Mend it Monday #6

An idea devised by The Snail of Happiness

This is an odd one. First, a little background. I like a windchime, something that makes a melodious noise when the wind rises. I’m not a huge fan of the enormous cathedral chimes that bong away loudly in a minor key, I like a gentle tinkle. The Husband and I went on a delayed honeymoon years ago to the West Indies, Barbados to be precise. It’s where my oldest friend lives, and we had a fabulous time. One of the souvenirs we brought back from our trip (apart from amazing photos and memories) is a windchime. It’s small and pretty; hand-made unglazed ceramic birds interspersed with ‘rustic’ ceramic beads, strung from a ceramic doughnut ring by fishing line. It has a lot of sentimental value for us both.

Over the years, it has suffered the effects of cyclones and the extremes of heat. The fishing line deteriorated and broke. Birds fell and clashed hard, and also broke. I decided enough was enough: time to repair it before I lost any more bits and it became a pointless piece of debris.

First on the list was heavy gauge fishing line, much stronger than the existing stuff and also UV-resistant. Then I took it all apart and laid it out to see what I still had. Over time, I’ve lost the equivalent of two whole strings; there should be 6 and I only had enough birds for 4. So, OK, I’d make 4. They’d still sound pretty. I replaced the rusted hanging ring with a steel curtain ring. That’ll rust over time too, but it’s easy enough to replace.

I started each string with a bird, tied onto the line with a uni-knot. This is easy to form, slips until you need it to lock, and is designed to work with fishing line as well as other forms of string or line.

Loop the line through the hole and hold the two parts together, with a long tail on the looped part.

Double the tail back, and wind it round the doubled part 3-5 times, depending on how strong you need the knot to be.

Pull the tail gently, till the knot starts to form. Slide it down towards the hole without pulling it tight yet.

When it reaches the hole, pull the tail with a pair of pliers (you may not need these for string or nylon cord, but you definitely do for fishing line) until the knot is tight. Clip off the end of the tail.

Between the three birds in each string I threaded a bead, plus an extra one at the top. Each string was then threaded through a hole in the ring, and held tight by another bead on top, knotted down. The strings were finished at the top by threading them all through single beads and knotting off, forming a loop with the tails to hold the curtain ring. Job done. I tested it in the stiffish breeze we have this morning, and everything held.

That’s better.

51 thoughts on “Mend it Monday #6

  1. Very lovely… I love wing chimes and I have a very very old rusted triangle which chimes at the slightest breeze but thankfully does not clang too loudly when there’s a strong wind … it’s nothing to look at and I picked it up from Trash & Treasure many years ago for $5. It’s strong and it’s solid so has stood the test of time so far. I love the sounds of birds and sounds of the chimes … happy you were able to mend yours as it holds lots of lovely memories ♥️

  2. Marty K says:

    That is so pretty! I can imagine the happy tune it plays in response to a gentle breeze.

    Two of our most treasured wedding gifts were a couple sets of wind chimes.

  3. Your windchimes are lovely… I like the birds and its history. We are likeminded in this as with many other things… here we have a small, melodiously tinkly set circa 1994 that have seen a few similar repairs… their noise becomes part of the audible landscape rather than dominating it… which as well as the sentimental value makes them keepers.

  4. nanacathy2 says:

    Absolutely worth mending- what a super reminder of a very special honeymoon.

  5. cazinatutu says:

    Glad you managed to mend it. I’ve got one my son gave me when he was about 7 (he’s 40 this year) and it’s survived intact. When the wind is from the north, meaning a cold wind, it rattles against the veranda window.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s funny how these things come to matter so much. My first windchime was also bought in Barbados nearly 40 years ago… It’s still like new, a painted wooden tropical fish with 4 tiny chime rods dangling beneath it.

  6. tialys says:

    Definitely some memories worth saving there – you’ve done an excellent job. I prefer the tinkly sort of wind chimes too and have a glass one a friend bought me once – funny they’re often made out of breakable materials but maybe they make the best sounds.

    • katechiconi says:

      I think a light tinkle is more endearing and ultimately tolerable long term than those sonorous boings you get with the metal tube kind – and why do they always have to be in a minor key, so depressing?

  7. writinghouse says:

    An excellent repair with that feeling of satisfaction every time it rings added to all the memories! 🙂

  8. that’s delightful. Hard to beat being able to repair something with such beauty and sentiment.

  9. I’m glad you managed to rescue it. Fishing line is really useful stuff!

  10. claire93 says:

    a lovely mend!

  11. teamwilsun says:

    Such a lovely rescue project! And every time it chimes you’ll remember your holiday.

  12. anne54 says:

    This was a lovely mend, Kate. Often we have to do the more prosaic mends, like darns. This one will help keep those honeymoon memories alive for many years to come.

  13. Clever you. I like a wind chime as well, but am fussy about the sound. Haven’t yet found one to please me as much as the birds in the garden 😉

  14. Grudgingly admit I like the birds making up your wind chime. I am, in general, a wind chime curmudgeon. I love wind. Love the sound it makes whooshing along the ground, rustling through trees. Wind chimes, in my opinion, are jangling cymbals making a muckery of the music already present in wind. But I do like your birds and find myself glad you’re fixing that chime. I have similar birds as lead weights holding down a porch cloth, so who am I to complain?

    • katechiconi says:

      As previously said, I’m picky about the sound. These are sweet, rippling and ever-changing, a bit like running water. But I appreciate your point about the wind and its own music. Here, that music too often rises, becomes strident and then degenerates into a cyclone scream. When the windchime starts to become jangly, it’s time to batten down the hatches…

  15. Amanda says:

    I’m not a fan of wind chimes but that one looks like it gives a gentle sound. I’ve been looking into rain bells but wondering if they’d get on my nerves after a while too. 🙄😄

    • katechiconi says:

      It is a gentle ‘ting, tong’ noise, and I’ve been careful not to hang them where the sound is overpowering, but where it’s at the edge of hearing…

  16. Edi says:

    The back story for your wind chimes is beautiful. I love wind chimes and over the years have repaired/mended many. It feels really good to mend and reuse and not just dispose. Thank you.

    • katechiconi says:

      The more I worked on them, the clearer the memory of buying them became. It was a large ceramic studio, filled with urns, vases, bowls, dishes, pots and platters. I’d gone there with my friend, hoping to find something special to take home. Most of it was too large and too heavy to carry home in my suitcase, but in one corner there was a chain slung from the ceiling with dozens of wind chimes hanging from it. There were flowers, bells, dolphins and every kind of tropical fish, but the birds caught my fancy and had the prettiest sound. There’s no way I could just throw it out!

  17. What a great mend – it would have been such a shame for this to just turn into junk as it holds such special memories.

    • katechiconi says:

      All I really needed to do was buy the heavy gauge fishing line, but I kept forgetting. Now that I’m joining Mend It Monday regularly (and the alternative was patching pants *again*), I finally got my act in gear.

  18. You did a great job of the repair. Very fiddly work on that. Glad you were able to save it.

    • katechiconi says:

      Knotting fishing line is an art, and luckily there’s a good knot for it! We have a stiff chilly breeze today, and I’m hearing the ‘singing’ of the birds as I type this 🙂

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