Sunday, March 01, 2015

The perils of creative mending and rather too appropriately named slipper socks

With thanks for all the good wishes and concern extended to Tom regarding the eye surgery; he is seeing better than for many a long year and drove the car the other day. He has in fact detailed his experience at his place here, with a few sometimes eye-watering photos taken, at his request, by me, of which I shall only feature this one,

to illustrate how seriously the medical services take the matter of healthy eating. In fact quick and simple sucrose and fructose and plenty of caffeine are really just what you want after hours of fasting and minutes of minor anaesthetic, but I munched on my oatcakes and apple and felt virtuous.

Unfortunately the new lease of life afforded him by his new vision rather came a cropper and ended in tears, or at least groans of agony, and this was in part my fault, owing to my particular current preoccupation with creative mending. 

This has led me of late to the embellishment of an old blue lambswool sweater gone into holes (perhaps moth, but then it was 30% nylon so I doubt it, probably just a cheap sweater in the first place) with small flowers,

which remind me a little of tattoos, but without the commitment, and also, would you believe, to this rather kitsch patching which has rendered new tea towels for old:

Yes, I know, you're asking what kind of bored do you have to be to patch tea-towels? It's not like I don't have any new ones, I frequently come across and buy very tasteful ones in discount stores for next to nothing, grey ones with red embroidery, ochre coloured waffle ones, black gingham ones... trouble is they're all so pretty I can't quite bring myself to wipe up with them but instead use them as alternatives to wrapping paper at Christmas or just leave them in the cupboard. But I actually like these old towelling ones, they are efficient, and yes, I know my hygienically evolved transatlantic friends and anyone else with a dishwasher, ( ie mostly everyone) shudder at the thought of wiping up at all, but I'm very particular about rinsing and draining and changing the towels, and glasses are so much better wiped immediately very hot with a clean cloth.... and it's so annoying when your fingers go through them, and anyway I felt like doing something idle and whimsical one Sunday. I was somewhat inspired by Tom of Holland's visible mending programme, and the double thickness parts are actually rather good for purpose.

So, anyway, when the house socks which I made Tom for his last birthday from thick old short staple vintage wool

got sloppier and sloppier, and he asked me if I could perhaps shrink them a bit in the machine, and I did so rather too zealously so they turned into stiff little felt bootees which I can barely get on and he certainly can't,

I sought to make it up to him by converting the his Irish wool hiking socks which had already been darned more than once, and, New Testament style, gone into holes around the darns, into slipper socks, by sewing on soles cut from an old felted sweater, my go-to material for many creative projects. He liked them very much.

Thus slickly shod, full of enthusiastic, newly re-visioned zest for life, and taking it at a run, he misjudged something crucial and slithered down the last several stairs, whacking his foot on a wooden post so that a middle toe stuck out bizarrely and was clearly broken. 

Now Tom breaks toes about as often as I smash up cars, it's less expensive but more painful (maybe, though psychologically perhaps not...), we know what it looks like by now. No hope of medical attention on a Saturday evening and not much to be done anyway, so I slathered bruise gel everywhere possible, strapped the wonky toe to its neighbours, dosed him with tea, sugar, aspirin and whiskey, and there he is, still fairly cheerful but stopped in his newly refurbished tracks. I'm looking into bathroom silicone as a means of making non-slip soles.


Rouchswalwe said...

Ouch and horrors! Slickly shod indeed. I'm hobbling about the place today with a couple of cabbage leaves on my foot. Trying not to slip.

Oh, Lucy! The adventures we have to endure. Your comment about what kind of bored do you have to be to patch tea-towels? had me smiling. It's those precious moments of welcome "boredom" that help me through all the mishaps I tend to have these days. Prost!

the polish chick said...

oh good, here i thought i was the last person on the planet who mended and patched and embroidered on holes and fabric-painted on spots. it must be my immigrant frugality coupled with being the child of post-war communist-era parents for whom an abundance of everything is hardly something to take for granted.

all the best to our tom. may he recuperate fully at top speed!

Zhoen said...

Love the idea of towel wrapped gifts. It would make an interesting quilt, I think.

Dale said...

Oh, shoot!

Stella said...

There I was feeling all warm and rosy with visions of dish towels dancing in my head, when WHAM, the skid and the toe. Oh, that hurt. Condolences.
I am myself a big fan of dishes in the sink and have a major collection of towels young and old. I was happy to see one finally worn through the other day but unable to discard it.

Avus said...

I love the thought of buying new tea towels which are not used because they are too pretty!

Reminds me of the tale of the farmer and his labourer who were putting in new gateposts. The labourer was wearing brand new jeans. The farmer deliberately slammed a post into a mudfilled hole, splashing dirt all over the jeans. "He'll never do any proper work until they have been got dirty", said he.

Roderick Robinson said...

At least Tom's misfortune explains something that was previously mysterious. When I ape the Reagans (into their pyjamas at 18.30 of an evening) I wear heavily knitted socks called Totes rather than slippers. The present pair are equipped with rubber-ish discs attached to the soles. Possibly for climbing up walls but now revealed to have a more likely application.

In fact, with the exception of the kitchen, all our floors are fitted-carpet which I know is fearfully Mrs Oxo Cube but it enhances house warmth and reduces the broken-toe tendency.

My sympathy to Tom although I suppose he may welcome the opportunity to be at one with the Stoics.

Ellena said...

Lucy, so many of your doings sound so very familiar.
I wrapped 11 Christmas gifts in off-white cotton napkins that had some off-white embroidery in one of the corners which I had 'over-embroidered' with red and green earlier in the year. -ouch, what a sentence.-
Hording new kitchen towels yes.
Much else yes but since 1971 NO walking barefoot or sock footed on
wood floors or tiled floors.
Learned my lesson when 6 months pregnant with Besito de Luz.

Fire Bird said...

Oh no! Poor Tom. I hope his toe has by now received the attention it needs... and good news about his eyes

Marly Youmans said...

Oh! Good on the eyes but poor toes...

I have recently learned not to walk in the dark, also a hard, tumbly lesson. Ah, well.

I also often wrap things in cloth--last time I think it was kerchiefs...

Catalyst said...

Aha! There IS an argument for wall-to-wall carpeting!