Mending Dishcloths

Today I got my gardening job done early because the rain was coming. I came home and filled up the woodbox in the back porch, walked the dog, collected an armful of birch twigs from the street around the corner which is lined with birch trees, used them to light the fire, then sat down for lunch and watched the rain clouds rolling in.

I am not a person who sews. I can thread the machine and sew a sort-of-but-not-really straight line. However the machine has been sitting on the dining table for days. Rosy has been shortening some of her t-shirts, because apparently short t-shirts are in this week, and Posy made a heat pack for a friend's birthday out of one of her old hoodies. So the sewing machine is just sitting there, taunting me, and it's raining so I can't go out into the garden, and if I'm not doing something a little productive I might feel constrained to do some housework, so instead I get out my stack of dishcloths to hem.

I must have bought these dishcloths seven or eight years ago. I have at least twenty two of them, not counting the ones in the wash. I use several a day, then throw them in a hot wash with eucalyptus oil. After all these years of hard work they are looking completely dishevelled, with their stitching coming undone. Some of them have holes. They are a sad shade of grey (they were white once). They are a disgrace.

So I have spent a rainy afternoon mending my dishcloths. I have trimmed and hemmed the edges, and run the machine back and forth over the holes in zig-zag stitch. I now have a stack of 'done' dishcloths, ready for another few months...years... of service.

I feel so productive! The only problem is.. there are four to go and I have run out of bobbin thread. I just cannot stand threading the bobbin. Why must it be such a painful and fiddly exercise?? I have tried and failed to bribe the children, so I think there is nothing for it, I must go to bed and read a book, I mean, wind that stupid bobbin myself. Or teach the dog to do it.

Benny-the-wonder-puppy will do anything for cheese. I have a lot of cheese..


Hazel said…
Love the heatpack idea. We used to make all the children's friend's presents but they're less enthusiastic now, although I can persuade them to make big bars of chocolate with swirls and sprinkles sometimes.
And can you please post a video when you've trained the puppy to wind the bobbin up?
Treaders said…
Err you do know that most machines made after the war can wind the bobbins automatically don't you? (I say this because years ago a friend asked if she could go to sewing lessons with me but "I don't know much about sewing" - which she proved when she sat there trying to fill a bobbin by hand). Suddenly I felt so proficient! Anna
Jo said…
Hazel, I absolutely promise to make a video under those circumstances.

Anna, heh, heh.. you know, it was very sensible of you to mention that because it is just the sort of thing I would do.. however somewhere along the line I did learn how to wind a bobbin, I just don't want to. Luckily Posy eventually took pity on me. As she was sitting there watching the bobbin whirring away she asking me why I didn't like doing it as it was the most fun bit? Just not my idea of fun, Posy..
Beznarf27 said…
You have cheese? Earl will be right round to thread that bobbin, teach Benson some new tricks (that you will likely spend the rest of your life trying to "unteach" him) and will take as much cheese off your hands as you can shovel into him. Steve recently bought me a sewing machine from Gumtree. It's incredibly new looking, works well (the man who sold it to Steve showed him how it worked) and is sitting on my craft table in my craft room and hasn't been touched, let alone bobbin threaded yet! You see I am now seriously addicted to making sourdough bread thanks to you and I am also suffering from a twin addiction to knitting that I have only just discovered that I had. It was apparently lying latent in my brain for many years as I have always loved the simple and clean lines of knitting but suddenly I have been overcome with the desire to spin my own yarn (tick) and knit it into attractive and serviceable items of clothing (not-so-tick-but-working-on-it). As usual, I feel the need to multi task the rear end out of this learning process and I have been scouring YouTube for tutorials on how to knit toe up socks using a single circular needle as I am ALL about time management around here. Its a pity I have had to start again more times than I care to admit to in this public space BUT I have learned a lot in the process and will be starting again today. So long as I am learning how to get more from less I am a happy little magpie. Thank you for sharing your mending. I can now add something else to my list of "pro's" for why I have a sewing machine and why I should learn how to sew with it. Let me know if you ever need more sticks. I can drop a couple of wheat bags of them off for you on my next foray into the city (Saturday) if you like as our 4 acres is 99% stick at the moment and Brunhilda only needs to be lit once at the beginning of autumn and never goes out till mid October.
Anonymous said…
Oh yes, dishcloths are a done deal here too. Forgot about that. I recently knitted up another half-dozen, but rather than actually mend any of the old ones, I sewed them together in pairs, sandwiched them between scraps of fabric, and now I have some new oven cloths to replace the disreputable old ones. Fran, I admire your tenacity with the sock knitting. I have never had the courage to try. My knitting skills are very basic, but I have to make things like simple beanies and jerseys to justify my spinning habit!

Well done to Rosy and Posy for their initiative and sewing skills!

Linda in NZ
Jo said…
Fran, ooh, sock knitting, clever! I really want to learn to knit socks, so when you have mastered it, can you show me how? Sticks: Paul's place, also 99% sticks, but I call it community service, clearing the paths of birch twigs after a big wind. Wow, a once-a-winter lighted stove? Impressive. I have to light mine almost every day. Occasionally it goes overnight, but not often. It is very small.

Linda, that is brillinat, re-using old dishcloths for oven mitts:) I figure i can always compost my dishcloths when they are well and truly done, as they are 100% cotton. I have a dishcloth pattern all ready to go for when my dishcloths die their last death, but they are good to go again for a while now..
I am seriously impressed by spinning AND knitting. That is totally taking it to the next level. What I love is that everyone here has different and interesting skills and experiences. i think we are a great tribe. Between us all, we could do anything!

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