Learn how to repair a hole, step-by-step, using our easy mending technique.

By Jenny Comita
February 28, 2020
Ryan Liebe

Does your favorite pair of knit socks have a hole in them? It was once considered an old-fashioned notion to opt for darning. Today, displaying your handiwork and expressing yourself is more in style, and that's why artists like Celia Pym have embraced visible mending as a medium. As part of an installation for the British clothing brand Toast, she restored these mustard socks; the company also has a repair program, workshops, and a mended-garment exchange.

Knitted socks this chunky and warm make great slippers with the proper backup support. Darn areas prone to pulls and holes (like the tip and ball of the foot) with vivid yarn, as Pym did, to give them staying power—and sole-ful style. Just make sure it's of a similar thickness and material, so the end result will feel evenly fuzzy or smooth.

Since knitting takes time, wouldn't it be prudent to know how to mend your knitwear once they get holes? Making minor repairs to your socks at home is easier than you might think; it saves time as well as money. And while you're at it, you can give that worn-in pair a pop of personality. You don't need a degree in fiber arts to beautifully renew a sweater, scarf, or socks. Just fill in any blanks with a tight grid of over‐and‐under stitches, like so.

Related: Modern Mending—How to Patch a Hole, Mend a Seam, and Fix a Hem

Work Up and Down

Thread a darning needle with yarn. Hold a darning mushroom under the hole for support. Make a vertical row of running stitches, starting 3/8 inch or more to one side of the hole and going at least 3/8 inch above and below it. Repeat, making tight rows and staggering the stitches. When you reach the hole, pass the yarn over it. Continue the rows 3/8 inch or more past it.

Then Side to Side

Repeat step one, in the opposite direction. Cover the hole by weaving horizontal stitches through the vertical ones. Weave the end of the yarn into the garment until it's hidden, then snip it.

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