November 10, 2012

This Weekend's Find

Darning Mushroom
Though it is possible to darn holes in socks by improvising and using a light bulb or an orange, etc., the right tool makes the job so much easier and more enjoyable. And the right tool is either a darning egg or darning mushroom, preferably with an attached handle.
Alas, despite the glorious resurgence of knitting over the last decade, and, in particular, the increased popularity of sock knitting, trying to find a darning egg or mushroom can prove to be daunting.
KnitPicks, online in the United States, has a darning egg for sale at $3.99. Plus taxes, shipping, and customs/duty fees.There are a handful of websites in North America that sell antique eggs or mushrooms for thirty or forty odd dollars! (Now, God love them, though the shipping fees to Canada would not make the purchase practical, the Brits are apparently still into repairing socks as there are lots for sale over the Pond!)
This morning, we set out for a drive along the South Shore of Nova Scotia. We stopped in Mahone Bay where I purchased my first pair of high boots with heels in over 15 years (Daughter No.2 will be so proud of me!). We stopped at Oceanview Garden Center in Chester and got some wreath making supplies and lots of creative ideas from the staff there. We went on a short walk with Nora through the woods along the Chester Connection Trail. And, on the way home, we stopped at Blue Shutters Antiques. I explained to the the lady what I was looking for and she immediately took me to a shelf in a back room with a darning mushroom - the only one in the store. And, given the cost of good sock yarn,  the $12.00 for an antique darning tool was well worth the investment.
I can only conclude that after buying luscious yarn and spending hours knitting a pair of socks,  people are either making do and mending with things around the house (the aforementioned light bulb, etc.) or - horror of horrors - they are throwing their socks away. (A wit, once asked to explain how she darned socks, is said to have held a sock over a trash bin, declared "Darn it!", and dropped the sock in.)
I hope that a good supply of darning tools appears in the marketplace before long. We have become such a disposable society...

1 comment:

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Some of my friends in New Brunswick simply cut the entire foot off the sock, pick up the stitches and re-knit a foot. This is most often used for socks that children have outgrown or for the fishermen who wear very thick socks. Glad you found your mushroom though! Cheers! Evelyn