Monday, 12 December 2011

Darning mushroom

73. Darning mushroom.

I inherited this sycamore darning mushroom from my mother-in-law. She was a demon knitter and the only female in a household of males. She knitted socks and jumpers, scarves, hats and gloves. Her husband and sons must have given her handiwork quite a bashing because the surface of the mushroom is pitted from years of use. It is a satisfyingly practical object, the wood is light and comfortable in the hand, far superior to the ugly plastic mushroom that I used before inheriting this.
I was taught to patch and darn at school, a place described as being for 'young ladies'. What do 'young ladies' care about patching and darning? Very little, I can tell you! We had to practise these skills on small squares of fabric. How pointless and time-consuming it seemed. I was marked 0.5 out of 10 for all my effort.
My heart still sinks when I discover a small hole and know that I shall have to get out the darning mushroom and set to work.


  1. The museum at No. 1, Royal Crescent, has several of these in their kitchen which they call 'pestles'. I told them that my mother used to darn my socks with them, and they had never heard of such a thing. Sigh.

  2. I have my mother's mushroom somewhere. I've always though what beautiful things they were. I can still picture her using it.

  3. Am I surprised, Tom? Not a bit.

    But I bet you've never had to darn with the darned thing, Cro!

  4. I have this exact darning mushroom from my mother. What a good idea this blog is and what lovely things. I shall press on through the hundred and may emulate!