Repairing Socks

I was gathering up all my plain socks when I discovered big giant gaping holes in some of them. Oh no!

It was time to fix some socks. Here’s a way to repair large holes in knit fabric.

Step 1: Gather your materials. You’ll need your sad sock, extra yarn (the one pictured is not the original yarn but pretty close in color), a darning needle, and 2 dpns (preferably in the size you used to knit the sock).

Step 2: Evaluate the hole. You’ll be re-knitting a patch to cover the hole as well as sewing a few stitches to either side, so you’ll need to cut a length of yarn long enough for this.

Step 3: Find the first row of stitches at the bottom of the hole that is complete and unbroken. Using a dpn, pick up the right leg of every stitch along this row. This is where you’ll begin adding fabric back to close up the hole.

Step 4: Leaving a tail, use the new yarn to knit across the dpn.

Step 5: Thread your needle and duplicate stitch a few sts into the old fabric along the same row you’ve re-created. Then move up to the next row and duplicate stitch back towards the edge of the hole.

Step 6: Turn and purl across the dpn.

Step 7: As in Step 5, Duplicate stitch a few sts beyond, and then back towards the hole.

Repeat steps 4-7 until you reach the top of the hole (without leaving a tail each time). Try not to entangle the cat in this process.

Pick up the right leg of every stitch in an unbroken line across the top of the hole with a dpn, just like you did for the bottom.

Graft the live stitches you’ve just knit to the live stitches from the top of the hole.

Weave in ends and enjoy your rejuvenated sock.

And here’s what it looks like on the inside. Ta-da!

16 Responses to “Repairing Socks”

  1. Angeluna says:

    Very clear, Cookie. Thanks.

  2. LP Starr says:

    Brilliant and easy!

  3. haley says:

    That makes a lot more sense to me than the woven patch for darning.

  4. Jadzaea says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! My favorite pair of knit socks has a hole the same size, in the same place on one of the socks, and the other is wearing thin in the same place. I’ll be able to repair the holey one now, and the other when it goes. (Funnily enough, I never get rid of anything, so I still have a good chunk of the original yarn.)

  5. Cari says:

    Great tutorial, Cookie. Makes a really clean repair. Side note to Jadzaea: if you duplicate stitch the thin areas of the threadbare sock before it develops a hole, the repair job will be easier.

  6. […] Check Repairing Socks on the Cookie A blog! […]

  7. Nice! I’ve been darning in the traditional weaving way that looks, er, less pretty. I’ll try this next time! Recently I’ve switched to using ONLY sock yarn that contains some nylon because I find that 100% wool socks need to be repaired again and again.

  8. Great tutorial! Thank you!

  9. Yavanna says:

    Very timely tutorial! My favorite socks, a pair of Kai-Mei’s I knit up just before my daughters birth, have developed just such a hole in the heel. Thank you, Cookie!

  10. Ellen says:

    I knit a swatch of my leftover yarn and wash along with my socks. That way if a repair is necessary, it won’t be as noticeable as using “fresh” yarn. Awesome tutorial!! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  11. Erica says:

    Thanks for the tutorial…but what I really want to know is what nail polish you’re wearing! Love that color!

  12. Susan L. Anderson says:

    Thank you! until this great tutorial, all my repairs looked like a Frankenstein stitch!

  13. […] has this fabulous tutorial on sock repair. I have a few pairs of hand-knit socks that need repair. I’m gonna give this a […]

  14. […] Cookie A’s tute on repairing […]

  15. Kristi says:

    THX for the tut! I now can repair my husbands favorite socks as a christmas present 😉