Friday, February 1, 2013

Darn socks!

I tried my hand at darning hand-knit socks for the first time. I have a pair of socks that I made out of a blend of baby alpaca, silk and nylon. I thought that with the addition of the silk and nylon, I'd get extra wear out of these socks, but I was horrified one day when I found a hole in one of my socks at the end of the day. Darn! I knew right away that I'd have to learn how to darn socks, because these socks are so fuzzy and comfy, I don't ever want to get rid of them, not to mention all of the work that went into them in the first place (they started out as a raw fleece that I purchased at a fiber festival). I think I even have a post about blending the fibers with my drum carder.

Anyhoo, here was my dilemma:

A very sorry hole right on the heel:

So I turned to the ever-trusty Youtube to watch sock darning how-to's. There are a surprising number out there, and a few different techniques for fixing those holes, and reinforcing worn spots (this is where the adage, a stitch in time saves nine, comes from).

I picked a technique which involves picking up stitches and knitting a patch right over the hole. Other techniques involve weaving a fix into the hole. Neither one seems too difficult, so I went with the one that I thought would probably look better, although I don't think the woven fix would look bad either. And anyway, who's gonna see it?

So here is my darn:

I looked and looked but couldn't find any leftover of the same yarn (I used what I had left to knit some fingerless gloves - which I LOVE because they are fuzzy and warm - and I think that used up the last of this particular yarn. I do, however, have some yarn from the same fleece, only without the added silk and nylon, so I used that to darn the hole:

It doesn't look terrible:

And it feels just fine when I put it on, so, voila! The darning was a success:

I can now wear my fuzzy, warm alpaca socks again, and just in time since it's 16 degrees F right now.

My feet will love me : )

A winter hike at Nelson Ledges

Last weekend, my husband and I went for a walk in a nearby state park. It was wintry and snowy at Nelson Ledges, which so far has proved beautiful in any season.
There were ice crystals growing up from the ground under ledges of rock (click on any of the pictures to see them larger):

The crystals pushed the soil, pebbles, and leaves up with them as they grew:

Here's what looked like  a snowy toilet seat - just in case...:

Here's a little cave close to an icy waterfall, full of icicles:

And here is an icicle forming on a rock face that reminded me of either a hummingbird or a dolphin:

As long as I'm bundled up, I don't mind a wintry walk.