Blanket Stitch Darn

The blanket stitch darn is really only appropriate for darning socks, as it tends to make a small “bubble” of thread — perfect for sock heels and toes, but clumsy on flat surfaces. Continue using a darning egg when you work this darn. In this case, the egg will help you maintain just enough tension on the stitches to make the darn follow the shape of a heel or toe perfectly.

Use the blanket stitch darn for socks with holes in the toes or heels. Photo by Caitlin Wilson.

Anchor your yarn on the inside of the sock, and come up just outside the edge of the hole. Work a single blanket stitch over the edge, moving clockwise or counterclockwise as you prefer. Continue working blanket stitches over the edge of the hole, until you’ve come back to your first stitch. Now, you’ll start working blanket stitches through your first row of stitches, building the new fabric toward the center of the hole. If you crochet, this process may seem familiar; in fact, you can crochet to mend a hole in your socks, too. Keep working blanket stitches in a spiral until you reach the very center of the hole, and then run your needle through a few stitches in a tight circle, pull tight, and tie off your yarn on the inside of the sock.


Photos by Caitlin Wilson.
For the blanket stitch darn, work a blanket stitch on the edge of the torn material.
To continue the blanket stitch darn, build off your first blanket stitch with more blanket stitches, working around in a spiral.

The tricky part of this darning technique is keeping the spiral of stitches at just the right tension to make a cupped heel or toe shape, without letting them get so loose that you end up with excess fabric where you used to have a hole. Cinch up each stitch just until it lies smoothly against the surface of your darning egg, and then work the next stitch. It may help to use your thumb to anchor the previous stitch as you work, to keep from inadvertently pulling it too tight.

Once in a while, you might also remove the darning egg and try on the sock to check that it’s still fitting the way you want it to. It’s easier (and less frustrating!) to change course midway than to have to tear out your brand-new darn and rework it.

Darning is unquestionably a slower process than pulling a fresh pair of socks out of the drawer, or buying a replacement for your favorite shirt, but I find it pleasantly meditative. Whether you’re salvaging a beloved garment from the garbage for a few more months, or simply saving a bit of money by making do with what you have, you’re reducing waste in your lifestyle and practicing a valuable skill. Don’t fret over torn clothing — just darn it!



GRIT is a bi-monthly magazine distributed throughout the United States and Canada that celebrates country lifestyles of all kinds, while emphasizing the importance of community and stewardship.

GRIT offers practical advice, product reviews, livestock guides, gardening, cooking and other do-it-yourself information, humor and the inspirational stories of folks who moved to the country and love it.

Main Research Source