Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I don't know how to darn.

For years, one thing was consistently on my Christmas list: a pair of plain black leather gloves, size medium (7.5, if you want to get specific). Lined, not lined, I didn't care; I wanted a pair of sleek black gloves, like Diana Rigg wore in The Avengers (the only true Avengers, by the way. Go away with your Honor Blackmans and Tara Kings, you impostors).

And every year, my mother would give me some different kind of gloves. Gray Isotoners, blue Isotoners, gloves made of revolutionary new synthetics, gloves that were practical and inexpensive and bore no resemblance to the ones I had asked for.

It got to be a sort of battle of wills. I'd ask for black leather gloves, even though Filene's basement sold exactly the pair I wanted for a mere $15 (no, not the highest quality, but so what), just to see whether this year Mom would be paying attention and give me what I wanted instead of what she thought I needed. And every year my mother, who at some point must have thought it was funny, would give me another pair of fabric gloves.

I don't remember whether I asked for leather gloves for Christmas 2005. I'd moved to Maine, and leather gloves are not very practical for shoveling snow or scraping ice; also, I've given up striving for sophistication, and admit that I will never be Diana Rigg.

What Mom gave me, that year, was a pair of red woolly gloves and a red fleece hat, both warm and sensible, and I have worn those gloves and that hat ever since. The hat's been through the washer a couple of times, and is not as bright as it used to be.

The gloves, knit on the outside and fuzzy on the inside, are starting to shred at the fingers, and I don't know how to repair them. It started happening all at once, after I scraped the ice off my car on Saturday; the right index finger started to come apart, then the left middle finger, then the right thumb.

If I knew how to darn, I could repair these gloves. They're the warmest pair I've ever had, and the red is cheerful and hard to lose (I've managed to hang onto them for three winters, a personal record). Plus, they're the last pair Mom gave me.

Does anybody darn anymore? Does anybody know how? Can you teach me?


Anonymous said...

You weren't the only one to get not quite what you asked for. I remember the year I asked for a black turtleneck and a white turtleneck and Mom got me a white turtleneck with black stripes. I wore that striped one until it fell apart.


Ed Lamb said...

Maybe if you damned the gloves, the strands of yarn would fall back into line?

Gal Friday said...

It's been years since I had a sleek pair of leather gloves--sort of like what you described(but never got--I hope you get some this Christmas!).
I can't remember how I stumled upon your blog today but I want to say I know where Gardiner, Me. is(I grew up in Augusta and remember going there to visit family and shop occasionally)..and...I know(vaguely) how to darn. But I haven't done it in years-I was shown by my mother. She showed me how to darn the toes and heels of socks by putting a lightbulb inside as a firm surface to kind of do that "weaving" thing with the matching color thread. But...I can't think of what to put into the find=gers of a glove (a marble?) and how precise your stitches would have to be.
Try asking at eHow?

Karen Olson said...

My father in law claims he can darn socks but I've never seen him do it. My grandmother used to, but she never taught me. So sorry,I'm a bit useless on the darning front.