The greatest compliment I receive as a knitter is when an item I gifted is worn, loved, and now in need of repair due to use, not neglect. At Penguin Girl I recently wrote a little about mending a shawl my mother loves. The pattern is Shift Shawl, designed by Larissa Brown. I test knit this fun shawl in 2014. I’ve made many things for my mother over the years, however this shawl is definitely her favourite.
The main types of repairs are darning, patching, grafting, and reknitting. The technique I choose is dependent on extent of damage, location of repair, availability of mending yarn, and my time. One isn’t necessarily always better than any other, they each perform best for different situations. In some instances you may determine extra reinforcement and an obvious patch are more important than to return the item to how it originally looked.
While I had an ideal for how I wanted to make the repairs for this project, there were practical considerations I had to keep in mind. My mum is always cold and didn’t want it out of commission for more than an evening while I worked on it. Therefore I chose to make a patch for the largest hole in the shawl and then quickly closed up smaller snags and weak threads by grafting/tracing.
This new patch hopes to both keep the shawl in one piece and provide additional reinforcement. After sewing in the patch I embroidered chain stitch down the center back to try to introduce visual consistency with the original shawl. The center back part of the shawl is a vulnerable location and she could continue to inadvertently snag it while she wears it.
It was great to test a Purl & Loop Minute Weaver while making the patch. I hope the woven fabric will prove more durable than my loose gauge garter stitch. There will be a post about Purl and Loop looms soon, for a preview check out the Cool Stuff in the current issue of Knitty.
I’ve collected a few links to assist you in mending. Do you have a favourite resource you’d like to share?
- The Visible Mending Programme of Tom van Deijnen
- All About Textile Repair: How to Repair with Stitching (sew mama sew)
- Repairing Knitwear by Kate Atherley (knitty spring 2006)
- Learn the lost art of mending knitted garments (treehugger)
- Repairing Knits by Beth Brown-Reinsel, Knitting Traditions
- How to Fix a Small Hole in a Knit – Glorious Mending by Tasha Miller Griffith