Greetings from the farm, We often think of mending or the finishing of traditional garments as a chore. With this thinking, we just want to get it done, and get it done quickly. Many times, we get stuck, and the mending basket begins to fill up or the garment is set aside with the finishing left undone. When we begin to shift our thinking about hand work, taking the time to see the value in finishing and mending by hand, things begin to change. After all, we can mend or complete the finishing of a garment anytime, anywhere! Together with family or friends, on hikes, on the bus, or relaxing in the evening. Suddenly, to mend or to finish by hand, doesn’t seem to take any time at all. What needs to be mended or finished, can be done while we are doing the other things that we enjoy doing. After a while, we begin to see mending and finishing as a part of what we are planning within the time that we give to ourselves. Time to relax, to think, to listen to music or to an audio book. To be outside in the peace and quiet. So many that I have had the pleasure to facilitate through explorations focused on montering (finishing or mending), begin to think differently about hand work. They discover that by engaging slowly with the practice, allowing a shift to occur in their approach to worn areas or damage, or to the techniques needed to finish and to assemble a traditional garment, they experience this wonderful change in their thinking that I am describing.
Additionally, to mend and to finish by hand provides another experience with the cloth itself. Especially if it is a cloth that you have hand woven or hand knit. To handle, to examine, and to explore this cloth closely, you acquire another kind of knowledge about your own making and personal tension, naturally.
This month, I offered an invitation to explore hand work with a fresh new perspective, within a national, red thread project happening throughout Norway. An experience to expand the creativity and the patience needed for finishing and mending. An opportunity for meaningful, practical practice. Our aim was to organize the tools needed, to begin to lean into more meaningful handmade moments. To find enjoyment and value in the mending, the finishing, and the process of assembling a traditional hand knit garment. To learn the historic techniques to care for, mend, and to maintain them following the historic national guide, which was written to outline and to extend understanding, and to promote sustainability.
Following these guidelines we finish pieces with an advanced, heirloom quality, and in so many cases give knitted pieces a brand new season of wear! I am looking forward to seeing the result of our time together and the many beautifully inspired, traditional Samisk syposer that will be handmade and hand stitched to support our aims during this month. September in the Systua, sewing circle has been such an inspiration!
Thank you to each person who joined into this Norwegian red thread project
"Anything can be fixed!" during this month!
Tusen hjertelig takk for meg! Pictured throughout this post - are a just few examples of the beautifully inspired,
traditional Samisk "syposer" - which are modern representations of the
historic "on the go" sewing kits used for mending and finishing -
which were originally created with
reindeer pelts (fur and leather) and heritage wool. They were tied with traditional hand woven and braided bands -
laces and ties (Samisk snor). Which we are connecting and exploring within a
mini traditional band weaving module.
Warmest regards from the farm, Patricia x