Holes in my socks

A pair of gray and white socks each with a large hole rest on a quilt next to a spool of thread and a pair of scissors.
Socks worn until holey.

I wore holes into my favorite pair of socks. Once upon a time I would have sadly tossed them. I would have been disappointed, but pleased that I wore them until they couldn’t be worn any longer. Until I started seeing visible mending on Instagram, I rarely thought of mending my clothes unless a seam split. But a hole in the middle of the fabric? It hadn’t occurred to me that I could mend that and continue to wear the garment.

Now that I knew that was a possibility, I started fixing things I had worn holes into. I started with a sweater, then a quilt, followed by a shawl. Last weekend, I took on mending a pair of socks. They were the project that had the most and biggest holes by far.

There are lots of environmental benefits to extending the life of any garment, keeping it out of a landfill, and eliminating the need to purchase a replacement.

Gray and white socks mended with deep purple thread
Socks turned collaborative art

What surprised me about mending, though, was that it made me love my socks more. I used a spool of thick, uneven, plum thread that my mum found for me at an antique fair. In weaving the repair, I had to pay attention to my socks beyond “I like the pattern” or “this color matches my outfit” or “ah! so comfortable”. Someone designed these and someone else made them. I had an opportunity to make other peoples’ work last longer. It became an artistic collaboration, my stitches adding to the pattern and work of the others whose skills went into the cozy pair.

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