How to repair and darn hand-knitted socks

Repairing hand knitted socks

Socks are essential parts of any wardrobe, especially at this time of year, when the weather outside isn’t the warmest.

Wool socks provide even more cosiness to see out the season, with the moisture-wicking wonders of wool particularly kind to those tootsies.

My family has a longstanding love of wool socks. My mother and others in my home country of Lithuania love to knit wool socks, it’s just one of the reasons why we’ve added an exclusive range of hand-knitted 100% Merino wool socks to the So Cosy collection.

The darning process is also particularly relaxing, and those looking to take on the task of darning their own wool socks at home will quickly discover the psychological benefits of this hugely popular pastime.

The wool itself is soft, warming, lightweight, and sustainable, and while it’s a fibre known for its durability, like everything, wool socks don’t last forever.

Socks made from 100% wool yarn have even shorter lifespans, but before you bin those beautiful wool socks, why not repair them?

Why repair instead of replace?

In a world where fast fashion reigns supreme, it’s all too easy to bin clothing and accessories and start from scratch.

But while clothes made from polyester and other man-made materials are manufactured to be disposable, wool items deserve so much better.

‘Make do and mend’ was a mantra many previous generations lived by. As wool is built to stand the test of time thanks to its long life and minimal maintenance, it always deserves a second or even third chance.

Fixing those holey, damaged clothes and accessories unlocks many benefits. It counters climate change and helps to protect the environment with less need to use resources and turn to carbon-creating manufacturing processes.

Repairing instead of replacing is also hugely satisfying, with those who fix more, all the happier for it.

Tips on sock repair

Not always a cheap fix

One of the main reasons why people choose to repair instead of replace is the money-saving aspect of fixing things up.

But as Do Nation explains not every repair job is a cheaper alternative:

“Making things last longer saves you money because it means you don’t have to buy new things. But we won’t kid you: this isn’t always the case. A lot of products today aren’t designed to be repaired, and the repair industry has become small and expensive.

So, when buying things, look for those designed with a cradle-to-cradle model (there’s actually a certificate now), and learn to fix things yourself.”

Thankfully repairing and darning wool socks is a very cheap and easy fix, and it’ll save you lots of money.

Darn your socks – in minutes

Repairing clothes isn’t always a long-winded process that requires huge amounts of skill and specialised tools. Darning socks is not only a calm, satisfying activity, it’s super quick and easy.

All you need is thread that’s the same or a similar colour to the sock, a needle, and a darning egg or a round object like a tennis ball.

Start by placing the sock inside-out over the tennis ball or darning egg to expose the hole. Cut off any loose thread to ensure you have a clean base to start with.

Thread your needle, tying a knot in one end of the thread, and sew a basic running stitch from one side of the hole to the other. Repeat until the thread covers the hole completely.

Pull the thread gently to close the hole, knot and cut away any loose ends. This easy method can even be used to darn holes in wool sweaters and other knitted items with extra ease.

Want to learn another craft that puts wool to good use this lockdown?

Discover the basics of wool felting.

Images: Esmeralda Edenberg /, penphoto /