Woolly finds and there’s something “nasty” in the woodshed

vintage darning wools


I found some lovely woolly treats at a local antiques centre recently including this selection of darning wools…I don’t know why it is because I have little old feet for my height and stubby little toes, but  am always needing to darn my socks and tights……in fact a couple of pairs of tights now seem more darns than original but they are beautifully patterned with little flowers so I’ll keep darning them ’til they go completely baggy at the ankles like Nora Batty’s and saggy at the behind…

I’ve got three pairs of beautifully  hand knitted wool socks from my friend Anne and it’s a pleasure to darn those as and when they need it… (only one pair has really needed darning although I was drinking wine at the time so one sock looks like it has a hernia underneath which I think I’m going to need to sort out as it’s a bit odd looking)…..anyway I thought these softer colours was a nice selection to add to the darning basket…..


assortment of tapestry wools


Then lurking under a table in a laundry basket was a bag of tapestry and crewel wools….£1.50 the lot…which seemed like a good bargain.  I particularly liked the lovely coral and apricot shades……(although I’m currently working on a pair of quilts I’ve got lots of new designs and ideas for more embroidered pieces to add to my folksy shop………and I’m sorry to mention the “c” word but am already sketching and planning new things for Christmas which feels wrong so early in the year but I find it’s best to jot things down and play with the ideas while they are fresh, but also because come October there isn’t anytime left for playing and trying out new designs……)


vintage darning yarns in a variety of colours


I was all ready to leave and then spotted another little bag of darning wools (I think both bags were a couple of pounds so way cheaper than buying it new) and even though I don’t have any bright red wool tights (yet) I don’t mind darning toes and heels in different colours……

I guess my mum used to darn things for us when we were small but it’s not something I remember…I do recall going up the road to visit our Nanny and she’d be darning tights and things…as much as I loved her, her darning was a bit cobbled and wobbled, not very flat but at least the hole would be mended.

But the best darner in our house was my dad…..he used to sit in the kitchen in the evening, a cup of tea on the table and he’d carefully darn his socks…he was really tall and had whopping great feet and buying socks was always a problem for him, he couldn’t just walk into a shop and buy a pair as they never seemed to sell socks big enough for him.  So darning socks was pretty necessary for him.  I think he gave up asking me and my sisters to do it as we’d grumble and moan so he’d do it himself, and his darning was pretty good…nice, neat little stitches….

Now I’m older I quite like darning…it’s nice and gentle sewing, quite therapeutic I suppose….mostly it’s toes in tights but every so often it’s repairing the woollen cycling tops for my boyfriend which have snagged or caught on something or other……


cold comfort farm



And finally one last treasure though this was from a charity shop ….Cold Comfort Farm.  It’s been on my reading list for ages and ages but I’ve never gotten round to buying it or just getting it out from the library…then last year I read a wonderful and funny book by Sandi Toksvig called Heroines and Harridans: A Fanfare of Fabulous Females (if you’ve not read it then please do…it’s really really good)….and she mentioned this book saying it was brilliant so when I saw it for 99p I knew it was coming home with me……



7 thoughts on “Woolly finds and there’s something “nasty” in the woodshed

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one that enjoys mending! If I go to my sister’s I always ask if she has any mending for me to do, with nine lively outdoor loving children there is usually plenty to do. I too am one of those thinking about Christmas already, in fact I have started, last year was such a mad rush that I have decided to spread it out throughout the year and actually have time to enjoy the process! Take care Sharon

    1. Oh my goodness, nine children, her mending pile must be enormous! Generally most of the craft fairs I sell at are around Christmas, add in commissions and last minute orders and that’s all my time gone. I do like making presents though so hope to add a few quick tutorials this year on easy peasy gifts xx

      1. It certainly is enormous, just don’t begin to think about the laundry pile! I hope you get a bit of time for ‘me’ projects this year too. 🙂 I look forward to your quick tutorials, there always seem to be last minute panic presses popping up, Abi has just given me one to do this week! Xx

      2. I don’t know if you saw the paper stockings I made the other year (they are sewn out of wall paper) they are really handy at Christmas, and as well as filling with brightly wrapped chocolates, tiny satsumas, nuts etc you can also “theme” the stocking so pop in small things for artists, sewers, gardeners etc….
        I’ve just seen our ironing pile and am trying to multiply it by 9 and feel like I need a sit down before the day has even begun xx

      3. He he, much as I enjoy ironing I wouldn’t want her load although the older kids are pretty good at helping. When we were young, I was the one who always wanted a dozen kids, strange how things turn out!
        Thanks, I will have a look for your stockings, (that doesn’t sound quite right somehow but you know what I mean!!) I only joined blog world at the end of last year so I would have missed them. Xx

      4. I keep thinking of the old lady who lived in a shoe …mind you Mother’s day must be brilliant….I’d have loved a big family but for various reasons that wasn’t to be, so we have Bernard and give him all our love instead.
        The paper stockings (if you type in paper stockings you’ll find them) aren’t really exciting or anything but do help when you need a last minute something at Christmas….
        I also wanted a little farm, with donkeys and chickens and sheep and some goats.

      5. It’s certainly a lively household, also a very happy home. They have a fairly big garden so they grow veg and have chicken and quail! A farm was on my list too, sadly we are not even allowed chicken where we live:(
        I think we all need little ones to pour our love into , be it pets or children. Your Bernard seems such a character. I love it when I see cats and dogs among the crafts on blogs! The paper stockings are really cute, certainly one to remember next time I spot some bargain wallpaper or get caught out at Christmas! Xx

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