Category Archives: sewing

Finishing Cashmere Sweater Repair

In my previous post, I explained how to pick up stitches and knit a patch to cover a hole in a machine knit cashmere sweater.

Now that you have picked up your skitches for the flap and knit it, you need to join the other three sides. The easiest way to do this is to pick up the corresponding stitches on the other side of the hole, in alignment with the stitches at the bottom of the hole.

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You will pick up the right leg of each stitch, exactly the same way you picked up the previous stitches, and kitchener stitch them together. Make sure you have a very long tail, because you are going to go all the way around the patch.

If you don’t know how to kitchener stitch, there are plenty of great photo tutorials online, like this one at Knitty.com

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When you get to the end of your kitchener stitches, use one needle to pick up 3 of every 4 stitches on the edge of the patch, and on the actual sweater directly underneath where the patch will end up. Both knitting needles need to have the same number of stitches on them. You want to pick up the “purl bumps” that are the bars between the knit stitches.

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Using your ball point darning needle and the same piece of thread, ladder stitch/seam these two edges together. Pull firmly on the thread, but not so tight that you bunch up the fabric.

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When you get to the end, duplicate stitch your way across the bottom,  and ladder stitch your way up the right side. Duplicate stitch your way across the top for 3 or 4 stitches, weave in your end and snip it.

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The last thing I like to do is press the patch a little with a dp washcloth and brush it lightly with a clean toothbrush to give the patch a little but of a fuzzy halo toatch the fuzziness of the original garment.

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A patch is always going to look like a patch. It is not an invisible fix, but well done, it can extend the life of your well-loved garment.

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Cashmere Sweater Repair

I have a small side business repairing sweaters for local people.

Today I am going to walk you through my method for repairing a hole in the elbow of a machine knit cashmere sweater.

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First you need a knitting needle that is the appropriate size to make a patch that looks similar to the original knitted fabric. Most cashmere sweaters are knit on a US size 1 or 0 needle. Here I am using Hiya Hiya needles in 2.0mm size. I could have used a smaller needle if I had them. I prefer these steel needles for delicate repair work because the yarn slides nice and smoothly across the needle.

You will also need a thread to produce the color patch that suits your interest best. Regia makes a woolen/nylon thread in a wide range of colors. Usually I can find a color similar enough for the project I’m working on.

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So the first step is to determine the true size of the repair needed. It’s easy to underestimate the actual damage. Don’t be tempted to make a repair too small or it won’t last very long. 

Most holes are actually twice as big as they look if you take into account the area outside of the hole where the thread or yarn has worn thin. This will soon unravel if you attach your repair to this area. So go beyond that to where the yarn is strong, healthy and the original thickness.

Starting at the bottom of the hole, in the healthy fabric, pick up the right leg of each knitted stitch to accommodate a wide enough patch, plus 2 more stitches (I’ll explain why the plus 2 in a moment.) In this case I have picked up 24 stitches.  This actual patch needs to be 22 stitches, plus 2.

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Now, counting up from the row you picked up, count how many rows you need so you don’t lose track of how big of a patch to make. This particular sweater needs 26 rows to get to the healthy fabric on the other side of the hole.

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Next, you just knit and purl your way through the rows until you have a little flap of fabric attached at the end you started on.

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In my next post I’ll show you how to attach the repair flap on the other 3 sides making a nearly invisible repair.

Finished Diaper Soaker Covers

I couldn’t wait to finish Peep’s new pants/diaper covers, so I broke out my borrowed sewing machine today and got them sewed up in about 2 hours.

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They aren’t the most beautiful things I’ve ever sewn, but the sewing machine was acting a little wonky, and all I had was black thread. And I rushed to get them done. They are rugged enough,  just kind of…ugly. lol, who cares? They will keep her legs warm and her bottom dry so I’m happy.

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I have a regular long pants pattern, but they use such fabric, and don’t keep runny baby poos contained as well as the soakers, which aren’t warm enough for winter use. They are so bulky I don’t like putting pants over the diaper covers either. So I used the sleeves for the long pants and attached them to the covers with an elasticized inner piece. It was an experiment with the elastic, so I only did it to one pair to see how the baby cares for it.

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The blue and brown pairs are merino, the white cabled pair is just plain felted wool. The short ones with the high waist are 90% merino/10% angora, and I made them extra thick to be worn overnight.

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So now they are sitting in half gallon mason jars soaking in soapy lanolin water until tomorrow. Then I’ll drain them, wring them out and hang them up to dry by the woodstove. Once they are dry, they’ll be ready to use. Yippee!

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