Monday 14 July 2014

Visible Mending

It was the Knitting & Crochet Guild's annual convention in Derby this past weekend (about which I shall have lots to say, if I ever get around to saying it), and I took with me a beautiful Shetland cardigan, made in Fair Isle.   Not long ago, it wasn't beautiful at all, because it had a truly horrible injury to one sleeve.  We don't know what had happened to it:  the cardigan looks as though it has never been worn, but the injury was as though something corrosive had been spilt on it and burnt through the wool. 

Some weeks ago we were looking at the cardigan sadly and Angharad, the Guild's Textile Archivist, thought of Tom of Holland's Visible Mending project.   She contacted him to ask whether the cardigan would be a suitable project.  He agreed to take it on and the Guild commissioned him to do it.  The mended cardigan arrived last week, in time to take it to the convention - my role was to act as courier.  

I'll show you the cardigan as it now is.  Remember that the mend is supposed to be visible - though in fact it isn't obvious at first glance. 

Visibly mended cardigan 
Then the cardigan before it was mended. 

And here are some close-ups of the left sleeve after mending, and before.  


Tom deliberately did not match the colours of the original, but he did choose the colours very carefully:  his intention was that in a black-and-white photo, the mend would be hardly detectable, and he has achieved that. 

 And as you can see, it is a wonderful piece of work.  The missing stitches have been replaced so exactly that if it weren't for the change in colour you would not be able to see the mend at all. 

Everyone who saw the mended cardigan at Derby was amazed at the workmanship, and we all thought that it had been a really worthwhile project.  You can find all the details of how the mending was planned and carried out on Tom's blog here.

It's wonderful that what was a very sad, maimed thing, that we wouldn't want to show to anyone, has been transformed into something that we can be proud of, and a showcase for the work of two very skilled craftspeople: the original knitter, and now Tom.    

Made in Fair Isle


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