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.