and "bloody hell, not another one", was positively wicked,
conversations were a little more like this....
Child: muuuum, there's a hole in my sock.
Mum: wear a different pair.
Child: there's holes in all of them.
Mum: oh, DARN it!!
Or so I'm led to believe...
Then she did. Darn the socks.
Do any of you remember darning socks?
I used to, up until about 6-8 years ago, when I could no longer see well enough to darn black on black.
I remember my mum darning socks and the elbows of jumpers (sweaters) and cardigans.
I remember a friend's mum who did what she called preventive darning.
This is when weak places on socks, like heels and balls of feet, were reinforced by darning before the holes actually appeared.
When I darned my own kids socks, preventive darning is the one I did most.
Especially on my husband's army socks.
I remember when darning thinner, modern day socks, darning wool was way too thick and unsightly, so I darned with embroidery silks.
Here's a few images sourced from google.
Very basically, darning is weaving, going well outside the worn edges of a hole into stronger fabric to hold the stitches in place.
Darning needles came in an assortment of sizes, always blunt tipped to prevent snagging on fabrics, but with a much larger eye to enable darning wool to be threaded through more easily.
Skeins of darning wool came in all colours, so you could match the shade and make a near invisible mend, or make a contrast mend, a stand out statement of your ability perhaps.
These are called mushrooms, inserted into a sock or a sleeve to expose the hole to be darned more clearly and also to hold the sock or sleeve firmly while working the darn.
The most common shape was more of a mushroom and this is what mine looks like. Yes, I do still have it.
An example of a darned sock.
More darned socks.
Fabric items were sometimes darned as well, if there was a pattern that would almost hide the stitches.
I've heard from a few of my older customers that they even used to darn their silk stockings......