I recently rediscovered an oval wooden object in the recesses of one of my drawers. My mother-in-law had given it to me years ago, explaining that it was a tool that her mother had used to mend holes in socks.

To be honest, I didn’t understand why she wanted me to have it. I can’t even thread my sewing machine (another gift from her) and I knew I would never bother to mend my socks. Nevertheless, I accepted her gift and promptly forgot about it.

Now, holding the object in my hands once again, I decided it was time to learn more about it.

I discovered that my wooden tool is called a darning egg or a darning mushroom. Having assumed it to be a relic of the past – indeed, some are considered to be collectible (see RubyLane) – I was shocked to learn that many people steadfastly continue to use them to repair the holes in their socks.

Darning Egg

The egg doesn’t do a lot, really – its primary function is to serve as a prop. You insert the egg into the sock so that the hole is exposed, thereby creating a workable area to interlace new material with the old (you can see it done on this YouTube video). Thus, even though the darning egg doesn’t do the mending or stitching itself, the task would be much more difficult without it.

Similarly, there are times when we encounter holes in our story – when we can’t remember the circumstances around or our actions toward a person, place or event…or even the event itself. Read More