a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Nov, 2012

Darn socks, part one

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!|parenting

Two quick things:

As we’ve been settling in to our renovated home I’ve been trying to use our unpacking time as a continued opportunity to purge and sort our belongings. Some stuff goes into the garbage, and other things are donated. Every bag and box that leaves our home is one less burden for me to bear. Those things take up my space, not just physically, but mentally. I cannot tell you how happy it made me to see a layer of ratty underthings in the kitchen garbage for example. No fond farewell required there. And as a bonus, the survivors have room to breath in my underwear drawer.

The other drawer in my nightstand has not escaped notice either: my sock drawer.

Sidebar: I love socks. Fellow sock sistas will relate to this I’m sure. I like warm feet – but not too warm – otherwise they cross into Sweaty Feet Territory and this is not a place I like to be. There is a special place in my heart for knee-highs (complete coverage!) and so I ask Santa to bring me socks every year at Christmas.

I would love to get a box full of socks because it is truly the gift that keeps on giving. (HINT HINT)

Good socks do not come cheap. Cheap socks contain too much polyester and as we all know, polyester is the gateway to Sweaty Feet Territory. Good quality socks cost a few extra bucks, and that’s why I know, deep inside my heart, that good socks deserve to be cherished and repaired.

Socks have gained a reputation as being a disposable item – one with a predetermined lifespan – but it wasn’t always like this. Socks used to be a symbol of wealth among the nobility, but today you can buy four pairs for about ten bucks at Winners or Joe Fresh.

What does it mean when/if I throw out a pair of these socks when they develop a little hole in the toe? What does it say about me? What picture does it paint for my kids when they see me tossing a perfectly good sock (albeit with a small hole) in the garbage?

Holey Sock

Do people mend their socks anymore?

When I throw a sock in the garbage I wonder if it means I’m lazy, and that this menial little job is not worth my time. This is not something I want to impart to my kids, so even though I hate sewing, and it’s a huge pain in the butt, I am going to have to dig out the sewing kit and call a sewing circle to order.

When I darn the hole in the toe of my sock I am saying:

  • It is important to take good care of our things.
  • It is important to take time for ourselves.
  • It is important to avoid waste (financial and environmental etc.)

What do you think? Is a hole in a sock worth repairing? Why or why not? A stitch in time saves nine, right?

8 Responses to "Darn socks, part one"

1 | Stacey K

November 21st, 2012 at 2:54 pm


Handmade socks are worth repairing, and are the Gateway to Feet-Heaven, I might add ;-) Store bought socks, not so much.

My kids are very sensory, and a small pucker/sewing line in their socks would not be a happy event here. I can already hear the meltdown: Its too BUNCHY! I have, however, repaired the “favourite” socks. The ones that they will wear over and over, just to avoid the “but I will only wear THOSE socks” meltdown.

Might just be me, though!

2 | Danielle

November 21st, 2012 at 6:26 pm


Window coverings – try calling Shady Windows (not actually shady at all!) for a free in-home estimate. They recently did the window coverings in our home, and I was super impressed. We went with them after a similar experience at Home Depot… they come over, bring the swatches, and do the tight measurements. Oh, and they deliver and install them. Seriously, call them!

3 | Lisa from Iroquois

November 21st, 2012 at 10:30 pm


I used to darn my favorite socks too but everybody teased me so bad I gave it up (said it was a waste of my time). As for the survivor socks, well they make good dusting clothes, and polishing rags, and sometimes even kids toys. I bet I could even add catnip and make cat toys.

4 | pat cook

November 22nd, 2012 at 10:35 am


These notes about socks made me snicker. Even as an aging adult I am still “sensory” and as my feet give me enough trouble I would have a low tolerance for nagging lumps and bunchinesses.
However like many of you I have great concern for the environment and hate to throw away bits that “could be useul”. This has led to several closetsfull of things I might get creative over. Maybe this winter, right?
As children we made puppets of old socks. Now I’m thinking dog toys, and yes, mini dusters is a good one too. Thanks for the giggle!

5 | Lenny

November 22nd, 2012 at 10:52 am



I’m sorry for your ongoing blind problem. Not sure if you are looking for a mid-term alternative or a permanent solution but I highly recommend Randall’s in Bell’s Corners – ask for Cynthia.


6 | Paul Gratton

November 22nd, 2012 at 11:04 am


I admit to not darning socks, but do have a favourite source for warm, sweat wicking socks: hiking socks from Mark’s Work Warehouse.

7 | marie doyle

November 24th, 2012 at 6:57 am


Try blind depot on carling. They are amazing, small hole in the wall place but good prices and amazing service.

8 | Shannon(8footsix)

November 27th, 2012 at 9:33 am


I would stitch the socks!

My socks never get holes in the toes … they wear out in the heels and the balls of the feet!

I just bought new socks from the gap!!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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