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Visible mending on a knitted jumper

creative visible mending on aran jumper

Mending baskets! Is there anything quite as likely to engender feelings of guilt as we pass.

All those almost wearable clothes just needing a little attention.

A few years ago I was given this cosy Aran jumper as a Christmas present.

Four times worn and I backed into a barbed wire fence; by the time I had disentangled myself there was a massive hole on the backside.

The wool itself had shredded - much of it left on the fence and I put the jumper in my mending basket to repair. . . .

mending a hole in a knitted jumper

Four years later, clearing out the 'dressing room of doom' I determined to do better.

It was a drizzly day, I had nothing else pressing to do, I got out some scraps of left over wool and a tapestry needle. It took less then an hour.

Four years and an hour.

In case you also have a ripped jumper in need of some creative mending, here is what I did.

The mending of the ripped aran jumper.

As the rip is very firmly on my backside I decided that it needed a curvy darning, but otherwise I followed the instructions of Flora Collingwood Norris here. The cabling meant that this was never going to be a neat and regimented darn - and it is a little bit more like a hobbity mend, but I love it's organic shape.

Materials

  • Holey jumper
  • Tapestry needle
  • Selection of yarns of similar weight to the jumper
  • Scissors

Step 1

I cut out some paper shapes to see what size and shape the patch should be. I went with a circle.

circle template for creative mending wool jumper

Step 2

Use a contrasting yarn to sew a tacked outline. This is just there as a guide and it will be removed later.

guide to creative mending knitted jumper

STEP 3

Begin to work up and down over the hole. These are the warp threads of the woven patch. Make a little reinforcing stitch at either end of your warps, a little back stitch outside the circle. This makes the patch stronger and also is a bit of decoration. The stitches should be even - try to keep them half a knitted stitch apart. Pay attention to the tension of your warp - it shouldn't be too loopy, but it shouldn't be too tight either or the patch will pucker.

beginning to sew the warp visible mending jumper

Continue working the warp - here you can see the different stripes of colour that I chose.

completed warp layer of jumper patch

STEP 4

Now begin weaving the weft - start at one side, make a little reinforcing stitch and then go over and under and over and under the threads till you reach the other side. Make a stitch and go back the way you came with another row - this time make sure you go over all the threads you went under last time and under all the threads you went over. the first few rows are the trickiest but then you will get into a rhythm.

woven darn ripped jumper

Every few rows stop and squash the rows down so that they form a fabric. You want the patch to be similar in feel to the jumper - so if it is a fine jumper they should be neatly squashed together, if it is a heavy weight and cabled super like this they can have a more energetic and organic feel.

STEP 5

Finish the back by making sure all the ends of yarn are well secured and cut them short.

Remove the tacking stitches.

Gently steam flat with an iron not quite touching the surface of the patch - this will take out any puckering.

finished patch creative mending jumper

STEP 6

Pat yourself on the back and wear your creative mending proudly.

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Stillness is such a difficult skill to acquire.  I suspect that so much of the rushing about that we do is simply an attempt to avoid being still.
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For if we stopped, paid attention to ourselves, to the world around us, let everything sink in - well that might be very scary.
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But I do think it is the most important skill - a five minute pause, a checking in.  I'm not talking about meditation here - nothing as formal as that - just a stilling and listening and paying attention. Appreciation, recognition, renewal.
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It is something that I am very bad at by nature - but I have been taking lessons from Dixie. 

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Teasel isn't quite there yet.

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One thing that gardening teaches you year on year is that so much is beyond your control. Some things will thrive, others won’t, and mostly it will be nothing to do with anything you’ve done. 
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It’s the same with business - a lot of things happen that are due to the ‘weather’ of the world. We can pivot and turn, change our tactics, Google ‘how to make reels’ and so on - but we can also choose to embrace and lean into what is working well. 

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And in the meantime I’d love to know what’s growing well for you. Or indeed, what has been a disaster! 

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Each year I have a personal project running.  Something just for me. Something that allows me to experiment and play. 
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The first year that I became obsessed with using the plants here to dye textiles - back in 2019 - it was twelve skeins of a raw slubby silk yarn that I  had been hoarding for decades. They became a patchwork cable blanket that now sits on the back of the sofa.
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In 2020 it was double knitting yarns, in dozens of colours, knitted into a stripy jumper to keep me cosy in the Studio.
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This year I am using mini skeins - in an attempt to keep it more manageable - and exploring the differences in colour caused by the pH of the original extraction. 
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There are four skeins for each plant, two for neutral extraction, two for alkali - with one of each pair being dipped in iron to 'sadden' the colour.
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If science had been like this at school I might have paid more attention . . . .

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This is a tomato salad that was inspired by one I ate a few years ago in a cafe in Mingun, Myanmar,
There it was mainly made with green tomatoes, sharp against the shrimp powder.
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In Myanmar the military junta have begun to execute activists arrested after the coup in February 2021. The brutality and violence continue, the quashing of democracy, the corruption. 

11,759 people, arrested after the coup, remain in detention, 78 people, including two children, have been sentenced to death.
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You won't usually find much out about Myanmar in the 'fed to you' media, but this week there has been reporting and a Dispatches programme about mass killings  was on Channel 4 on Monday.  The Guardian has consistently been the newspaper reporting most on the aftermath of the coup and you can also follow hashtags like #whatishappeninginmyamar here. 
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There may seem little we can actively do about the horrors in the world, but people involved always say that what matters is knowing that people care, bear witness and don’t simply forget when the news cycle moves on.
We always have a slight breeze here - a blessing as it stops the midges flying.
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It often gets up at night after a warm day, seeming to breathe its way round corners. 
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If you walk through the garden in the evening at the moment, the scent of Lilium regale drifts about you in eddies of spice.

#simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #floralstories #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #livethelittlethings #thehappynow #ihavethisthingwithflowers #moodforfloral #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife
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And that’s not always easy. 
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It is why I go to events like last weekend’s summer camp @thegoodlifesoc . 
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It is also why I surround myself with a supportive community where my choices don’t seem weird.

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This is the actual physical Studio.
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The Studio is also another thing - it is a club of amazing people who are intentionally prioritising their creativity and connection to the natural world. 
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It is a community of great humour, support and inspiration - the best thing that I have ever had a hand in.
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The Studio Club is closed to new members at the moment and the doors will open to new members again on the Autumn Equinox. 

I'm currently working with @fbarrows, who is providing a gentle and encouraging outside eye, as I decide on what we will be doing in the club over the next six months.
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I've been surveying all the members to find out exactly what it is they enjoy most, what they feel I could do better. 

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If you get it, it would help me so much if you could take a minute to fill it out - there are only five questions and there is also a bribe . . . .

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The more we actively take time to pause, to sit still and watch, the more we see. 
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My Friday Letter this week is all about taking advantage of some unwanted early wakening and starting to use the binoculars which have been hanging on the coat rail for eighteen months.
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Twenty minutes with a cup of tea, the binoculars and a lawn full of early birds and their worms.

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#the_gentle_manifesto
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#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
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In the Studio Club I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

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