Monday, 5 January 2015

2014 - worth mending

As is traditional at this time of the year when the nights are at their longest I have been gathered in with my loved ones reflecting, remembering and looking forward. I am so lucky to have a family who will let me take time out from my daily life and spend time with them collecting my thoughts and resources ready for the year ahead. They remind me as we reminisce how whilst many things stay the same but also as I watch my niece and nephew grow into their teenage years how things move on and life changes.

It always aids reflection to be able to sit and contemplate views like this.

Or this.

 2014 has been a year of mixed fortunes. Work wise I feel really fulfilled. My freelance career has grown slowly but solidly. I have exhibited at craft shows in my own right and have had the opportunity to work in some interesting places such as the RAF Museum in Hendon and the Stepney City Farm. I've developed new knitting classes and released more patterns both in magazines and independently. My enthusiasm for knitting and the impact that making things by hand can have within the community continues to excite and inspire me.

2014 has also brought sadness and difficulty. I lost a cousin and supported a dear friend through both marriage and the death of her husband in the space of less than a year. It reminded me that whilst building my career is important as I need to put food on the table, the most valuable things that I have are the people that I am lucky enough to have drawn around myself. They may need patching up and looking after now and again but are all the more precious and beautiful for all that.

In this spirit I used some of the quiet time that I have had over the last week or so to make a few repairs to well loved pieces of knitwear such as my grey Vitamin D cardigan here which I managed to tear a small hole in.

Or this pair of socks which fell victim to the shaped instep of my favourite Birkenstock clogs.

I'm certainly not claiming to be the world's most competent darner but it is something that I am determined to practice in 2015.

For me it's a really important skill. We all put hours of work into making things for ourselves and our loved ones and get great pleasure from wearing them so it makes sense that we don't just discard them when they start to show wear and tear. 

While I was concentrating on my darning I took the time to think about the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. I'm not really someone who makes New Years resolutions which set impossible goals and end up making me feel rather guilty. Instead I think I am simply going to make sure I look after what I am lucky enough to have, whether it be my good health, my good friends or my good warm socks!


Shara said...

Beautiful post Jane :-) I'm abig believer in "Make do and Mend" especially when it comes to our handmade treasures :-)
Many, many years ago my dad taught me how to darn socks, and then showed me the beautiful darning mushroom he handmade for my mother when they first met (even engraved with her name) and it is an extra special treasure in my knitting tool box. And all these years later he has just given me his favourite pair of socks that urgently need darning, (his eye sights not good enough anymore to darn them himself) so I plan to sit down and do it for him tomorrow :-) It's quite a nice feeling knowing that you're breathing new life into something so special :-)

Shrimpton and Perfect said...

Good and true sentiments.


Laura said...

Such a lovely post. 2014 was a very, very mixed year for so many people, and it's so good to have time to take stock properly.

As someone who has just mended a thick jumper for a second time (not mine, and apparently DH is hard on polo necks!), I discovered that while I understand darning in theory, it's very hard to do on thick, black fabric. Fortunately black is also forgiving of lumpy repairs :)

All the best for 2015 xx

thriftygreenie said...

Hi Jane, like the photos! Couldn't agree more about mending - even more so with computer equipment like iPhones. Sue & I are doing the rounds with her almost-new wet iPhone at the mo. Can be fixed - but you have to hang in there to find out how and who will help you. The Restart Project organise fixing parties too.

Natalie said...

A lovely post.
I noticed yesterday that my olive green linen trousers have worn to a hole on the fold of the hem. I'm not sure whether to mend them (not long enough to turn them up a centimetre) or just redesignate them as house trousers or garden trousers.

walter and me said...

Lovely eloquent post - thank you!