Produce No Waste: Darn Those Socks

Have a favorite pair of socks that has a hole worn through? Do you throw them out? Repurpose them as something new? Or try to save them? When it came to my favorite pair of Carhart socks, the answer was to try to save them with visible darning.

With a little time and a little yarn that I already had in the knitting stash, I was able to patch up the holes well enough to keep the socks going a little longer. I’m very sensitive to uncomfortable socks, but these are every bit as comfortable now as they were pre-hole. The darning is neither bulky nor terribly noticeable when you put them on.

There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to darn, including some fancy options that leave your garment looking more like art than a salvaged garment, but I found this a good place to start:

Happy Darning!

Garden Crafts: Weaving the Wisteria

I am a fan of folk art. As a teenager, I loved peering through the gates of the Witch’s House in Fox Point , WI at Mary Nohl’s whimsical art. I find myself dreaming of living in a house like the Vojachek’s Oulu Glass Studio in Brule, WI. (To my husband’s chagrin, as he has no such dream.) And living near the east side of Madison, WI for the past 2 decades, I’ve become fascinated with Sid Boyum’s art, which we sometimes find in the most surprising places.

But I am not an artist. Sometimes I see these places and I think “Oh, if only...” If only I were more artistic and could make art like this myself. If only I were rich and could fill my yard with art like this that someone with talent made.

I’m tired of wasting time on “If only”‘s. And so I’ve decided to start creating.

This week, I needed to deal with the wisteria vines on the deck. I’ve been working to train them into a canopy over our seating area and they were indeed finally getting long enough to half cover the deck. But in my excitement to watch them make a living roof over the deck, they’d become very untidy. We had a roof, but the roof was not something anyone would want to sit under. So I cut them back. And then I looked at the huge pile of vines that I would need to pull to the curb and thought, “Could I make something out of those?”

And so I tried.

A yard waste problem made into something beautiful

I initally thought I’d make a basket – I can always use more of those – but as it turned out, I wasn’t quite sure how. After about an hour of sitting in the grass (a lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday, since it was in the 60’s that day) I had these little weavings made of wysteria vines and pruned branches from the fruit trees. And I decided I liked them enough to put in the yard.

So here they are. Not art, on the level of Nohl, Boyum or Voyachek to be sure, but something that makes me smile when I walk past it in the yard all the same. And it didn’t cost money or use precious resources – it used something bound only or the yard waste pickup pile. That is worth something, isn’t it?