Repair your knitting
November 15, 2010
No one ever imagines accidents will ever befall their knitted goods, but accidents do happen. When they do it is important to know how to repair your knitting. There is no one sure way to fix every possible accident that could 'ruin' a knitted project but there are certain steps and techniques to know that can save your hard work and restore knitting. For an example we shall use a pair of Knucks that I knit for my photographer brother a few years ago as a Christmas present. Unfortunately, his dog loved them too- a little too much and chewed off the pinky. I have been circling it for a few weeks trying to decide how to approach the damage and repair it without reknitting. I just decided to jump in but work slow and see where it went. I still had some wool left over so I was feeling good!
I started by pulling on the loose ends and pulling out any stray threads. Basically clearing the rubble. I wanted to get to a continuous row of loops to put back on a needle and perhaps just knit up the pinky again. However, the nature of the pattern didn't allow knitting just the pinky. Knucks are knit from the top down with the fingers knit individually then knit together then the body of the Knuck is knit down from the fingers. The damage did not go past where the fingers joined the body so I had to pull off all the fingers. One of the threads chewed was the row that joined the fingers together.
Once the fingers were removed, I put the body on a circular needle and set aside. I reknit all the fingers following the pattern to one row after the fingers were knit together. Next I stitched the fingers to the body with a Kitchener stitch. The Kitchener stitch allows for a seamless, invisible join of both pieces of knitting and can be used on live stitches or bound off ends. This was the easiest part and the most satisfying. Once done the knuck looked as good as new (minus weaving in the ends).
Here is a quick review of the steps:
1) Clear the rubble (pull loose threads and damaged rows). Don't worry about pulling out rows, you want to get to a full row and clean off all the damage. If you pull out too much or all- you are no worse off than if you hadn't tried at all, so no worries.
2) Put your clean live stitches on a needle and asses the loss. What parts are missing?
3) Read the pattern, especially the part that was damaged and missing. Read how to reknit that area and how it is joined. Try to follow the directions as closely as possible to recreate the missing parts
4) Join your reknitted part to the existing knit with a join that either closely resembles the original or is invisible, like the Kitchener stitch.
These steps can be used on sleeves, socks, gloves, toys, most knitted goods. Just pour yourself a cup of coffee, take a deep breath and jump in. If you find yourself over your head, don't worry. You can reknit from scratch. At least you tried and perhaps learned something new.
Psst: I plan on doing a complete re-do of the embroidery on the Knucks using some of the techniques learn in Sublime Stitching.
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