Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Knit Repair

You may have noticed this little beauty in the pile of books from the Needlearts bookshop:

This is, as it says, "Flawless Knit Repair" by Rena Crockett (who sounds like a make-believe Pioneer Woman of the old school). It's a slim volume but I think it will prove to be worth its weight in gold. The reason for ordering this was that, horror of all horrors, there has been some pesky creature at my knitting.

Holes (yes, that would be plural) have appeared in the Siberian Winter Shawl. The very first shawl I ever knitted and knitted with my knitbud, who knows who she is, and doesn't, as far as I know, have any holes in her Siberian Winter.

I got the book and read it. Always a good start, and especially good for Kate, who likes reading, and often prefers reading to doing. As is often the way of things, practice makes perfect. This afternoon has been dedicated to practising.

I knitted a swatch - quite a novelty for me. I cut the swatch in the middle and I unravelled the cut threads and pinned them on either side. Just as when you start cleaning the house it seems to get worse before it can get better. There is always a point when you think, "Why didn't I just leave it as it was?" That point came fairly early in the proceedings.

Deep breathing (no chocolate yet, though). Now it's time to Kitchener the stitches together with sewing thread to stabilize everything. (Pass the chocolate!)

I used a contrast coloured thread, as instructed. It's not going too badly so far.

Next, weave the repair yarn under and over the sewing thread:

OK so far.

Then use a crochet hook to recreate each column of stitches and Kitchener together at the top with more repair yarn in a tapestry needle.

Here we see the first two columns finished:

Looking slightly wobbly - nothing to what I was feeling like at this stage. Continue all along the row. Turn the work over and repair the slits at each side. This is where it all went a bit pear-shaped. Mostly because I hadn't had enough chocolate and had just started on the wine. I did it, though, and while it isn't as perfect as the original:

I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt:

And finally, because the back should be as "tidy" as the front, here's the finished back:

It's slightly more bulky than it should be, because I got bored with weaving in ends, but it ain't too bad.

I've learned a lot - one of the things being you can never have enough chocolate on hand when Kitchener stitch rears its ugly head.

I'm off to lie down in a darkened room.


Heather said...

What an amazing technique! I'd love to learn how to do that. I have a cat that loves to eat yarn.

Anonymous said...

When we started on the Siberian Winter shawl those many moons ago, we were essentially on a level playing field when it came to knitting, charting, and chocolate. You've outdone yourself with 'knit repair' and I do believe you'll make a wonderful mentor!

Unknown said...

It's now 2016 and apparently impossible to find that book. Do you know if you can get in touch with the publisher? I read somewhere that it may be self published, and one might be able to get it from the author. It has been a number of years. Or perhaps you yourself could take the knowledge and write a similar book? One that many of us might buy? I have a terrible moth problem.

Put your prize knitted things in the freezer for two days, or outside when it is freezing, to kill off the eggs that may be lingering.


Anonymous said...

To Unknown - I too have a moth problem which is usually pronounced in the summer. I live in an apartment that is next to a lot of trees and suspect the moths, which are attracted to birds nests are plentiful because of the location. What I found helpful is - moth traps by Aeroxon. Because they are expensive, I cut them in two lengthwise and just use half at a time. One in the hall closet and one in the bedroom closet. Next fly traps hanging, one in the hall closet and one in the bedroom. Between these two devices many are caught and thus put out of action. Ziploc big bags, size L hold my sweaters, mostly in the summer. It is not a good idea to keep garments for long periods on plastic bags, I do take them out from time to time and jumble them about to air them out. Martha Stewart has some information on this.