My reputation as a knitwear repair whiz brings sweaters, afghans, baby blankets into Melrose’s yarn shop. Always frugal, my heart always prefers repair to replace, but this recent sweater was a challenge. If it weren’t for Scrapiana’s posts on Twitter and Instagram about #TheBigMend, I might have suggested ways to up cycle this designer light as air hooded cardigan.
With such a large hole, matching the navy cashmere fine yarn was a huge endeavor.
- The first choice is use the mending yarn that came with the sweater. Of course, you can never find that when you need it.
- Second, could I shorten or remove hems to harvest yarn for the repair? Not without many trickle down issues.
- Could we source a similar yarn? The client tried without success and finally, the fine folks at In Stitches suggested that I try embroidery wool. The navy looked quite close, so ahead I went.
Then of course, the real work began:
- Write the lace pattern to match the existing decrease and increase methods.
- Determine the gauge and appropriate needles to obtain the gauge.
- Identify the actual section to reknit.
- For this project, I picked up the bottom row of stitches in the replacement section, joining the rows to the sweater as I worked. Then I grafted the last row of replacement stitches to the cardigan.
- Weave in any ends of the original sweater
- Check the garment for other wear and tear.
In this instance, the mend is visible. That navy embroidery wool looks quite bright next to the original garment (no, it really isn’t a black sweater). It’s mended, whew. It’s not invisible, wah. Can’t perfection always be an option? No, Alanna, not always! A life lesson lurks somewhere in this knitwear repair.