Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Summer of Invention #3: Toe Bugs


The Problem

First let me say this isn't about the cost of a sock. This is about fighting back against the throw-away, out-of-control consumerism that has brought us to the brink of the apocalypse. It is also about combatting the emotional embarrassment of finding yourself at someone's house or, worse yet, a spiritual retreat in Ojai, where it becomes clear that the exception is that everyone is expected to remove their shoes. And it is about cute little bugs. It is a win-win scenario. Part of the Summer of Invention has been about tuning in to quotidian, annoying little problems that generally go unnoticed and figuring out how to fix them. 

A graphic take on problem identification: sock toe holes

The Solution

I have always wanted a darning egg for purely aesthetic fondling possibilities. I have never known how they are actually used. I ordered a cheap one online that came with darning needles and a set of embroidery thread. It arrived within 24 hours. The kit cost less than a good pair of socks.

The solution: a darning egg kit

I then spent about twenty minutes watching online how-to videos regarding darning and felt I had grasped the general idea.

The Toe Bugs

As a rank beginner when it comes to darning eggs, I found my first toe patch looked scraggly and had a couple of random bits sticking out. It looked sort of like a bug. This was the "aha" moment; I rethreaded the needle, went back in, and added a couple of legs and antenna. 

The first wonky toe bug

Colors that pop make for happy toe bugs

This is admittedly an invention far behind the times, a recycled invention from yesteryear. Which may be a lesson about thinking twice before you dispose of anything, including ideas.


  1. Cuter than a bug's ear! Adorable. I don't have any good socks that need darning but I love what you've done.

  2. I love it! Super frickin cute! I’m very excited that a google search about crystallizing random objects pulled up your awesome blog. Can’t wait to read some more of it. Keep it up!


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