My mom is a connoisseur of yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets. This works out great for me, because I’m not much of a shopper. It works out especially well when I’m looking for reenacting stuff, because it is very rare that we can find what we need at modern stores. Mom is willing to take requests: right now she is looking for wooden boxes for me, and if she sees nice linen table cloths, or wool blankets, she knows I am always interested in those.
When Mom showed me this particular blanket I fell instantly in love with it. It is hand woven, on a fairly narrow loom, and was pieced together from three narrow sections. The warp is wool, and the weft is (probably) cotton. The stripes don’t match up entirely and it has worn very thin in parts, and that adds to its appeal.
Last fall I tossed it on the bed with all the other blankets, hidden somewhere in the middle because it does not really fit with out upper-class portrayal, but it was warm and I was not going to leave such a charming blanket at home. Recently when getting ready for the upcoming reenacting season I pulled out our blankets for their spring airing and decided that if we were going to abuse the blanket with use, I should patch up some of the bigger holes. I read a blog entry about mended French fabrics last summer, and when looking at this blanket the pretty patches and darns instantly came to mind. We’ve got a much lower class portrayal in our near future, so I went to the scrap bag, and pulled a bunch of colorful wool scraps from various sewing projects.
I particularly like to do hand sewing in the evenings when I’ve used up all by brain power for the day, but I’m not quite ready to go to bed. I take off my glasses, and curl up under the blanket (the part I’m not mending) and put another patch in place. I go to bed with a feeling of accomplishment. Even if I’ve achieved nothing else in the course of a day, at least I got a little farther on bringing this nifty little blanket back to usability, I’m adding my own touches as well as memories of past outfits, and in the spring it will keep us warm. Also, if anyone visiting us at any of our events gets close enough, they will get a bit if a surprise when they notice all the patches and additions, it is a bit of a reward for those who dare to look at the details.
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