Knit Repair – How to Mend Your Knits
There are lots of ways to mend your knits, including adding colour and covering stains. It may not be perfect, but it’s always better than throwing it away.
One of the simplest techniques for repairing fabric holes is called darning, a stitch that replaces the old material with new yarn that closely matches it. This technique can make holes virtually undetectable.
1. Repairing a hole
If a hole is only one row deep, you can graft it with a piece of contrasting yarn (see this page for an example). The secret to making it work is in getting the stitches lined up correctly.
If the hole is bigger, you can use a technique called darning. This is where you create a frame of stitching around the hole using duplicate stitch. Then you weave yarn in and out through the stitches to make a woven patch. This is not a quick fix but it is relatively easy to do.
Some companies specialize in mending knitted and woven garments. They can actually make holes disappear! However, this is expensive. We can mend your items using a different method that is much less costly. Prices vary depending on the size of the hole. This service also includes ozone treatment to remove odours, fungus and pests from your knitwear. This is an excellent way to revive your beloved sweaters.
2. Repairing a seam
Whether it’s a moth, a chewed on sleeve or just plain wear and tear, torn seams are a knitter’s worst nightmare. While they might seem daunting to fix, it’s really quite simple and can be done with a few basic tools and techniques.
To start, it’s important to use yarn that is a close match for the garment you are mending. It’s also a good idea to use the same fibre type. This will ensure the mended area is as strong as possible and doesn’t have any further problems.
Use a small darning mushroom or egg under the hole for support, then work a running stitch to cover the gap. Be sure to extend the stitches 3/8 inch above and below the hole. You can even use contrasting colors for a patchwork look if that’s what you like! Once you’ve covered the hole, snip off excess thread.
3. Repairing a pull
A pulled thread is the result of a stitch catching on something, and then being twisted around the fabric and distorted. It can ruin the appearance of a knitted item, but it’s relatively easy to fix.
Work from the wrong side of the garment, and gently stretch the material to smooth it out (some of the snagged thread may retract into this). You can also use a blunt needle to tease it back into place, spreading out the tension in the yarn around the snag.
If you have a good kit of tools, this repair is simple. Include a darning mushroom (to support the fabric as you darn without stretching it), scissors, and a sturdy darning needle (for sewing on buttons). Sewing thread in cotton or an all-purpose blend comes in endless colors; choose a color that matches your fabric, or go with contrasting yarn for a patchwork look.
4. Repairing a stitch
It’s pretty easy to drop a stitch while knitting — it can slip out of your project bag, or pop off the end of your needle. The good news is that it’s easy to fix, too! The trick is to look at your fabric regularly and be sure to count your stitches, so you can spot a lost stitch when it happens.
Once you find a dropped stitch, you can either unknit it and recreate the stitch as you go or pick up the stitches around it with a darning needle, using a yarn that matches your knitted piece or is even a contrasting color to make the repair less visible. This method also works for repairing a hole caused by a moth nibble, or covering up a snag or smudge.
All these techniques are a breeze once you know how to do them. And they’ll help you to avoid some of the more common knitting mistakes, so that your new sweater or hat will be just as beautiful as it was on the block!