Some of us really get crafty. Extra Crafty! It’s when we have loads of time. And we finally finish all the projects we started in winter.
And then some of us kind of walk away completely from knitting, crocheting or sitting behind a sewing machine, because it's just too damn hot.
What is your summer thing? Do you walk away from it? Do you embrace the extra time you might have?
Let me offer you an idea. Or rather, a strategy.
What I used to do is… I would take the unfinished project that I was least eager to finish, but wanted to wear, and I would take on a holiday. I would pick just the one project. And this way, I would HAVE TO finish it because it was all I had. This has worked for me for years. It’s a winning strategy. But this summer I’m going to tweak it.
(Psssh, this strategy also explains a small collection of sock yarn bought in foreign supermarkets out of sheer recalcitration and obstination (I’m turning these into verbs because I can, don’t nobody tell me I can’t!!)
Although I still have some of those projects that need finishing, this time I'm going to do it differently. For some reason, this year it feels like all my clothing has just, I don't know… given up.
SO THIS SUMMER IS FOR MENDING!
Almost all of my hand knit socks have holes in them. I have only one pair of pants left that is without holes or tears. I’ve got sweaters with thin elbows. I've got skirts with ripped pockets. There is just such a big pile of mending to do. Oh god, I just thought of the kid’s clothes that are on a separate pile. UGH!
My filosofie is that I wear most of what is on the mending pile in winter. So summer is actually the best time to mend. Another reason to do the mending in the summertime, is because while some knitting patterns really ask for your attention, mending is typically something you can do while you talk to people, while you're in a social setting. Small items like socks fit into your clutch. Cocktail dress mending party. It's going to be a thing. I know it.
I’M TAKING MY MENDING ON A HOLIDAY (It can thank me later)
- All you basically need is a mending mushroom or even just a hardboiled egg to have a solid surface to stretch your sock over. (Or any item with a small hole)
- The more sustainable option, is to use the the leftover sock yarn you have from other projects. This is also great for the visible mending look since it will probably be a wildly different color to the holed item. There is sock mending yarn on the market. But we’ll just ignore that.
- A darning needle.
- Some guts if this is your first try. On the other hand, if you wouldn’t try mending you’d have a hole-y sock. So win win. Just saying.
- Best thing is to find a good teacher and support your local yarn shop or creativity hub and take a workshop. Learning from someone irl is multi layered, as you can ask questions and it’s just better and more fun.
- If you live on a mountain top, in rural nowhereness or on a boat, the internet will have to do. Hello Skillshare (support other makers) or YouTube and blogs if you are ok with text and photos and on a budget. Or just skimpy in which case I urge you to go meditate on supporting those mentioned above.
Jeans and other patches
- Another pair of super broken jeans for patches.
- Other types of woven/non stretchy patches from dead clothes.
- Strong yarn
- Strong needle
- Strong will
- Same as step 5 & 6 👆
A small item is easy to take with you on your holiday, the swimming pool, a terrace, the beach, wherever you go on your summer break. Hiding in the basement?
And then for the bigger mending things Yeah, you are probably not gonna sit in the sun with an Icelandic Lopapeysa on your lap. I have actually knitted a full Lopapeysa in summer once so I guess fixing the elbow is doable.
This summer mending strategy has actually got me really excited to start mending because the best thing about it is that this whole pile of stuff that I have in my work room can move back to my wardrobe so I can start wearing all of the items again. I am easy to please. I know.
Fuck Fast Fashion, just mend your way towards your dopamine shot!!
So gather your holed items, your broken jeans and sad T-shirts. Your chewed on slippers and your depressed dresses. Find the tools and necessities and mend your way through summer.
Make it functional first and beautiful second. Don't be too hard on yourself. An ugly mended item is still a functional item. Aim low and grow!
I'm wishing you happy mending and please send me your pictures of your mended items on beaches, in swimming pools and next to your Limoncellos. I will share them in one of the following Bellwether mails.
Now, here are some resources you can use with starting to mend your knitted and your woven clothes. Because I already know most of you are going to go to You Tube anyway. (I still think you should take that irl workshop though!)
MENDING RESOURCES (Sashiko, Boro, Darning, Patching)
A 3 part series on Sashiko and Boro.
A great video covering lots of different mending techniques, like patching.
And me, showing you how do do Swiss Darning.
Sock darning - traditional method
Sock darning - speed weave
I learned all I know from Tom of Holland, the king of visible mending. There’s a really cool interview with Tom on A Smaller Life Podcast. Listen to episode #21
NOW LETS’ HOPE YOUR HEART DOESN’T NEED MENDING AFTER YOU’VE SAID GOODBYE TO YOUR GREEK SUMMER LOVE… (you can always knit them some socks to send over, the ultimate love language)