Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

More Adventures in Mending

More Adventures in Mending

I have my own Dapper Dan doll and he is always wrecking his clothes.

We were eating breakfast yesterday morning when I looked over at the husband and noticed he had a hole in the arm of his sweater. And not just a small hole—it was about an inch across in both directions. I suggested he go change and leave me that sweater so I could fix it.

Of course, this repair necessitated a trip to the yarn storage room and then—because I hadn’t put my bins back properly with the labels facing out—I had to search through half a dozen bins to find the one with sock yarn in it. I chose sock yarn because it was the closest in weight. Also, being sock yarn, it was a tightly-spun nylon blend that I knew would hold up.

[Looking through my yarn stash was an interesting experience, as I haven’t done that for some time. I found myself fondling my stash of Alice Starmore yarn and yearning to make some sweaters. Maybe I was overcome by the smell of lanolin. I just haven’t felt that way about knitting for a while. I suppose it will always be my first love.]

Darning is always an option if the hole is small enough. However, I’ve got a method for patching holes in sweaters that I developed about 25 years ago when I repaired some cardigans for a friend that had worn through the elbows. The holes on that sweater were large and not amenable to darning, so this is what I came up with. I thought about doing a tutorial while I was working on the husband’s sweater, but it’s navy blue and really hard to photograph clearly. If anyone has a burning need for this information, let me know and I’ll consider doing a proper tutorial.

I start by picking up stitches in the sweater below the hole:

SweaterHole1.jpg

I went back and picked up a few more on either side, just so I could get good coverage. The patch is attached to the stitches of the sweater as I knit up, and it’s important to attach those stitches in spots where the integrity of the background knitting is still intact.

I cut off a length of about 3’ of yarn. I can’t work from the ball with this method because at each side, I have to pull the yarn through the background stitches to attach the patch.

Eventually, I got the patch knitted up far enough to cover the hole:

SweaterHole2.jpg

At that point, I duplicate stitched the live stitches on the needle to the stitches of the sweater to attach it at the top. I cleaned up and trimmed the broken stitches on the inside and then dabbed on a bit of Fray-Chek to keep them from unraveling further.

I finished the patch after dinner and handed the sweater back to the husband and he said, “The patch on the inside of my heated vest needs to be replaced—can you fix it again?”

I replaced the patch but warned him that it wasn’t going to last forever. That’s the vest with the polyester lining that I think really ought to be Cordura, but I am not going to replace all of it.

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One of the reasons I wanted to get the Ritzville quilt top done by the end of January was so I could take it with me to quilting yesterday and get some expert opinions on how to quilt it. We spread it out on a table, and as each of the ladies came in, Pat asked for input. The quilting ladies are willing to do it and now I think we have a plan.

As it turned out, I could only stay for a few hours in the morning because I had an appointment after lunch, so there was no point in setting up a comforter to tie. Pat sat me down at the quilt they’ve been working on and got me situated with a needle and thread and a thimble to fit my short, squat fingers. (I have a thimble at home that I love and would like to have about six more just like it, but I can’t find them anywhere.) This quilt has “prairie quilting” with cotton crochet thread and it’s very forgiving to new quilters. I am much slower than the rest of them but I suppose that will come with practice. It’s fun and I think Margaret would have been proud of my stitches.

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Someone commented this week that they liked my purse—the Fremont Tote—and I said, “Thank you, I made it myself!” Members of the the bag making groups on Facebook often admonish each other to be proud of what they have done and accept compliments gracefully. Unfortunately, as soon as that person had commented on it, I noticed that one of the Chicago screws on a grab handle had come undone and fallen out (oops). I need to go through all of them today and add some Loctite to keep that from happening again.

All Over the Sewing Map

All Over the Sewing Map

11,664 Square Inches

11,664 Square Inches