Here it is ~ the great debate which is swirling round my head as I sit at my desk ~
‘A Stitch in Time saves Nine’ or ‘Mending be Darned’.
What say you?
Behind me, I have a pile of darning, occupying an armchair. The pile is many inches high. It stares at me accusingly no matter where I place it. I try to avoid its gaze but, like Mona Lisa’s eyes, it follows me everywhere. It’s been like this for months. I hear it mocking me, in multiples of 9; “Not stitched in time, 9×9; not stitched in time, 9×10…”
I am not a natural mender. Darning doesn’t come easy, although it should, because I come from a line of excellent darners. My mother was a diligent darner, and could always be relied upon to mend anything. My aunt was a skilled darner. It was a pleasure to watch her work. Her needle and thread wove magical, near invisible, lines through the runs in my school stockings. ( Yes, stockings, with a suspender belt…..I am of the pre-pantyhose generation)
Did they enjoy darning? Well, there is a certain satisfaction in making something whole and complete again, but I suspect it was necessity and frugality, not pleasure, which drove their darning needles.
Frugality and necessity should drive me, too, but, in front of me, there’s a computer which begs me to use my fingers and my mind outside the domestic realm. It makes me want to say, “Mending be Darned” and “Go create something new”.
So I do, make something new; a phone photo, for my friends, for myself, of the clematis growing vigorously near the garden gate.
That makes me happy.
But, truthfully, so would a stack of neatly mended clothing. If only I could bring myself to do it.
(Oh, shush, you there behind me. I can hear your sotto voce recitations, “Stitch! stitch! stitch!…. A stitch in time saves 9, a stitch in time saves 9…”,
and don’t you dare start on the 9 times table again. Remember, I know where the nearest recycle bin is! It’s temptingly close by.)
Sigh, the debate is not over yet.