Mending

So, I’m home again after the wonderful weekend that was Edinburgh Yarn Festival. What can I say? It was just awesome! A weekend of where I met so many new and lovely people, completely by chance, but also missed out on talking to so many others who I know were there.

There is just too much to fit into one blog post, so I’m going to do it in order. On Saturday morning, I took a class on Visible Mending with Tom of Holland. Tom was lovely, and the class was really interesting. We covered Swiss Darning (or duplicate stitch as I know it) and stocking darning (which I had never done properly before). Turns out that darning is a lovely therapeutic pass time, slow and rhythmical and immensely satisfying. He had some lovely tools with him, and I am now officially on the look out for nice darning needles, some old books on needlework, a darning mushroom and one of Lancashire’s smallest looms.

Inspired to mend.

The bottom patch is trying out swiss darning – using fair isle patterning and different yarn weights. The other two are stocking darns. The brown is my first attempt; I stretched the fabric too much and so it was a bit saggy. In the orange mend I was trying to make the hole square as a feature, but I didn’t quite get it exactly how I meant to.

So today, when I needed to calm my overstimulated mind it seemed like the perfect thing to try. In my mending pile was the Cobblestone jumper I made for Francis just over 6 years ago (in those few weeks just before Owen was born). He’s worn it a lot, and one elbow had worn right through. My aim in this repair was to make it subtle and sympathetic, though not entirely invisible. I didn’t have any of the yarn left over, but I did have some 4-ply natural shetland yarn from Blacker that was a similar shade.

To repair the actual hole (which was only 1 row high and a few stitches wide) I did a small swiss darn on the outside, using one strand of the yarn.

Inspired to mend.

To reinforce the whole area, I did a much larger swiss darn on the inside of the sleeve. Because the colours are similar, this bit is more or less invisible from the outside of the jumper.

Inspired to mend.

Which all in all has resulted in a visible (though very subtle) mend and a jumper back in action. I was pleased how the approach worked. Using the thinner yarn means that the re-enforced area isn’t too thick, and where it was doubled in the centre it balances with the original fabric in a very pleasing way.

Inspired to mend.