About two years ago, life in the Paperhouse was changed forever by the discovery of a couple of pairs of Falke Soft Merino tights on the hosiery shelf during a rummaging session in TK Maxx. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but I really am pretty shallow. Suddenly, winter dressing was transformed from a misery of static-y, snaggley, chilly legs to a cocoon of cosy chic. I went back and bought every pair of the tights in my size – even some in a shade which I like to think of as “camel” but is really an unwearable sort of unfleshly tone. I liked them so much I bought a couple of pairs at full, eye-watering price, thinking that even though £40 was a lot to blow on tights, at least they’d last a long time and I could definitely darn them.
But even tights with a serious Germanic name will wear out eventually and when mine ripped along the gusset, it turned out that my mending skills were a little reluctant. First of all, I put them in the mending pile. Then they ended up in the laundry. Then I tried to wear them anyway, and that was a thigh-chafing little adventure. However, I wasn’t going to buy replacements, and I refused to go back to nylons, so something would have to be done.
I don’t know how to darn. I remember my mum’s darning mushroom, and even recall seeing the occasional sock on it, but I wasn’t interested in acquiring any textiles skills. Darn number one was a rough stab with grey cotton which – and I really do see how this could have been foreseen – ripped through the surrounding wool on first wear. So I tried again:
Whipstitching with black sock yarn made a seam with the unrefined look of something out of a Cronenberg movie but also one which is stretchy enough to hold up. So I’ve got my tights back, although the world hasn’t really gained in darning expertise. Any tips on a good source for learning to do this properly would be welcome in the comments…