Tag Archives: repair

I Have Made A Huge Mistake

So, you know the other day, when I told you all the changes I was planning on making to my Chuck sweater?

Well.

It’s going… not great.

Last night, I managed to get to just under the armpits.  The big cable down the front is turning out gorgeous.  I love the way each column of stitches peels off, weaves through the other columns, then joins back together.  I even managed to figure out the changes to the neckline.  I brought in the sides and raised the back of the neck slightly.  I’ll have to wait to see how it looks with the collar added, but I feel pretty confident about it.

However,  I made a huge mistake.OK, maybe not a huge mistake, but I’ve done something super dumb.

I wanted to add a cable down the back of the sweater, but instead of actually working the cable as I went, like a smart person, I kind of forgot about it until late last night.  So, like the genius I am, I dropped the six stitches I planned on using for the cable, and ripped almost all the way back to the cast-on, and started knitting them back up, cabling as I went.(Full disclosure: my husband made me a very tasty tropical drink after dinner last night, which could have been the source of last night’s excessive confidence as I ripped back these stitches.)

In the bright light of morning, I have some regrets with regard of how I’ve been going about this project.  But, I’ve got a hot cup of coffee and I’ve got my fingers crossed, so I should be able to fix the mayhem that “Last Night Allison” created.

Have you ever sat down with your knitting, only to realize you did something really dumb the night before?  What did you do, and were you able to fix it?

Moths, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Actually Fix My Husband’s Stocking

Buckle in, everyone.  It’s going to be a long one.  A tale of mystery! Suspense! Moths!

Several years ago, I knit up two lovely stockings for myself and my husband.  They were fabulous, squishy, Cascade 220 in carefully-selected  shades of evergreen, holly berry and cream.  Perfect Christmas colors.  The stockings were covered in Fair Isle color work from the cuff to the toe, and I even charted out and knit our names into the tops.  They were lovely and festive.

They looked like this (although it looks like they need to be re-blocked):

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Last year, we were decorating the house, and I pulled out the stockings.  And horror of horrors– a silver-dollar-sized hole right in the top of my husband’s stocking.

I freaked out!  My heart pounded, and I felt sick to my stomach.  How could this happen? What was I supposed to do?  I had worked so hard on those stockings!  Now some bug had come along and ripped a gigantic hole right in the middle of his name!

I’ll admit- what happened next was not one of my smartest moments.  But I panicked.

And cut the whole top off the stocking.

Just pulled out my big ol’ shears and cut off all the disgusting bug-residue, and threw it away.  For a few minutes, I felt better- the offending area was now gone and it couldn’t infect the rest of the stocking (because in my mind, that’s how moths worked.  Like I said, not my smartest moment).

But my good mood was short lived.  Because the moment I threw away the top of the stocking, I looked at what I had left.  It was not good.

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Hoo boy.

I took a few calming breaths and realized that whatever I needed to do next, I had to get more yarn- after all, I had cut off a good 4 inches, and needed to get that knitting back, one way or another.   I hopped in the car and drove to my favorite yarn shop with the sad, half-dead stocking and picked out the appropriate colors (and thank god they hadn’t been discontinued!).  This was literally a year ago.   (OK- a year and two days.)

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Yarn in hand, half-dead stocking in my knitting bag, did I run home to pick up my needles and go to work?

No.  I panicked some more and hid the project away in my knitting room.

And then forgot about it.

All year.

Whoops.

I pulled out the Christmas stuff this year, and when I saw my lone intact stocking in the box of decorations, it all came flooding back to me- the hole, the scissors, the bad decisions.

But, it’s still early(ish) in December, and I’ve mostly finished my Christmas knitting, so I sat down, determined to finally fix the stocking.

First, I considered picking up stitches from the cut-off edge, and knitting up.  But, on second thought, I realized that knitting from the other direction would throw off the Fair Isle pattern I had worked on so carefully.  I had to knit from the top down, like before, then graft the new cuff to the old stocking.

Using the intact stocking as a template, and re-charting the name panel, I worked up the cuff in an afternoon.  It looked good.  It looked like it was going to work.  I just had to figure out how to attach it.

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I examined the remains of the original stocking carefully.  I didn’t want to have to graft the top into a row of color work (I am insane, but not that insane).  Luckily, there was a solid row of green right before the snowflake panel, so that was where I decided to make my move.

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I carefully lined up the top with the rest of the stocking, and started grafting the live stitches onto the old stocking.

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It went slowly, but soon enough i had made it all the way around the cuff!  I did a little happy dance and let out a sigh of relief.

But that relief was short-lived, because now there was a weird giant crease all the way around the cuff where I had just finished grafting.

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That picture looks like I’ve just folded the knitting for dramatic effect, but I swear that was how it was laying.

Upon further inspection I realized that since I had grafted a few rows down from where I had cut the stocking in that fit of insect-inspired rage, there was now a big ridge of unwanted knitting inside my stocking.

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There was only one thing to do.  Unravel it.  (And cross my fingers that I hadn’t made a mistake in my grafting.)

I picked and pulled and before long, the ridge was gone.

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I wove in the remaining ends, and held my breath as I turned the stocking inside-out.

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And it was good as new!  A Christmas Miracle!

The stockings are now hung by the chimney with care, and I will be sure to store them in a moth-proof container this year.

Have you ever had to do major reconstructive surgery on a knit item?  How did it go?

Pulled out of shape

I have a sweater that I totally love.  It’s flattering and a really pretty color.  It goes with just about everything. I love wearing it.

But.

It gets pulls in it if you look at it wrong.

I don’t know if it’s the yarn or the stitch pattern, but something about this sweater makes it super easy to pull.  Velcro on my backpack  will totally mess it up, and I’ve accidentally zipped it in my rain coat more times than I would like to admit.

Luckily, pulls aren’t too hard to fix, if you’ve got two minutes and a tiny bit of patience.

First of all: Don’t cut them off!!  (I’ve had folks offer to cut off my pulls, and that makes me freak out.  There’s nothing scarier than a non-knitter coming at my favorite sweater with a pair of shears.  Holes in my beautiful sweater?  No!  *Shudder*)

OK, so here’s my pull.  It was kind of fluffy, because it got velcro-ed, so I tugged on it a little bit to straighten out the fibers in the pulled ply so I could see what I was doing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis pull is only one ply of yarn, so I have to get the rest of the plys out of the knitting to match this problem one.  Look at the knitting at the bottom of the pull to find the rest of the strand of yarn.  See it there?   (If your pull is a whole strand of yarn, skip this step.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used a tiny sock needle to really yank on the yarn to get the whole strand to match the single ply.  This will seem wrong, disturbing and uncomfortable.  It will look worse before it gets better, but I promise, it will get better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, here comes the fun part.  Look to either side of your super-duty pull.  See where the stitches are all tight from all your yanking?  Use your needle to start moving yarn from the pull to either side and loosening up the stitches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKeep moving along, tugging the tight stitches and evening out the yarn to make them match the rest of your knitting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce you’ve gotten most (if not all) of the pull redistributed, give your knitting a good tug in a couple of direction to set the stitches.

And, voila!  Your sweater is good as new!

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