All soles

I had a dilemma this week – my crochet slippers developed some holes and I had the choice of finally giving up on them or mending them. A while back, Kate sent me some sheepskin slipper soles that are no use to her in tropical Australia and I plan to use these to make myself some brand new spiffy slippers at some point, but looking at my old slippers, I decided that there was still a bit of life in them and mending would be worthwhile. I did briefly toy with the idea of using the new soles to mend the old slippers, but actually the new pieces do not coincide entirely where the old ones are worn and, anyway, I have some ideas for the new ones… when I eventually get round to them.

This is the third mend of my old faithfuls and each time I have used a different colour to make the repair obvious. First they had new crochet soles, then I added some crochet reinforcement to the sides, and now finally I’ve done some darning:

The original yarn was a mix of sock wool and some 100% wool chunky, but all the blue mends, including the latest three patches of darning, have been made using Axminster rug wool. The original company that I got the Axminster wool from went out of business, but I’m delighted to say that a new supplier, Airedale Yarns, has popped up. I haven’t ordered from them yet, but I can highly recommend Axminster wool for making slippers – it lasts so much longer than any other yarn I’ve tried for the job.

So, my slippers live to be worn another day. I’m pondering whether there will come a point when there is nothing left visible of the original slippers… or , indeed, whether they will eventually become unsalvageable.

Do you have items that are mended repeatedly? And when do you decide to give up on them?

Leave a comment


  1. They are becoming works of art Jan! Just like the Japanese art of Boro. I’m so glad you saved them. Did you work from a pattern for the originals – if so I’d love to have a go.

  2. It’s like My Grandfather’s Axe: “I still have my grandfather’s axe. My father replaced the handle, and I’ve replaced the head, but it’s still my grandfather’s axe”. I have a geranium red cashmere cardigan. It’s well over 50 years old, having been new before I was born. I have mended it more times than I can remember, as it wears out at the cuffs, the elbows and under the arms. Right now, the holes are held together by the darns… I wear it on cool winter mornings when I’m sitting up in bed and there’s no-one to notice its condition. It’s still soft, and warm, a glorious colour and beautiful in my eyes.

  3. Those are marvelous slippers! I would keep mending them too. They still look very snug and warm!

  4. Laurie Graves

     /  March 10, 2017

    Yay for the slippers and yay for the mending. those slippers are indeed marvelous.

  5. Nah I just chuck away, too impatient for mending but your slippers are awesome!

  6. nettyg

     /  March 10, 2017

    Boro at it’s best!

  7. I was thinking of my grandfather’s axe too! Let me send you to another woman who mends all her clothes (she says she doesn’t have many) and make exquisite creatures out of old fabrics.

  8. With clothing, I often give up on something when I see it in the right light and realize how worn or shabby it is. Then I use it for something else. I’ll never forget the sandals I had resoled 3 times and when I took them in for a fourth, the shoemaker looked at me sadly and said it wasn’t worth it. I turned the straps into handles for a cloth bag.

    • I used to always get shoes resoled, but there are so few cobblers around now, it takes much more effort.

      • There are still quite a few here, but I may be losing the one I have used for years at some point as he has been suffering from MS. He’s a real craftsman with the shoes, too.

  9. I finally gave up on a favorite sweater when it was beyond repair. It was soft and thin and a beautiful shade of green (my favorite color). I darned holes, then gave up and just wore it with holes around the house. Eventually it was beyond hope. How I loved it so. I too like to have my shoes resoled. Your slippers look so comfy and warm. How nice of Kate to send you warm soles for another pair.

  10. claire

     /  March 20, 2017

    oh jeans… i keep mending the crotch, but at some point there’s no actual fabric left on which to mend!

    • I think that some of the Japanese boro mends eventually end up as a patchwork of new fabric with almost none of the old remaining!

      • Indeed, the Japanese have made mending an art ! Whether it is Boro, Sashiko or Kintsugi. I love the philosophy that mending can actually make the object more beautiful and more personal. Like your slippers!
        I need to reflect on this for my jeans..


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: