My grandmother was into fiber arts. She knitted, crocheted, and embroidered. I would have loved to have learned from her, but she passed away when I was around 4 years old. A while back, she had knitted my dad a pair of slippers that he really liked wearing in the winter. Back when I was really into knitting, I was looking these slippers over and I decided they looked fairly simple to make. They were knitted flat and then sewn together. I have a lot of respect for those who can knit a pair of socks in the round, it’s tough. I hope to one day knit a pair of socks, but these slippers looked so easy I decided to make a copy of them just to see if I could. They surprisingly came out close to what my grandma made, which is a win in my book (one step closer to socks, lol). My grandma made the greenish pair and I made the blueish slippers.
After years of my dad wearing the slippers, both pairs finally ripped on the bottoms. I had already repaired my grandma’s slippers at the toe of the one, but I had crocheted the hole closed. You can see the blue crochet patch in the picture above. The new holes were on the bottoms of both the slippers and I wanted to repair them with something that was flatter so that when you walked on them you wouldn’t feel a difference.
Darning turned out to be the perfect way to fix these slippers. I’ve never tried it before, but it was pretty easy (it put all my hours of weaving to good use). I started my thread on the inside of the slippers with a knot and then set up my warp threads by using good solid stitches above and below the hole. I then made my weft threads, also pulling them through good solid stitches on both sides of the hole, and then weaving them through my warp.
I pulled one slipper inside out and you can see how the woven thread covers the hole. I knotted my new thread and then passed it through the good stitches surrounding the hole in order to make my patch.
It worked out really nicely and made a solid patch for the hole. And the best part is my dad says he can’t feel the mend when he walks on them. I could have used a thread that was similar in color to hid the patches, but this was a scrap yarn I had and it looks more fun this way. This technique would work really well on the elbows of a favorite sweater and you could match the yarn color to better hid the patch or use a complimentary color to make it look interesting.
I like to patch clothes when possible to get more use out of them, instead of being quick to just throw them away. And it’s really nice to patch these handmade slippers, especially the ones my grandma made, since they are not easily replaced.
Have you tried darning before? It is really easy to use on knits, where you can find good stitches to anchor your threads. I also tried something similar on a pair of jeans that I ripped a hole in. It worked out pretty well so I’ll be sharing the details of the jean patch later this week.
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