Visible mending with Celia Pym and more stitching inspiration

Visible mending with Celia Pym and more stitching inspiration

Let’s talk about mending this week.  We so often focus on the making of fabrics whether it’s knitting  or crocheting but what do we do with all of the wonderful knitwear once it has been created and starting to wear out from years of wear and love?

photo © Michele Panzeri

Celia Pym is an artist living and working in London who has been exploring damage and repair in textiles since 2007.  Celia is one of our regular artist-teachers at Loop and we are so honoured and lucky to bring you her incredible skill and fascinating perspective on mending as an art form and not just a practical necessity. 

Celia’s Mending Workshop through Loop has been very popular and it’s no surprise as we find ourselves with a lot more time on our hands these days. Crafts in general calm our anxieties and holding something tangible, working slowly and methodically and being able to focus on something beautiful with care is something we can all use right now. 

Mending is a workshop that explores textile repair on knitted and wool textiles, how you do it and why you do it. Celia’s only tools are scissors, thread or yarn and a sharp needle. Her favourite needles to use are the Prym Darning needles 5/0-1/0 .

“Darning is small acts of care and paying attention. The damage, in a way, does the work for me” . I respond to it. The mending is slow work to hold the damage in place.”

The aim of the workshop is to allow you to practice mending techniques on knit fabrics. You will learn about artists working with repair and developing skills in woven and “fake” knitted darning. You will also have the opportunity to work on repairing any sweaters and socks and wool accessories, that you own and that have holes. Instead of hiding damage, visible mending focuses on turning the signs of wear and tear into a personal and beautiful piece of wearable art. The antidote to fast fashion and disposability, mending allows us to celebrate and embrace the history and life that’s part of that garment and reconnect with what we already have. 

If you would like to join one of Celia’s workshops, we will have just scheduled some new dates for Saturday the 6th March and 5th June*. Celia has taught in the shop for many years but, keep in mind, at the moment, Celia’s workshops are online through the Zoom platform so you can join us from wherever you are located. We hold these in the afternoon UK time so we hope as many people from around the world can join in as possible. * These have already sold out! We are so sorry if you’ve missed out on these dates. Please email the shop to be put on a waiting list or to be notified of future dates.

Simply Sashiko

Before it became a primarily decorative artform, Sashiko was born from the necessity of mending and patching garments, beddings and household items in Japan. Fabrics were traditionally made from fibrous plants and necessity demanded that they were recycled for as long as possible. It has since evolved into a technique for elaborate designs made by stitching that is so popular with visible mending. 

We have received a new book called Simply Sashiko at Loop that is a wonderful resource with templates to help you keep your motifs balanced and even. Step-by-step instructions and detailed colour photos show you everything from transferring patterns to perfecting your stitch technique. We have all the sashiko tools you’ll need like the Tulip Sashiko assorted needles, both short and long, beautifully packaged in a glass vial with a cork stopper as well as the Clover sashiko long needles in a pack of three.

Temaricious Sashiko Sampler Kit

If you prefer to get stuck into a project straight away, we have more Temaricious Sashiko sampler kits on the way from Japan and should be in stock in the shop soon.  These kits are a great way to practice your stitches and create a beautiful and useful work of art.

Temaricious Thread Box

There are still a few more of the incredible 100 thread boxes from Temaricious in the shop. The box has 100 skeins of thread all naturally dyed in a limited edition box. Perfect for any kind of embroidery, sashiko and visible mending projects.

We’re also expecting more of our very beautiful indigo dyed threads from Temaricious any day now.

Enchanting Embroidery Designs

Another charming book on stitching has recently arrived called Enchanting Embroidery Designs by Miw Morita. This book is full of both playful and straightforward motifs, inviting you to be creative with its whimsical designs and step-by-step instructions.  You can use the motifs as visible mending techniques or add some interest to your favourite pieces or garments.  

Simple to follow how-to photos and illustrations take you through all the stitches and there is a great section on combining colours to inspire you and help with mixing and matching.

Embroidery and Darning Supplies

Don’t forget we have lots of embroidery and darning haberdashery including embroidery needles, sashiko needles and darning mushrooms ( both simple ones from Sajou as well as fabulous handmade ones from Hikaru Noguchi in Japan) to help in your mending projects and plenty of threads and tools. 

Spincycle Yarns

We can’t leave you without mentioning some yarn! The lovely Spincycle ladies have sent us a new colour called “Good Omen” available on the Dyed in the wool and Dream State bases. A beautiful, moody rich blue with bits of lavender, teal and rust. Each skein is unique due to the dyeing of the fibres before spinning so let us know if you need some help in choosing similar skeins for a big project. Some of the Spincycle colours are currently on sale to make room for new stock so don’t miss out saving £6.50 per skein!

Textile Collage Giveaway

Thank you all for your lovely comments so far about the giveaway of Mandy Patullo’s Textiles transformed book and other goodies.  We love hearing from you and it is so heartwarming to read all of your comments.  So many of you spoke about how your textiles hold cherished memories and wanting to share your skills with your loved ones.  Keep them coming as you still have another week to enter the giveaway!  

Here’s how to enter 

Please leave a comment on our previous blog post with an idea of how you might use your goodies to enter on the blog.

To enter on Instagram, you will need to repost our photo or post one of your photos, using the hashtag #LoopLovestextiles, and you will need to be following our account, @looplondonloves.

(Your entry will not count if you only leave a comment on our IG post as it has to be on your post. )

This giveaway will close on the 28th of January for Blog comments and IG users.

We’ll announce the winners on Friday, the 29th of January both here and on Instagram. Good luck to everyone and we can’t wait to see what you create!

3 Comments on “Visible mending with Celia Pym and more stitching inspiration

  1. I like to make small bird soft-sculptures. Having been very fond of Mandy’s work for many years, I’d take the opportunity to let it inspire me in creating 2-dimensional birds…!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.