29 May 2008

To Darn or not to Darn?

No, I'm not swearing, I'm talking about mending socks. Most of the time, socks will develop a hole at the heel or toe, long before the whole sock is worn out. I used to just throw these out and buy new ones, but as part of our quest for simple living, I've been mending them instead. It doesn't take long really, and there is an immense feeling of satisfaction in making something last that little bit longer, rather than just throwing it out. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy darning socks, and seeing that hole disappear under a neat tapestry of stitches.

One of the main reasons I never mended socks (other than sheer laziness, which certainly played it's part), was a lack of knowledge. If I had thought about it, I probably would have tried to sew the two damaged edges together, which would have made a big lump on the sock. And seeing as I'm rather sensitive, it would have driven me mad, so I never even tried. This is where the wonder of the Internet comes in. Darning instructions are easy to find, and probably a video or two if you really want. I used http://www.wikihow.com/Darn-a-Sock, But don't get put off, you don't really need a 'darning mushroom', I just used an old glass bottle, and it works fine.

It is also causing me to look more closely at the socks we do buy. Some socks are flimsy, and the material will thin and stretch before it even gets to the stage of holes forming. These sorts of socks really aren't worth wasting our money on, so in future, we'll be buying stronger, better quality socks to start with.

And no, just for the record, I don't need to mend socks, I could very easily go out and buy new ones. It's a conscious choice DH and I have made, to make do with what we have where we can, to repair, reuse, recycle, instead of buying new. To grow cotton takes an enormous amount of water, and lots of pesticides, by making our socks last twice as long, we are halving the amount of new material we need, and though it might be only a drop in the ocean, I believe every little bit adds up.

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