Free SmartWool Socks!

The other title I had in mind for this post was “Mending Socks – No Darning Required,” but who wants to read about that except for crafty/thrifty nerds? This way, I might suck in my friends who think that mending socks is only for old ladies in Dickens novels.

A few years ago – maybe in 2007 – my friend Dekalb gave me several pairs of his old, holey SmartWool socks. Around 2001 or 2002, I had gone through a rash of sock-mending, which he remembered. But I have had no rash of sock-mending in recent years, so the socks he gave me have been sitting in a drawer with other fabric. I’ve occasionally looked at them, wondering if their ultimate fate would be repair, doll-stuffing or the compost heap.

This week I decided to finally repair two of the pairs into un-holey socks. I had two goals: remove the holes and make the socks smaller so they’d fit me comfortably.

First, I took the gray pair, one of which had a hole along the toe seam, and cut along the toe seam on both.

I then folded the loose fabric over the front of the sock and pinned it down. This shortened the sock’s length by about 3/4 of an inch. I sewed it in place with purple thread. Here’s what I ended up with:

I had to do the next pair a little differently. The hole in one of the pair was on the ball of the foot.

So I cut across the toe at the front, like I did with the gray ones, but then continued to cut around the entire circumference of the sock, dipping down in a U in the back so that the hole coincided with the cutting line. Here are two views:

I then pinned the sock back together, overlapping by about 3/4 of of inch. This is what I ended up with after sewing:

I would like to add that it is a complete pain to sew the toe of a thick wool sock using a sewing machine. It’s hard to get the sock under and around the machine foot, and it’s hard to see what you’re doing once it’s there.

I’ve done thin ankle socks before, but this was my first time with crew-length wool socks. I would definitely lean toward hand-sewing for socks of this type in the future.

Sewing with a cat in the room doesn’t make it any easier, either.

She was rather disappointed that I kicked her out. I tried to make it up to her by letting her watch a video of gerbils running around their terrarium. She liked that.

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