A few months ago I launched my Darning kits and Darning mushrooms. I absolutely loved working on these kits so please indulge me whilst I share some of the process with you as well as giving a nice big sales pitch on why I think these darning mushrooms are the best.
I’ve mentioned before that last summer I was lucky enough to be awarded a DYCP grant from the Arts Council, and that is what has made these kits a reality. I already had the entire project planned out, but this grant meant that I was able to work with a friend and local woodturner (Harvey @ Elkco Furniture) to design and make these darning mushrooms a reality as well as being able to spend a huge chunk of time on making the booklet the best I possibly could.
We spent hours looking over all of the darning mushrooms in my personal collection to figure out what I wanted from them and Harvey made half a dozen prototypes before we found our perfect design. I knew I wanted the flexibility that a Speedweve style darning disc allows whilst also offering a more traditional mushroom shape as well as adding in the small details that give you a mushroom that you’ll want to use and keep forever.
So, these mushrooms are multi purpose - they can be used as traditional mushrooms or as darning discs when you remove the handle. The disc has a groove cut out allowing for a durable elastic tie to secure your fabric into place and the handle even has a channel inside it to allow for needle storage (a seemingly tiny but really great detail!) We experimented with everything from the length of the handles to the depth of the dome to make sure that these mushrooms are super comfortable to use and hold!
There are 5 different wood types to choose from: Somerset Birch, Lime wood, Plywood, quartersawn Oak and an antique Oak/pine mix with the Oak being reclaimed from church pews dating back to 1830! It was really important to me that all of the mushrooms were made from reclaimed woods and offcuts that would have otherwise been unused and all of these work beautifully on the mushrooms giving unique patterns and grains on every single one. And finally, the mushrooms all come in their own cotton drawstring bags that make for great travel darning storage. I think as makers/menders on the go we all know how helpful it is to have everything you need in one place!
The kit also includes two different darning needles - a cotton darner and a yarn darner perfect for a range of different mending threads and yarns.
The booklet is just over 30 pages long and includes photos and step by step instructions for basic darned patches, shaped darns, honeycomb darning, woven pinwheels and finally a few different weave patterns to get extra creative with your darning adventures. There is also a private link to a darned patch demonstration video which you can watch, rewatch and pause as many times as you need to! I’m so thankful to the testers who worked with me on this booklet and I really hope that you will love it too.
You can find both the kits and mushrooms in the shop.
I'd love to know if you've bought either the kit or mushroom and hear how you are getting on with you darning journey, or even better see some photos of the darns you have finished!