better.

Carolina said...

No one will notice a patch in their overwhelming general awesomeness. I agree this is a fabulous pattern. I plan to knit it again and I generally don't repeat sock patterns. Good idea about adding more ribbing. In spite of all our efforts, beautiful socks do wear out, giving us an excuse to knit more.