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Journal

Visible mending with Flora Collingwood-Norris

Flora Collingwood-Norris is a knitwear designer and maker based in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. She's put together the following tutorial to show exactly how to make mending a decorative statement. You can find out more about Flora's work in my interview with her here.

Step One - Materials

  • 1 X holey piece of knitwear
  • Yarn in a similar weight and fibre to the knitwear, the closer the better.
  • 1 X tapestry needle (long eye and blunt point)
  • Scissors

Step Two

  • Work up and down your hole first to make secure any unravelling stitches. Use the sharp pointed needle.
  • Weave in and out of the fabric before and after the hole as many times as you like to reinforce the fabric and/or create a decorative feature.
  • Space the rows of stitching half a knitted stitch apart.
  • Be careful of your tension - the threads shouldn't pull on the fabric or become loopy.

Step Three

  • For a check pattern, change colours every few lines.

Step Four

  • Start at the side of your darn, at the bottom of the loose threads covering the hole and work your needle in and out of every alternate thread.

Step Five

  • On the next row, weave in and out of the alternate threads you missed out last time.

Step Six

  • As you weave your needle through the threads, push it down against the row before, to keep the darn compact.
  • Change colour when you feel like it!

Step Seven

  • To finish your ends, catch them in on the wrong side of the fabric - a few stitches in different directions will secure them. If you’re using something like cotton or silk rather than wool, add a few more.

     

Step Eight

  • Use plenty of steam (and make sure your iron is set to a suitable temperature), and lightly press down on the mend.

Comments: 1 (Add)

Elena Convery on April 27 2021 at 15:58

I love this. So useful to see reverse side also. I think I’ll be poking holes in things just to give it a go!🤪🤪

Snapdragon social

Flowers picked, stripped and plonked in a jug. ⁠⁠
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I was planning to do a fancy arrangement but then they looked so light and pretty as they are.⁠⁠
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Simple so often the best.
The tansy is about to flower in the Studio Meadow.⁠⁠
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When I arranged flowers for weddings I always thought that the best thing about having properly seasonal flowers was that you would remember every year as plants came into bloom. ⁠⁠
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I got very involved with weddings, couples became good friends and I still associate plants in my garden with specific people. ⁠⁠
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Tansy would not be a good plant for a wedding though really - its history is a dark one, tied up with abortion and despair - but it is the plant I associate with my first attempt to dye fabric with plants.  Every year it blooms I realise how far I have come.⁠⁠
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For that first attempt was was a failure - too big a piece of fabric, not enough scouring and then a hissy fit at the lack of colour, which ended up with chucking too much ferrous sulphate into the pan and ruining it further into a blotchy grey.⁠⁠
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This weekend I go to Gartur Stitch Farm @katgoldin to learn more about dyeing with local plants and indigo with Julia @woollenflower . ⁠⁠
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Then, after that, I shall harvest this year's tansy . . . .⁠⁠ 
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A sunny evening in the studio.⁠⁠
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The fabrics I have been dyeing over the weekend rinsed and drying on the clothes horse.⁠⁠
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Maybe it is the heat, maybe its the perfect ripeness of the plants - I don't know - but this batch of foraged colour is particularly mouthwatering. Lush and soft and perfectly balanced.⁠⁠
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This is the last lengths that I am dyeing for the summer sampler sets of plant dyed fabrics, ribbons and threads that will go into the Studio Members shop at the end of the week.  I will email out the link when they are live.⁠⁠
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Making things like this is small scale and slow - so much love and care goes into these sampler sets, from the picking of the plants to the hand drawing of the gift cards.  I wouldn't have it any other way.⁠⁠

If you aren’t already a member of the Studio Club and would like to join -  to see behind the scenes, get the monthly journal and access all the members only blogs, courses and shop - the link is in my bio.
'You have to be fast to get the sweet peas'.⁠⁠
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This is what I was told last Sunday at Drymen Community  Garden Open Day. ⁠⁠
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They were talking about the dozen or so bunches I've been taking down to the Crop Swap outside the Village shop on Drymen Main Street each Saturday morning for the past couple of months.⁠⁠
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They are first things to be snapped up from the table.  I was delighted to find that many were being taken to neighbours, dropped off with the newspaper on the way home.⁠⁠
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If feels right for this most generous of flowers.
Did you have a spirograph as a child?⁠⁠
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The dahlias have started blooming and I'm thinking I could use one to draw them.
This is my Studio - where everything happens. ⁠⁠
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At the moment it is surrounded by a bright and jazzy mix of loosestrife and buttercups and poppies - teasels, tansy and sanguisorba rising up, ready to carry on the next act of the show.⁠⁠
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This little patch of land - really just a bank of spoil from building the studio - is different every day, an ever changing inspiration.⁠⁠ A reminder that things ebb and flow, bright and muted, high and low. 
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The heart of the Studio Club.
This was a new thing for me. ⁠⁠
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Mass rather than lines.⁠⁠
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An applique cushion made from pieces of my natural dyed fabrics, a still life of shapes - some hand quilted, some machine embroidered.⁠⁠
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Strawberry moon and vases.⁠⁠
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I'm currently spending time sitting in the shade most days, working on more pieces a little like this, aiming to put together a little collection for the Studio Club shop in the next couple of weeks.⁠⁠
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There will also be some more sampler boxes of plant dyed fabrics as the last ones sold out so fast!⁠⁠
A close up of the Studio shelf. ⁠⁠
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The white allium is from a garlic bulb in the poly tunnel - stressed and desperate to seed - snipped from the spread of drying bulbs that scent the hot air.
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life 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.

 

Learn more about why here

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