Darn it

I managed to get a funny hole in my sock.  It’s on top of the toes (not a spot where I usually get a lot of wear), and closer examination revealed that it’s just one popped strand.  There’s no sign of wear (the fabric around it isn’t thin), so my guess is it just got caught on something (kitten claws are a distinct possibility) and snapped.  This is easy to fix…

I started by securing the freestanding stitch with one of my very favorite safety pins/stitch markers.  The strand that broke is directly above this stitch.  The safety pin keeps the dangling stitch from running down any farther and makes it easier to recreate the fabric around and over the hole.  Then I moved out a few rows below and to the side of the hole (when in doubt go bigger) and started duplicate stitching over the existing fabric.

When I g0t to the row with the pinned stitch, I kept on duplicate stitching, just following the path of the existing yarn like I had been all along.  That meant going right through the pin.  The pin helps make the new stitch the right size and keeps the damaged fabric stabilized while I’m working.

On the row where the broken stitch means there’s actually missing fabric, I used the outside edge of the pin as a guide.  I just wraped the yarn around it to make the missing stitch. This is the only spot where I was actually creating totally new fabric (instead of tracing the path of existing fabric).  It’s easy enough when you’re only dealing with one stitch, but if there were more, I’d use one pin per column of bad stitches (and it does get trickier if there are lots of missing stitches…though it can be done).

Once I was past the hole, I just did a few more rows to finish it off and called it good.  The pin stayed in the same place the whole time and made it much easier to line up the stitches where the underlying thread was gone (and kept the hole from getting bigger as I tugged on the surrounding fabric as I worked).

If this had been a hole caused by wear I would have used thicker yarn and made a bigger patch.  But since this is just a snapped strand, this should take care of stabilizing it and make the socks fine for many more wearings.  The whole thing took about fifteen minutes (and would have taken less if I’d not been taking pictures), which seems like a fine investment to keep using something that probably took twenty hours to make in the first place.

And done!

I’m calling this little patch of stitching done!

That’s the one I just did now, and just for reminders, here are the ones I did back in November.

That’s the one on the cuff.

And that’s the one on the front near the pocket.

And here’s the one on the back up by the shoulder.

And here’s where I’m super mean and say no, I can’t really take a picture that shows them to you all at once (several people asked last time).  That’s because they’re all over the place on the sweater, and you can’t actually see them all at once.  So you’ll just have to take my word for it that they’re festive!

And as for how to do it?  I can’t really tell you because I was just making it up (and I highly recommend that approach…you’re not going to hurt anything by experimenting).  But if you want some hand holding, this book is good (think stitch dictionary, but for embroidery rather than knitting).  And if you want some ideas for what to stitch, there are some adorable things in this one.  But really, you can probably just wing it!

One more round

Remember back in November when I had some holes in an old sweater? And I hated the idea of shopping so much that I decided to embroider over the things instead of buying a new sweater (you can follow along on the whole adventure over here if you’re so inclined, scroll down…).

Yeah, well the sweater got another hole (kittens…blame kittens).  But once you’re that invested in fixing something, you’re not going to let it go for one more little hole.  You’re going to grab the same batch of threads you used last time and stitch on it some more.

And that’s just what I did.  That’s what it looked like after round one.

And here’s round two.

I think there will be a round three as well.

The original bits of stitching have held up well over the last few months, so I don’t feel like it’s wasted time.  I am, however, running low on these colors and may grab an extra skein of them so that when the next hole inevitably appears, I’m ready to fix it too.

Officially now decorations, not holes!

So let’s see where we ended up.  First the sleeve.

DSC_2832 copy

Then the shoulder.

DSC_2837 copy

Then the front.

DSC_2852 copyI love it.  Totally couldn’t be happier.  I’m actually considering doing this in a few other spots on the sweater where there are no holes just for the fun of it because I don’t want to be done yet.

And for folks asking or wondering, no it’s really not hard.  You can find embroidery floss at most any craft store.  The only other things you need are a needle (I like the blunt ones, but some people like pointy ones…experiment and see what you like) and maybe an embroidery hoop (I like the plastic ones better than the wooden ones because they’re less likely to snag your fabric).  If you want some hand holding, this book is good (think stitch dictionary, but for embroidery rather than knitting).  And if you want some ideas for what to stitch, there are some adorable things in this one.  But really, you can probably just wing it.

Now what do you think…would you do this (or a version of it…there are more subtle versions!) to a sweater that had a hole?  Or is it a bit too odd to see the light of day?

I’m starting to like the holes in my sweater

So I took a break from the hole on the front of the sweater and moved onto the one on the cuff of the sleeve.  The first round of stitching looked something like this.

DSC_2822 copyThen I spent some time on the one on the back of the shoulder (right where the front, back, and sleeve all come together).  It’s working out something like this.

DSC_2824 copyIn both cases I’ve gone with stabilizing (or really even emphasizing) the hole rather than trying to hide it.  And both spots will be getting Lots More Stitches before this is over.  But I’m having so much fun I wanted to show off some process shots as we go.