Tag Archives: darning

Mush on my feet

I just wore a big honking hole my Malabrigo Socks. It’s only the third time I’ve worn them and they haven’t even been washed yet! Can you feel the anger and frustration radiating from my body? Here are the socks. They were knit for me by a Ravelry friend out of Malabrigo Sock in Boticelli Red. They are gorgeous.

Aphrodite Socks by Jeannie Cartmel

I’ve wore them three nights in a row, being careful to wear my slippers most of the time and definitely not walking on the carpets in them. While I was sitting at the computer tonight I took my slippers off, because hello, wool is very warm and my feet were getting hot. And then right when I was about to go to bed, boom. I look at the bottom of my foot and there’s a huge freaking hole right where my toe is.

Hole in Malabrigo Socks

What. the hell. is that. I’ve worn other handknit socks just like this made from 100 percent merino, but never have I had a sock completely disintegrate like this on me, and so fast! I am mightily displeased. I’m also a little wary of using more of my 100 percents for socks. I certainly don’t want my handknit socks to fall apart this quickly!

So yeah. Know what that means? All of the other Malabrigo currently earmarked in my stash for socks is being de-earmarked. I have now decided that Mal Sock cannot stay in my home because this yarn, as socks, turns into mush far too fast for my taste. I guess this is m y first opportunity to use my grandmother’s darning egg, at least. grumblegrumble

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Grandma’s foot-form darning “egg”

When I started knitting seriously, I discovered that my grandmother, Irene, had owned a darning egg. My mother and her sisters grew up on a farm, and Mom vividly recalled her mother sitting in the evenings on the farmhouse, diligently darning socks using the wooden darner.

My aunt Kathy apparently was given the darning egg when my grandmother died in 1989, and used it in her country-eque decorated homes all over the world. So for a year I patiently hinted and pondered and “mentioned” to my aunts how much I’d like to have Grandma’s darning egg someday. Imagine my surprise when yesterday, an unknown package arrived in the mail for me. It was the darning egg from Aunt Kathy! She had decided to surprise me, instead of tormenting me with the idea of getting it one day if I was nice to her (we are all about blackmail on mom’s side of the family).

This darning “egg” is actually not egg-shaped at all. It is, in fact, a foot-form wooden darner, a design that was patented in Nov. 1907 and was commonly used in the early to mid-20th century. It has the words “FOOT-FORM” stamped across its top, and you can clearly see how much it was used by the tiny scrapes in the wood. I’m glad to see that these antique foot form “eggs” are often found on eBay for rather affordable prices, so that anyone, if they like, can own a little piece of history.

Grandma married my grandfather, Pap-Pap, in 1945, and they left the farm life and moved to the “city” in 1957, when my mother, the middle child, was 9. They bought their first house for $3,000 and were thrilled to have indoor plumbing. In this photo, from 1950, my mother is the one simultaneously holding her naked dolly and her bladder, while my Aunt Kathy is the one in bunting in my grandmother’s arms. I do love the turned down cuffs of Grandma’s white bobby socks in this image. While Grandma only lived on the farm for 12 years,  I’m sure that she used this wooden darner for many more years of her life. I’ll treasure it always.