DORY'S DIARY: Kicking around my sock options

By Dorothy Swart Fleshman December 09, 2013 11:33 am

Forgive me, but I need to talk about stockings again. Not the ones you hang up for Christmas, although I guess you could. It’s more personal just now.

There hasn’t been a hole in one of my socks for years, but one recent morning when I pulled on one of my famous (No. 182, Oct. 28, 2013) black socks, the ring toe (as opposed to a big toe or the little piggy toe) came peeking through the end of the sock.

At first I could hardly believe the sight and at first thought the sock needed plucking as with so many of my clothing these days, but it truly was the pink of the end of my toe.

My first impulse was to get out my mending box and sew up the hole, but I always have second thoughts and I was in my usual hurry, so I laid the offending sock aside and got out a new pair to wear.

The sight of the sock with a hole in it gave me pause to think over the situation in making a big decision. In this day of almost hole-less stockings, should I darn the hole or throw away the pair of offending socks?

It seemed such a shame to throw away two socks with only one of them giving cause. I believe I still have a box of one-sock-hole paired stockings, but there would be none to match this one, so I couldn’t throw away two socks with holes and keep the other two as a new pair.

No, that was not an option.

Knowing that if I put this pair of socks in the mending box, I’d probably never see it again and that would add to my clutter.

Unable to throw the pair away, I decided to leave it out in the open where it would offend me every time I saw it lying there and might tend to repair it.

It worked.

This morning I got out my mending box with just enough black thread in a needle to do the task at hand.

Now, this was not the proper way to do the job and I knew it, but it seemed the better part of valor (whatever I mean by that) than not doing the mending at all.

You see, darning a hole in a stocking requires a darning egg so that you can see exactly how large the hole is and making the darning process easier.

The location of the box in which the darning egg and yarn were kept, was not easily determined this day, so, again, I had to make a darning decision.

Should I wait to find the box with the ‘tools’ or should I go ahead and use the little mending box at my easy disposal.

It contains three spools of thread — black, white, and red (I don’t know why the red), a few safety pins in various sizes, a pair of small embroidery scissors, and three plastic-lidded honey mustard cups (clean, of course) holding needle threaders, white buttons, and straight pins, all cozily stored in a plastic double-dipped chocolate-covered peanuts container.

I try not to waste things, so the “box” was having a second use after I had carefully disposed of the peanut clusters at my pleasure.

Now, the box with a removable lid bearing a “Sewing Kit” label stays in a drawer near my easy chair for quick repairs.

This is why I say that this was not the proper way to do the mending job, for the black thread was regular cotton-covered with polyester (the plain cotton thread was red so I decided against using that) rather than the heavy darning cotton in my other sock mending box.

Another decision — to sew or toss.

With enough thread in the needle to do the job, I chose to sew up the hole, and I did.

I fastened the two now hole less socks together with the plastic teethed-ring and tossed them in the laundry.

It isn’t a fine job and when I go to put them on again, I may have a little knob on the front of my foot against the toe of my shoe, but I’ll work on that later.

The thing is, it is done and I can forget about it. It doesn’t scold me when I walk by.

My friend Orella says that she had to learn to darn socks before her grandmother would teach her to crochet for pleasure. Such were the teachings in the early days.  I learned but avoided it when I could.

It takes time and a lot of work weaving the yarn one direction and then doing likewise from another direction so that the patch is not just pulling two pieces together but filling the hole in solid by weaving.

It’s been a long time since those days.  Today I didn’t darn but pulled the hole together so my toe doesn’t show through, bad girl.  But, at least I didn’t have to throw the socks away.  One of them was too good to waste.

I don’t like to leave bare needles in my sewing box, for I want them ready to go when I am, so I cut a length of thread and aimed for the hole in the needle. I couldn’t believe my good fortune when it went in without the aid of the needle-threader.  The threaded needle, then, is stuck in the spool of matching thread in my sewing box, awaiting my will.

Some days the sun simply shines on a person.