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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: blackie
Date: 10-15-2006, 11:54 AM (1 of 10)
I have a pair of black wool stockings. They have a hole in the thigh and I want to darn it. I don't even know what darning is, let alone how to do it! I tried to look online but didn't come up with good instructions.

They are also slightly pill-y because I think my husband washed them once. A lint roller doesn't take the pills off. Any ideas?

I'd really like to make use of these this winter - they are very warm and were expensive besides!
see the mundane life of a housewife.
User: blackie
Member since: 03-31-2004
Total posts: 594
From: HeyJudee
Date: 10-15-2006, 12:28 PM (2 of 10)
Blackie, don't know if this will help...but take a look at this site that gives instructions on repairing knits. The first one on Tears & Holes Weaving Method may give you help as this is kind of how you would need to fix the hole.

Oh, I found this one which has good pics

Here is a how to darn socks but no pics

Hope these help!

PS...I found these by googling "darning repairs"
TTFN from
User: HeyJudee
Member since: 01-25-2005
Total posts: 1366
From: SummersEchos
Date: 10-15-2006, 01:15 PM (3 of 10)
Oh my darning socks. I still have my moms darning knob which has to be over 50 years old. I was taught to do like the lightbulb method in Judee's last link. They use to make darning thread, but since no one darns socks anymore they stopped making it. I haven't darned socks in ages but this thread reminded me of watching mom do it. I have talked to some older customers at work (I am 56 so I mean older than that) and they have asked about darning thread or buying a darning knob.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: Hogmami
Date: 10-15-2006, 01:39 PM (4 of 10)
I too have the darning knob, mine is from my great grandmother. I haven't used it in years.
User: Hogmami
Member since: 09-30-2004
Total posts: 800
From: Pudge99
Date: 10-15-2006, 01:42 PM (5 of 10)
My Mom used to darn socks. She used to use the wooden tool for squishing the grapes through the strainer to make jelly. Don't know what that things is called but I know how to use it, to make jelly, darn socks or threaten to wack my dad in the head if he didn't get out of the very small kitchen during canning season. :bg: We always did toes so it didn't matter how they looked. I wouldn't know how to do it on the side of the sock. Both of my machines (sewing and embroidery) have a darning feature but I don't think that would help in your case.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Pictures of my successes and failures
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User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
From: Magot
Date: 10-15-2006, 03:24 PM (6 of 10)
Is your darn going to be visable Kelly? Are you a thigh flasher? The links which Judy gave are very good for reconstructing knitted items - I can't be bothered to darn socks this way - I use the last method.
I get the impression yours are thick opaque wool stockings - in which case the last method would be the most approprate depending as I say on your original fabric and you thigh flashing propensity.

Did you ever weave your own fabric on a bit of card cut to pointy teeth at either end? It is a similar technique.
I have always tended to put a small running stitch around the hole to act as a foundation for the reconstructed weave that you make over the hole.
Then starting at the edge of the hole but about 1/2" back and set up your own warp made out of darning thread. Use a long needle with a large eye and embroidery floss. The idea of the darning mushroom is to provide you with a surface over which to spread and stabilse the hole so that you can see how you are working.
You work taking in small running stitches at each side of the hole so that you set up a series of parallel threads across the hole. Then, working perpendicular to this, you weave in and out of the warp threads with your weft, again taking small running stitches at either side of the hole to even space your weaving. It is easy to do and terrible to describe.

I don't have a darning mushroom - I use on old oval soap tin that someone gave me once for Christmas - so long as you can see the area you are working and keep it stable (I twist the fabric at the back to keep it in one place) - it doesn't matter what you use. I was intrigued by the idea of using a lightbulb - neat.
love and kisses, Jan
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: blackie
Date: 10-15-2006, 08:25 PM (7 of 10)
I am almost sorry I asked! Holy cow, that is very involved!

I am going to try one of these methods and post my pics. I am so intimidated.

Thank you ladies all for the advice and the memoirs!
see the mundane life of a housewife.
User: blackie
Member since: 03-31-2004
Total posts: 594
From: plrlegal
Date: 10-16-2006, 02:06 AM (8 of 10)
Kelly as far as the darning, I've done it a couple of times but not for a lot of years. Anyway, as to the pilling problem, how about one of those battery operated gismos called a "Fuzz Buster" that you can pick up at most fabric stores these days. I have one and I use it on my sweaters all the time. I also use it on dh's dark dress socks cause when I allow him to do the laundry, he's been known to throw his dark dress socks in with the colored bath towels. :whacky:

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: DorothyL
Date: 10-16-2006, 08:10 AM (9 of 10)
For pilling cheap plastic razor works on sweaters if you are careful. Stockings might be a bit harder to stretch out. Maybe you could do it with them on!:shock:
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: Magot
Date: 10-16-2006, 12:26 PM (10 of 10)
Just plait your leg hair, Dorothy, no one will know you are not wearing tights.

Shaving your legs with the tights on indeed!
love and kisses, Jan
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
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