Today is Hari Kuyo, the ceremony in Japan to honor your broken needlework tools. On February 8th, in Shinto and Buddhist temples across Japan, needles, pins, and small scissors are laid to rest in soft jelly or tofu. Kuyo is a redemptive fire ceremony for tools by artists, chefs, and others to burn their worn tools, brushes, and knives to honor them for their work in their art. Needles and pins have a different ceremony, called Hari Kuyo, meaning Needle Memorial. No fire, but a soft cake to pierce one final time.
I know we have all been seeing the Marie Kondo Tidying Up series on Netflix being discussed, and much has been said over her “thanking each item for it’s service” before it’s discarded. But I don’t know that we really think about how useful, yet disposable, items help us do the work we need to do each time we sew. I think this ceremony speaks to me in a strong way, above my love for the Japanese culture.
I will spend about 10 minutes going through all of my pins looking for the truly crooked and broken ones. It is a nice way to assess my collection of these little sewing helpers. Now my pins are refreshed and ready to help, and these broken and bent ones will be retired.
I also decided to buy some new pins today. I often tell my students that they are “worth a new piece of thread” on their needle. But have I considered that the needle itself is something I am worth? The thrifty sewist in me wants to keep every scrap and sew “down to the nub”. But I know I will be less frustrated with my work if I am using the proper tools, and good, new needles and pins help me do that.
My favorite pins are these Magic Pins that are fine and have comfort grips and are heat resistant to my iron! Of course, you know my favorite needles already… You can get them in my shop!