Mrs Pademelon’s New Lease of Life

Late last year, I met Mrs Pademelon and her Joey.


Mrs Pademelon’s Joey, a classic children’s book from Australia, first published in 1967


Mrs Pademelon and her Joey, in dire need of a spot of darning!

This toy was knitted for a colleague’s husband by his mum, based on his favourite book, Mrs Pademelon’s Joey. It was much loved, although a balaclava knitted from the same wool was deemed too scratchy by the young recipient. Subsequently, when my colleague’s daughter was born, Mrs Pademelon became her beloved companion, and still loves her now, ten years on. Mrs Pademelon has received the love of two young children along and has lived a while in the loft. Looking after children is hard work, as Mrs Pademelon can attest, and her coat is much in need of repair.


Joey was misbehaving when I took this picture!

When my colleague asked me to repair this cherished knitted toy, I was somewhat flummoxed by her name. It turns out that pademelons are small to medium sized marsupials found inhabiting the forests of Australia and a number of its surrounding islands. The pademelon is most closely related to the wallaby and the kangaroo. The pademelon is a solitary and nocturnal animal meaning that the pademelon, spends the light daytime hours resting, and goes foraging for food during the cooler cover of night.

For the repairs I used two yarns from The Little Grey Sheep: the solid blue is Stein Fine wool, and the heathered blue is Hampshire 4-ply. For such a classic knitted toy, I used the perenial classic stocking darn as a technique.

Mrs Pademelon Repaired Visible Mending by Tom of Holland

Mrs Pademelon and Joey sport some new patches on their coats

Mrs Pademelon Repaired Visible Mending by Tom of Holland closeup

Photobombed by Joey!

I worked the darn on the bias, as I find that works nicer on the garter stitch background. The heathered blue makes for a vibrant repair.

Mrs Pademelon Repaired Visible Mending by Tom of Holland closeup 2

Solid blue for belly repairs, heathered blue for back repairs

Repairing this toy brought simple pleasures: perhaps it was not the most challenging job I’ve ever done, but nevertheless it was immensely satisfying. While stitching, I tried to imagine what it was like to knit this toy: I’m not sure there was a published pattern. Every child enjoys a cuddly toy, and being able to make one for your own child imbues it with care and love for that child. It made me chuckle to think that the balaclava from the same wool wasn’t appreciated quite as much due to its scratchy nature!

Clearly much loved, I hope that Mrs Pademelon and her Joey will stay in my colleague’s family for a long time to come and will bring joy to a few more generations of children.

Mrs Pademelon Waves Goodbye

Mrs Pademelon says g’day!

15 Replies to “Mrs Pademelon’s New Lease of Life”

  1. This is wonderful. I enjoy seeing how you do repairs, because they’re usually different than ones I do–I try to match yarn and stitches, but that’s often not something that can be done. What you do not only fixes something, it gives it a new and interesting design and color element, and a chance to last for a lot longer than it has.

  2. Un régal pour l’œil et pour l’esprit. As-tu vu, sur le site du monsieur, les chaussures raccommodées ? À tomber. Bises. A

    Le 8 janv. 2018 à 13:48, tomofholland a écrit :

    > >

  3. Sorry for the previous mail, it is a mistake. I am a big fan of your work and I wanted to share with a friend. Thank you very much for the procedure and the eye treat. Ariane BŒGLIN-LEVENT

    Ariane BŒGLIN-LEVENT 14 avenue de la SIBELLE 75014 PARIS

    06 64 49 55 34 01 40 47 84 74

    Le 8 janv. 2018 à 13:48, tomofholland a écrit :

    > >

  4. My lovey as a child was a kangaroo, or maybe a pademelon, with a joey. It was made from rabbit. I loved most of the fur off over the years. Thank you for the memory. I hadn’t thought of Kanga in years.
    I like your repair.

  5. I did a double take when I saw the title…What is a Dutchman living in The UK doing writing about an Australian marsupial??? Lovely mending and a lovely story 🙂 Mending soft toys for children has its own rewards, my Mother had to replace 3 sets of ears on my younger brothers teddybear because they were loved off with gusto!

  6. Having read your blog I managed to buy a used copy of Mrs Pademelon’s Joey in the UK to take with us on our trip to Western Australia. My 3 year old grandson absolutely loved the story and I read it to him countless times during our six weeks stay. Thank you for introducing it to me. Now I need to knit him a little Joey to go with the book.

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