Day 4: Zero Waste Week 2014

Click here for National Zero Waste week 2013

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about creating a sustainable, delicious and temping packed lunch.  Although it tied in nicely with my theme of low effort/high impact actions (a bit of mere thinking isn’t exactly overdoing things!), I did end up with a bit of a headache. What parent doesn’t obsess over making ensuring their child eats properly?  Happily though (as I’d hoped) two of the other Zero Waste Week Ambassadors Liz Burton and Grace Hall did cover the topic of packed lunches, and both made wonderful jobs of it – you can read Liz’s post here and Grace’s here. For lots of inspiration, check out Grace’s entire site Eats Amazing.  My headache has lifted…

Today’s task is super-easy, but will still help me to reduce my waste. It was initially going to be about darning socks but, after my efforts earlier today at darning, I’ll just say it’s about mending socks!!

As I may have mentioned several hundred times in my recent posts, I have given up buying clothes for 2014. It has been an easier challenge than expected and, to date, I’ve done a negligible amount of mending. Most of my clothes have lasted well, with the exception that is, of my socks.

To be fair many of my socks were falling apart at the beginning of the year anyway. I don’t like slippers – for some reason I instinctively kick them off around the house. I suffer from cold feet though, so I do love my socks, but I work them hard. We have old floorboards that are rough in places, and lots of these metal carpet divider things that snag socks as you walk over them.

photo (439)

I have a couple of nice pairs of socks I’ve kept aside for those occasions that I visit friends who are house proud. I only have a few of these left – most succumbed to chaos during the emotional boot camp that is toilet training. I will also admit to wearing my other half’s socks at times when it’s really cold.  I’ll even confess to him encouraging me to wear his socks because some of mine are in such a state!

I reckon therefore that it’s about time I bit the bullet and mended my socks! Obviously retrieving every pair of damaged socks from my drawer and fixing them is far too much effort during my week of small tasks(!), so I found one pair that sported a nice small manageable hole and attempted to fix them this morning, during a ten minute window  that I had.

Here is the sock:

photo (441)


This was purchased a number of years ago and was part of a cheap multi-pack, of dubious quality.

Before commencing my mend I read a short tutorial on darning that I found on the internet.  I then found some embroidery thread that I’d bought for a crafting activity with the kids, a needle that may or may not be a darning needle, and set to work.

photo (440)


Some of you lovely people on Twitter suggested that I made a decorative feature out of my mends, thus negating the need for perfection, so I chose a bluey-green thread.  I know my children will enjoy the novelty value of this, plus I hoped it would show up better in the ‘after’ photo.  As it turned out, the photo is of poor quality anyway so I’m not sure it made a difference…

I turned the sock inside out and started stitching round the outside of the hole as suggested in the tutorial.  I think the idea is to create a strong structure that will hold the darn, but after I started I just decided that I’d stitch the hole my own way. Let’s say I was being creative, not lazy…

Here’s the finished result:

photo (442)

Not a work of beauty but no hole!

The job took me about two minutes, so I feel that I can close the holes in the rest of the socks without it being a major effort. I might even go back to the tutorial and try out some darning on the nicer of my falling-to-pieces socks.

The end result is that my socks are saved from the Rag Bag and, as long as I can keep my nice ones in good condition for visits out, then I won’t need to buy any more, even when my year of no clothes has come to an end.



14 thoughts on “Day 4: Zero Waste Week 2014

  1. I knit most of our winter socks myself and these always get darned/repaired (although I hate doing it), I’m much more lazy with thin bought socks… perhaps I should just give up wearing them in the summer! I’ve very impressed that you are making the effort, though.

  2. Darning socks is one repair job that I’ve never managed to bring myself to do regularly. My repairs just don’t seem to stick!

    But I work our household socks hard before they become pan grabbers.

    Knackered socks from bigger feet get passed down the line to me. With smaller feet, holes in the heel end up in that scrunched up ankle part. My own socks with heel holes get worn as the top pair of socks on winter multisock days.

    I really can’t stand holes in the toe though. I don’t get them often, but when I do they’re relegated to pan grab status straight away!

  3. I darn my daughter’s tights as they get really holey but have so far not done my socks. Must start on that, especiallty as there is a pair I really really like, instead of just putting them in the compost bin and buying more.

    • I saved a dress last winter that I don’t think it would’ve occurred to me before that I might have been able to mend it. I get attached to nice socks too so mending with colourful thread or wool might make them all the more special 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s