Monday, November 6, 2017

One Object

I'm starting to listen the podcast of the British Museum's  History of the World in 100 Objects this morning, and to darn a tattered and holey wool blanket from the early 1960s––from my childhood, that is. 

I'd forgotten this blanket until my sister brought it to me from our father's house this summer, thinking I would like it. 
Sometimes we do agree. 
I more than like it, as an object, and its history too:
it was woven on a loom by Emilie Tari, my mother's best friend when I was little. I didn't plan this to coincide, but today would have been my mother's eighty-third birthday.

I'm not sure what needles will work best. I'll start with one from this ^ old "Bell Brand Packet of Best-Steel TAPESTRY Needles, Size 18, Made in Hong Kong". 
The yarn is from a nonprofit women's cooperative in Ururguay, Manos del Uruguay. They call the color spirulina, but to me, it looks like the yellowy greens of a fresh-cut avocado. 

I'd started darning socks with different colored yarns a couple winters ago, and I was further encouraged by  my friend Julia , who darns as she walks [via her instagram]:

. . . and by the "visible mending programme" of Tom of Holland [his blog]--especially the way he outlined the little holes in this darned Welsh blanket:


gz said...

I wonder if they used spirulina to dye that? Different mordants (fixing chemicals) do alter colours

Fresca said...

Hm... I like that idea. I can't find out what they dye with, but it's hand-dyed for sure. From their website:
"It is an artisanal process with small dye lots made in pots heated by wood fire or gas.

"Our colors are never completely solid, they have beautiful nuances and tone variations.

"To achieve our spectacular space dyed colors we dye up to 6 times the same skein, to achieve the complexity of a true piece of art.
After being dyed our yarns are sun-dried in the coops back yard.

"Every skein is unique, there are no two skeins exactly the same. "

The Crow said...

My mother always darned with matching threads, in color and guage, so the mend was as unnoticeable as possible. She associated mending with poverty and poverty with shame.

I, on the other hand, consider mending an opportunity to be creative; therefore, my mending shows. Frugality used to be a virtue: mending and patching are evidence of frugality; therefore, virtuous in a tactile way. (Sometimes, to gild the lily, I add buttons or beads to accent the mending...not on sock heels, though, natch.)

Those needles must be the envy of your sewing circle!

Fresca said...

Hi, Crow!
I'm wracking my brain but can't come up with a memory of my mother darning or even mending! She did love to starch and iron clothes, but not, I think to sew.

It's so annoying when our parents are dead and we can't ask them, isn't it?

I'd love to see photos of your mending--a blog post, perhaps?

gz said...

I've followed your link to Tom of Holland. very interesting

Fresca said...

GZ: I wish he'd post more often, but I am still reading through his archives, so it's good.