My husband Strider is a forest ranger. (Yup, Strider is his real name-his parents were Tolkien fans. After being named “Strider” he was predestined to then become a ranger, of course. We had to put up with all kinds of other Tolkien name suggestions when I was pregnant. “How about baby Frodo?”) Anyway, Strider spends the majority of every workday outside walking around in the woods. I envy his job on beautiful spring mornings; detest his job when he gets called out of bed at 2 am in February to go fight a forest fire. He wears heavy wool socks daily, and so has quite a large sock wardrobe. Several pairs have been wearing thin, so at last weeks’ Stitch and Bitch at the coffee shop, my mother in law Teresa showed me how to darn. (Finally, there it is, the point of this post!) There are several tutorials online but you can’t beat somebody sitting across the table from you. It is best to catch the worn spots before a hole develops, so I’ve added a couple pairs of my smart wool socks to the darning basket. This is such a cozy activity to work on sitting next to the wood stove on a cold January night. I feel so very smug and thrifty as I turn hole-y into functional.