Toolset: Mending


Old and new tools in the sewing box

I’ve written recently about how cheap clothes make it easier to toss them than to mend, but a globalized economy creates an environment in which even little things are outsourced.

The photo above illustrates the point. The American-made crocheting needle, which dates from the ’80s, was in my first “emergency” sewing kit.  I neither crochet nor knit, but it’s my “sweater-saver.” When a sweater is snagged, I poke the needle through from the back, twist the errant yarn around it, and draw it through to the reverse side.

The darning needles and thread-cutter came from my late maternal grandmother’s carefully-kept cache. The needles were imported because, as everyone knew, Sheffield Steel was high-quality. I can attest to their strength, since I’ve used them on denim and suede. (Note: If you look on the left side of the package, you can see Grandma paid a dime for the package. Quite an investment!) 

The thread-cutter was homemade. It consists of two wooden pieces glued tightly around a razor blade. It’s a lot faster than using scissors! It has done double-duty as a darning form.

That brings us to the final two items: the wheel of darning wool and the darning mushroom. After more than one newish sock came apart, I began looking for a darning egg or mushroom.  No local store had any, so I searched Amazon and found these well-reviewed items.

The seller was in the UK. But when they arrived, I had to laugh. Both packages were stamped Made in China. May the mushroom last as long as its fellow tools!

3 thoughts on “Toolset: Mending

  1. Our daughter-in-law hosts a stitch and bitch session at her village shop. The one gentleman in the group darned his socks with the aid of an orange – until Jackie gave him her mushroom.

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