Tuesday, September 8, 2009

songs of the darned.

oh, this is a bit of a gross post in that it begins with a shot of my cat hair-laden dirty slippers (this is what they look like after a wash), but i am proud of the work i did darning these guys late into last night. also, i think this is just what hardwood floors do to pale-soled footwear.

the slippers were a little cursed to begin with. they were made at the workroom's slipper making class, with instruction and design by the beautiful and brilliant reva quam. but i used a fulled blanket that didn't quite felt properly (chosen, clearly, for aesthetic reasons) and they started unravelling immediately. i've always meant to blanket stitch their edges, but never get around to it.

the blanket was also a little thinner than it should be for walking on. remember, i mostly work from home so these are part of my daily uniform.

i snagged one rather quickly on a nail poking out of the floor boards (another drawback of my beloved hardwood) and it frayed wildly. but i like these guys and i am trying to stretch my possessions to the limits of their usefulness, so i decided to pull out the old darning supplies and practice the ancient art of woolly preservation that my grandma johnson once taught me.

i admit, this is a much more "folksy" rendition of darning. it had been a while and my skillz have vastly diminished. i was also using thrifted lengths of wool tapestry yarn that had come to me precut and preseparated so there were lots of ends to deal with. but the work does its job pretty well. besides, i wanted to dive back into darning as fall looms and i am faced with the task of squeezing another season out of all my wool knee highs.

ideally, i would like to progress to a more finished and clean technique (it is my way) but i was happy to practice on these old reliables. darning can even expand into seamless mending of knits and purely decorative practice. for now, i am happy my slippers will last a bit longer. maybe the pattern of my feet will eventually be replicated thereon in woven yarns.


Unknown said...

I wish I knew how to darn... and also how to make slippers! I like the idea of a slipper-darn-footprint accumulating over the years...

sweetie pie press said...

darning is not hard at all and can be done relatively sloppily with functional results (as evidenced by my work up there). this knitty article offers good tutorials with pictures - scroll to the bottom for the technique i used. it will change your world! (and save your socks).

Unknown said...

thanks so much for this link - I will definitely have a go at this! No more throwing-out of socks!

sweetie pie press said...

remembering i could mend my socks allowed me to justify treating myself to nicer ones. and that knitty tip about reinforcing heels seems even cooler. if only i could be that preemptive.