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.