Visible Mending and Virus Testing

This week I have been suffering from a vile cold and dry cough. I know, those symptoms sound familiar and highly suspicious, don't they? Everyone in Australia with cold symptoms is being encouraged to go and get tested for covid-19, and I did so this very morning. My appointment was for 9.20am, so I arrived at our local sports centre where a very complex testing station has been set up in the car park, with marquees and a guard post where security guards with masks only let you in if you have been cleared by high command somewhere further in. Then into the drive-through station where a nice man says, "Stick out your tongue, ma'am, we are just going to stick this swab down your throat and then up both your nostrils." Such fun. Anyway, it is highly unlikely that I have covid-19 as we don't appear to have much in the way of community transmission in Tasmania, except around a hospital in the north-west of the stat. It is, however, the beginning of cold and flu season so there will no doubt be a lot of testing of people with coughs and colds. My question is - how on earth did I catch any virus at all when I hardly go out except to walk the dog? It's a mystery, and shows that no matter how careful you are, it is still really easy to catch a contagious virus..

It has been a very quiet week for me and Posy. We have been lying even lower than usual, and I have been literally lying lower on the couch and listening to audio books on-line. Audio books are such a boon when you can't focus to read. And when I have been feeling less poorly I have been listening to audio books and doing the mending. In March the autumn edition of Earth Garden came out with an article I wrote about visible mending, based on this post I wrote about visible mending. It is very strange seeing my own old clothes in the pages of a magazine, but quite fun. Anyway, the lack of energy that come with a cold makes the thought of quietly doing some hand sewing very attractive. So what follows is some of my works of art from the past couple of days.

First, the work shirt that I tore on one of my mum's rose bushes last week while doing some gardening with her (appropriate social distancing in place):

The patch for this is a thick cotton that looks like mattress ticking. It is important to match the fabric you are patching with the patch. Thin patches will tear away from thick fabric, and thick patches will tear thin fabric. Match the weight of both as best you can. I love the blue and white stripes against the neutral shirt. The patch fabric was lining a wicker basket that a friend decluttered a couple of years ago. I ripped out the fabric and saved it and still use the basket as my bedroom clothes hamper. There was a smaller rip lower down the back of the shirt that I darned with olive green embroidery thread. Another hole in the front pocket I darned in the same way:

Next I replaced the button on one of my favourite summer shirts. I was picking plums from a neighbour's tree a couple of months ago and the button caught on a twig and not only pulled the button off but ripped a hole in the fabric. I sewed a little patch of blue on before replacing the button with a brown one from my button tin. I think the shirt is more interesting now with that little accent.

My last project was a linen quilt cover that my friend Tanya gave me. It had a large rip in it which I patched using a square from a shirt I bought in an op-shop when I was seventeen years old. I wore that shirt for about a decade then retired it to the rag bag. It is a soft brushed cotton, quite thick, and I love the blue and brown stripes. I used white embroidery thread to quilt across the patch and also quilted around the edges of the rip to stop it ripping any further in the wash.

Despite the cough and cold nasties (which I am 99% sure are just a cough and cold) I have been having a nice time extending the life of a few things, using very little in the way of resources, which means that is less stuff I have to go out and buy, and that thought, as always, makes me quietly happy.


simplelife said…
Gosh Jo that's really unlucky to catch a cold while in iso. I sure hope it is a cold, how long does it take for you to get your results?
Your mending looks great. I think visible mending looks awesome, making a statement.
Where online are you accessing your audio books? The library or some other place?
Hope you feel better soon
Cheers Kate
Anonymous said…
Feel better soon, Jo!
Evi said…
Thats too funny! I've been working on some visible mending on a pair of jeans today! I bought a pair of those faded hole in the knee type jeans but my knees freeze!! So I'm ditching the trendy look and going for comfort - my daughter is horrified!
Anonymous said…
Love your visible mending. Can I tell you something? I don't know how to darn!

Hope it is just a little cold, maybe a reaction to the change in seasons. Take care and enjoy the audiobooks. Lucinda
Anonymous said…
Fingers crossed that it's nothing more than a cold, Jo. Look after yourself and feel much better soon.

Also, I'm with Evi on the holey-knee jeans. Seems to me they are one of the dumbest fashion trends ever!
Linda in NZ
Beznarf27 said…
Get well soon Jo. I am sure its just a cold :) I started knitting a simple triangle shawl the other day because I like to keep my hands busy in the evenings when I am watching TV. I am using homespun yarn so its going to take a fair while to finish but I am just enjoying simply knitting back and forth. Very meditative and stress relieving. I love your mending, it's beautiful. Well done you :)
Kathy said…
Hope all is well...
Jo said…
Kate, 24-48 hours to get test results, so anytime from now to tomorrow morning. Yes, getting some excellent audiobooks from the library ebooks app - they have had another 500 titles added since lockdown began, yay Tasmanian library system. Otherwise, if there's a title I can't find I look for it on youtube. I know this is not ideal for author's copyright so I don't do it for authors who are still living, but there are some old favourites out there from long dead authors whose audiobooks are otherwise unavailable, and some youtube people who are uploading all sorts of old goodies from their ancient cassette and CD collections which is pretty nice:)

Patricia, thanks:)

Evi, that is hilarious that you are buying trendy jeans and making them into untrendy jeans! I have offered to visibly mend Rosy's holey jeans but she has so far not taken me up on that offer!

