Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Preparing Sweater for Its Second Life...

My nephew has a favourite sweater he's had for years.  My niece (his younger sister) has her eye on it for as soon as he outgrows it!  It is a beautiful Canada wool sweater with a fleece lining.
Unfortunately, the elbow on one of the arms snagged and caused a hole.  Knowing that its his favourite, and little sister wants it, my very smart sister-in-law considered different ways to fix this before the hole got bigger!

1) Sewing the hole shut.  My comment - it won't be invisible and I'd worry about the thread cutting the yarn faster over time.  Pilling of sweaters occurs from the fibers rubbing against each other, add in a nylon thread and it'll cut.

2) Elbow Patch.  This would be a cool feature, but probably not what the niece wants for 'style'

3) Patterned Darning.  This would be an equally cool feature, but probably not what the nephew wants for style.

4) Invisible Mending - and that is what I did.

A photo posted by Katherine Caughran (@stringandbeans) on

Now, with this being fleece lined, using existing yarn from the sweater (side seams) wasn't an easy task for such a small fix; however I did have a matching yarn in a slightly heavier weight.  Steps I took to fix it were:
  • I thinned the new yarn a bit so it wouldn't create a thicker area in that spot; 
  • shaved the pilling around the hole so I could see the stitches clearly, 
  • sewed a 'grid' with white cotton sock yarn to guide me and 
  • swiss darned the hole which was 3 rows by 2 stiches

Depilling helps renew the look of the sweater, and prevents future 'snags'.  Plus it gives the sweater new life...My photos don't do it justice!

A photo posted by Katherine Caughran (@stringandbeans) on

Nephew will be happy, but I'm sure my niece is going to drool over this renewal..."Hurry up and grow big brother!!!"

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