Saturday, August 18, 2012

I'll Be Darned

In the process of de-cluttering this summer, I've been going through boxes of things inherited from my mother and grandmother. I've been throwing a few things out, but mostly just trying to get better organized. Today, I ran across this -- a sock darner.

The archaeologist in me thinks that the layer in which it was situated would indicate that this belonged to my dad's mother. Which makes the family historian in me snicker. Because my maternal grandmother was the crafty one -- not Grandma. I know that she could sew. Her high school scrapbook is filled with references to a sewing club that only ever seemed to have picnics and go swimming. But I never saw her sew, or knit, for that matter. Much less darn a pair of socks. Perhaps this belonged to her mother? My great-grandma could do just about anything. I wouldn't be surprised if it was hers. Alas, there's no one left to ask about its provenance.

In any case, this little sock darner was well-used at some point. The finish on the rounded end is quite worn. And there are some dents in one side that lead me to believe that some child, probably my dad, used it to whack things with. I have no idea how to use one of these myself, but I know at least one of my readers has taken a class in sock darning. In fact, that's the reason I was able to recognize what this is. Maybe she can show me how to darn socks some day?

Back to organizing. Who knows what else I might find?



  1. It's me! And I can! With pleasure!

    Though truth be told, my darning teacher said she never uses darning eggs.

    I still like them.

  2. Don't you put the egg inside the sock to stretch the material out to sew/knit it back together?

  3. My mother had a 1940s bakelite darning mushroom. We would push it into the heel or toe of a sock, under a part which had worn into a hole, and darn (weave) round and over the hole. The mushroom cap unscrewed, and you could store little scraps of wool to be used for darning in it. It looks as though yours may unscrew. I see on the internet that someone has suggested using a light bulb. I actually bought a wooden mushroom in a charity shop the other day. Mia Self