Lucinda, stay tuned, I will be writing an Earth Garden article on darning quite soon. Will maybe practice it on the blog..

Linda, I fell so cold when I see my daughters wearing jeans with holes in them..

Fran, I imagine that shawl will be lovely. Posy has also taken up knitting and I have been helping her with her project. I love a fairly plain knitting project that I don't have to concentrate on, because as you say, so meditative. Alas, knitting makes my hands hurt these days..

Kathy, thanks for your good wishes. I feel much better and will post an update when I hear:)
Anonymous said…
My daughter has a cold too, and she only goes out to walk the dog! Will investigate getting her tested, thanks for the prompt.
Hope you feel better soon.
You can get a free Audible trial for a month which lets you download 1 feee book (just make sure you unsubscribe in time!) There is also another service where you can do this,called Scribd. Haven't tried that yet as I am waiting till I am desperate for a new release; I still have around 70 unread op shopped books I had been hoarding for this sort of eventuality!! Loretta
Jo said…
Excellent news just in - I do not have covid-19:) Benson is very pleased as he will now get to go for a good long walk in the morning:)
Anonymous said…
Great News! Enjoy your week end!
simplelife said…
Wonderful news Jo.
Cheers Kate
Mary said…

That seems like it would have been somewhat stressful having to go for the test and then waiting for the results. Glad to hear it's a garden-variety virus. I had a bad cold right after Christmas, but since all the Christmas festivities were over and the visitors gone home, and with rainy, chilly, dark weather, I was pretty comfortable just hibernating for a couple of weeks (except for the cold symptoms, of course). Fortunately, I had received a huge short-story collection of Christmas-based murder mysteries. It was just right for reading one and falling into a little nap, then waking, having something to drink, and reading another. I think I might try the hibernation thing again next January but without the cold. Take care.
Treaders said…
In the current situation every time I cough (which, admittedly, isn't often) I automatically think it might be covid. The other thing I notice is that whenever I go to the grocery store I feel this urge to cough - I never do of course but I guess it's just a reflex. I hope your results are back by now and confirmed negative. And yes I can see just sitting in the evening doing a bit of mending. I remember my gran doing that and it really is quite nostalgic isn't it. Take care. Anna
Jo said…
Loretta, thanks for those resources, I'll have a look. Good luck with your massive reading collection. Some of us hoard toilet paper, some us books. I know which camp I'm in:)

Patricia and Kate, thanks, I'm pretty happy about that outcome as well:)

Mary, I like your hibernation plans. Isn't it ridiculous that we have to be ill/have a pandemic to realise that staying home and reading murder mysteries is a perfectly acceptable way of recovering from busyness:)

Anna, yes, I am in the clear, thank you:) re mending - nostalgic, yes, but I mainly do it because it is useful. As of course, all the grannies did too.
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

And congratulations on your article. :-)


GretchenJoanna said…
I understand you being glad that you don't have THE virus -- but I am wishing I could get it and get over it! Seems like being sick with a cold or the flu right now is a lot of trouble for nothing ;-) Because it seems that we all will get it sooner or later, just like the flu goes around. I actually did get antibody testing, which was negative, because so many in our family were dreadfully sick early in the year and we wondered... but I had to pay out of pocket for that.

My youngest and her husband were tested for antibodies in DC last month and the tests came back positive. They had to pay $450 each test ! and are hoping their insurance will cover it. My son-in-law said his case was as bad as the flu, and my daughter's was *not* as bad as the flu. The nanny never had symptoms but she lives with them so she is definitely in the "circle of germs," the doctor said. The baby was breastfeeding and the two-year-old seems to have been the first one to get it and pass it around. Maybe on the playground or at the library?

But they stayed cooped up in their apartment when they were sick and just got over it by themselves. I hope that now they will not be afraid to come and visit me this summer as we'd planned long ago. In the meantime, it's FaceTime with "Raj"!
Jo said…
Chris, all is well now, and thanks, I do like publishing in EG:)

Gretchen Joanna, goodness, this virus has affected so many people. I'm glad your family didn't have too bad a time of it. It doesn't seem to be very clear what kind of immunity people are actually getting with this covid-19, as it has that virus habit of evolving very fast. Well, we shall see in this as everything.

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