And now Cobbling

March 21, 2010

I am Seattle this week on a delightful time traveling visit to late spring.  There are flowering trees all around me and the glorious weather is matched by an even more glorious farmers market yesterday bursting with bright flowers, gleaming produce and general happiness.  As I was mentally packing last week I hit a major snag when my trusty Keens (worn nearly every day since they replace my last pair about three years ago) had worn through in the soles and sprung an unfortunate leak.  This was a problem on the muddy paths around work at Whole Trees and looked to be similar issue when I took them to Seattle and to the hiking trails around Darrington where I’ll be visiting Catherine later this week.  I could have replaced them but wasn’t quite ready for the expense and the mental commitment to a new pair of shoes so close to summer and chaco season.

Then I hit on a wonderful solution – I could revive my old pair of Keens.  They were also pretty worn out but now probably in about the same condition as these ones and without the problematic leak which filled them with muddy water at every puddle.  Brilliant.  I dug them out of my storage unit and happily re-adjusted to them.  Then on the plane, Friday, I made an unpleasant discovery – these ones might not leak through their rubber sole but the leather work on the top was dangerously close to coming unstitched.  The secret black thread which really held the pieces together was broken and it was hanging together (barely) on its decorative top stitching.  Uh oh.  “That’s OK, I reassured myself.  These may be my only shoes for the week and I may plan to walk all over the entire city of Seattle in them – I will simply repair them myself.”

So this morning I made my attempt.  I felt remarkably DIY as I stitched through the heavy leather (only puncturing my thumb a few times) and reinforced the line of stitching.  I think its fairly sturdy and should definitely hold.  I hope that it doesn’t catch my sock too much and made a blister spot but if it does – that’s what bandaids are for.  The insole neatly covers the loose ends of the thread.  And I’ve made my first forray into the art of Cobbling.

I’m happy to give these shoes a little more life as they’ve seen me through some great times.  The white scuff marks on the toe are Kilz – the indelible mold retardant primer we painted everything with in Biloxi.  There’s a lot of miles on those shoes and now I can eke out just a few more.


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