Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oh, darn!

I put on some fairly new socks yesterday, only to look down and see my big toe sticking through one. After muttering under my breath about how "they don't make socks the way they used to," I decided to test myself on a skill mastered in my seventh grade Home Economics' class.

I dug around for black darning wool, but had to settle for dark-green cotton, instead. My other choices were beige, yellow, red, and light blue--all cotton, no wool. This is the same selection that was in Mother's darning basket--moved to my sewing box after her death forty-plus years ago, so it's probably lost a bit of resilience, but I wasn't about to go searching for fresh darning wool on Black Friday's Sunday! For those of you unfamiliar with darning threads, they are double stranded for ease in the weaving process.

Yes, the art of darning is really the art of weaving. Over . . . under . . . over . . . under. . . pushing the fat-eyed blunt-tipped needle in and out, smoothly around the hole, stretching across, so the sock wearer doesn't get a blister.  I probably didn't get an A+ on my darning samples in seventh grade, but I know I earned at least a B, if not a B+. Today I would have gotten a D+ at best.
My granddaughters wouldn't have the faintest idea of what a darning egg is, as darning is a forgotten art. For me, too, for that matter. I'm horrified at my technique, but at least my toe won't protrude.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My visit with Orphan Annie

Recently I visited Orphan Annie at her home in Kelowna. It was several days after Halloween, and the Orphan Annie get-up was devised for Trick-or-Treating, at the request of Mae, the little girl who usually lives in that home.
Orphan Annie was ready to entertain me and happily showed off her costume made by a creative mum who bought a white Polo shirt and a red dress from a thrift store, then sewed parts of one onto the other for the most economical Annie costume imaginable!
I marveled at the transformation of this adorable, brown-haired girl who wears glasses to the curly redhead pictured here. And when she belted out "Tomorrow"? Well, I'm still smiling.
But the best part was when she turned back into Mae--who luckily is not an orphan, but the beloved child of my son and daughter-in-law. Lucky all of us.