Wednesday, February 8, 2012

mending socks

Some of my socks are older than college graduates.  I've devised a mend-as-I-go method to keeping them whole.  In my dedicated bathroom drawer, besides my cutlery tray containing eyeliner, mascara, fragrances, pumice stone, etc, I have stashed away a spool of black thread, a fine needle, and blunt kid's scissors. 

After I pull out a pair of socks to wear the next day, I put them on, and very often find a hole or 2.  I lick the thread and stick it through the needle opening.  I use my foot as a darning knob?.   The calluses on my heel would prevent me from feeling any pain if I should accidentally poke myself. I have not yet tested this theory.

I don't actually darn as my mother did.  She used an old burnt out light bulb as her base and patiently and expertly rewove the missing part.  She can not fathom throwing anything out that can be repaired. I just pull my holes closed any way I can.

I used to collect socks and put them in a box to mend in one batch at a later date.  It was very hard to find the time to do that in one go.  This way I have my little bit of progress, my little successes, stepping stones even to feeling organized and put together.

One modern book, with an unremembered title, about refashioning clothes had a wonderful color photograph of pants from the 18th century, every inch of them had been reinforced, repaired resulting in a quilted bumpy surface.  An old 1954 book I reading now Thrift With a Needle lovingly details all the ways clothes and household goods can be updated and freshened up.  Interestingly, it mentions the then trendy trends of aprons as fashion accessories for evening gowns even and transforming coats into capes.  Clean, easy to understand line drawings.  References of mending while listening to radio shows.

My favorite book growing up was The Borrowers.  I was fascinated with the idea of using scavenged items in a way not originally intended.  Spools into stools for tiny people. Matchboxes as doll beds. A walnut shell for a boat to float, a dab of wax, a toothpick mast, a wee paper triangle for a sail. A needle as a sword.

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