Last summer, a friend of mine mentioned a show she had attended the previous night and snippets of which I had seen on Insta Stories. I inquired about the artists, quickly started following them on social media and fell in love with their work and philosophy.
Living on a small organic farm outside of Portland, sisters Nina and Sonya Montenegro aka The Far Woods are talented designers and slow-living advocates. Because of their beautiful prints and their couple-year-long clothes-shopping-ban, we were bound to meet sooner rather than later.
Fast forward a couple months, and I finally got the chance to meet Nina, one half of the power-sister duo. Indeed, she had come to attend my first (and only to date) Zero Waste PDX event. And you will never guess what she showed me… One of the envelopes I had donated at Scrap, our local second hand art supply store, and which she had recently purchased (note to self: remove personal data from donated items).
We’ve kept in touch ever since, and I’ve been loving discovering how much we have in common through their daily posts on Instagram. I was already a fan of their art (I got Octave their Oregon Rivers poster and got myself their lunar calendar), but really fell for how they incorporate magic into daily tasks, and eventually got their Mender's Companion.
Nina & Sonya took the mundane act of mending socks to a playful and artistic level. So one Saturday, after a disturbing week, I dug through Octave’s drawers and gathered all the socks that needed a little TLC.
To be totally honest, I had previously put them in a bag to donate them, then thought that I should not be the one to take care of this and put them back in their drawer. Until I finally decided that darning them would be a fun experiment and that acts of service might be Octave and my love language (I still have to read this book) since we do help each other out a lot in many aspects of our personal and professional lives.
The experiment was as meditative as it was time-consuming. I literally spent a whole afternoon just darning socks.
I'm not really patient, but I'm also very stubborn. I knew that if I did not do this task until the last sock, I would never finish it. I also figured that I would only have to do this once since I'm planning on not waiting until 10 pairs of socks have holes in them to start taking action.
My first socks wasn't a work of art, but after a couple trials I really started having fun, especially since I had chosen some multicolor sashiko thread. I also did regret investing in a couple embroidery needles that saved me from poking my fingers with sharp regular ones.
Do you darn your socks? Have you ever tried the sashiko embroidery technique?
TRY THIS AT HOME and let me know how it worked for you! Look for an old pair of socks and try to give them a new life by darning them.
Also, what’s your love language?
Pictures by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.