I put on a pair of socks this morning and wondered if people ever darned socks anymore. Oh, it wasn’t a big hole. You know, one where your big toe is looking out, smiling at you. It was a small hole, that I knew would grow larger if I didn’t darn it. Or, it would grow larger if I didn’t care. I don’t care to darn.
Years ago, women darned socks when they became holey. That is a word, right? Most women owned a sewing basket that contained all of the equipment one needed to sew. I remember looking in my great Aunt Elizabeths’s sewing basket one time. It amazed me. She was prepared. She could make house calls. I could hear her now…
“Aunt Elizabeth, I am afraid I have a hole in my sock. Oh dear. What will I do? I don’t own thread…or a needle…….No, but I do have some floss.”
“I will be right over, Vickie. What color is your sock?”
I didn’t think it mattered what color thread you used. Apparently, some people frown upon seeing their white button on their white blouse sewn up with a red thread. Seven little buttons, one standing out like a sore thumb. Or sore button. But, in the whole scheme of things, who cares anymore?
At one time, all housewifes knew how to darn socks. It is a lost art. It was just one of the assumed roles of every housewife. I remember how my mom would sit with her glasses down to her nose, sewing away. She never used a darning egg. Oh, she had one. I know that because my sister hit me with it one time. I had no idea what it was, but it hurt when applied to the forehead.
I remember seeing it in my mom’s sewing monstrosity of a basket one time, and thought it was a maracas like Ricky Ricardo used on I Love Lucy. I shook it, but it didn’t make noise. Leave it to my mom to keep broken musical instruments with her sewing stuff. My sister soon found another use for it when she bopped me on the forehead with it for no reason whatsoever. I was a good girl. She was a walking temper tantrum “Release the Kraken” nightmare. Really. I did nothing to deserve it.
While my mom darned socks, I would look through all of the stuff she had with her sewing “needs.” The needle holder, aka, the tomato pin cushion, intrigued me. Why the hell would you stick pin needles in a fake tomato? Made absolutely no sense to me. I mean, why not a fake banana……. or a doll baby? According to folklore, however, women during the Victorian Age put a tomato on the mantel of a new home for good luck. I wonder how long they kept it there?
Most seamstresses don’t realize it, but the little tassel that comes with the tomato is an emory (a fine grain sand or something, that is used as a needle/pin sharpener).
But as I sit here, remembering my mom darning holey socks, I realize that I will just wear these socks until the hole gets so big and starts bugging me. Then I will throw the socks away. Because I’m lazy and that’s how I roll. The only time I really care if I am wearing a holey sock is if I have to visit someone. Some people like for you to take off your shoes when you enter their house. I’m thinking someone must have stepped in dog poo at one time or another for people to become so insistent. So, I try to wear hole-less socks when visiting an up-tight friend.
When my daughter was home over Thanksgiving, she was mad because there was a little round hole in her black tights. I offered her one of my solutions, but she balked. It is a secret that I will share with you. If you put on a sock and it has a hole in it, don’t take the sock off. Color your foot. Yes, that’s right. If I have a hole in my sock and I am wearing clogs or some shoe that may show the little bastard, I put a dab of magic marker on my foot where the hole is and Voila! The skin is colored to match the color of your sock. No need to darn when you can color.
In the end, most garbage cans will see your socks. People just don’t have the time anymore to sit and darn socks.
So, put away the fake tomatoes and go buy new socks…They sell them at Walmart cheaper than the thread and accessories to sew them up in the first place.
Unless you feel the need to sit and hum and sew while your children beat the hell out of each other with the darning egg.