Friday, April 20, 2018

Patching a Huge Hole in Knit Socks

I knit a pair of socks for my dad every Christmas, and recently he showed me a pair from 2016 that were loved and well worn. He was planning to throw them away. GASP.

It seemed like such a waste to just throw away the socks. (I could never do that!) So I decided I'd try to patch them. I had no idea what I was getting into.

I posted the holey socks on Instagram and received so many awesome suggestions from other knitters. Many suggested traditional darning, but looking at the hole (the hole above in particular), it needed a much heftier job than that.

My friend Stephanie emailed me a link to a video Sock Repair: Knitted Patch, which turned out to be exactly what I needed to fix these gigantic holes!

The first hole was small and pretty quick to fix. 

But the second hole was enormous and took so much longer. It's not the actual knitting of the patch that takes so long; it's weaving in all those ends! I probably worked on the patches for about 6 hours total.

I didn't get a final photo of the huge patch because I worked on it right down to the last minute when I was visiting my parents.

And yes, I know. I probably could have knit a new pair of socks in that 6 hours. But that's not the point.

As makers, it's our job to not only make the stuff but to also repair it. I know my fellow knitters feel the same way, if only based on the huge response and great advice I got from everyone. I'm hoping these patches will reinforce the heels a bit more and help them last a little longer.

Right now I'm working on a sock heel that uses two strands of yarn alternated to give the heel more of a cushion. I'm wondering if that might help strengthen it, too. If so, I might consider using it on the heel and just beneath the heel for my dad's socks from now on.

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