I have a cheap cotton sweater from some fast fashion place (maybe Old Navy, maybe Target, I’m not 100% sure, it’s at least six or seven years old). It started life as an actual wear-out-in-public sweater. Then after a year or so, it transitioned to a pajama sweater (I know, some people loathe cotton sweaters, and they’re not what you want to wear if your goal is to keep warm, but they’re my favorite thing to wear as pajamas, and I am the boss of my pajamas, so I get to wear them if I want).
And now…well now I’ve worn it so much it sprung a hole in the elbow because the fabric got worn out. And I hate shopping so much that I’m fixing it.
I started by laddering the dropped stitches back up to make the hole smaller (that’s a good way to start most any mend).
Then I used some thread to stitch back and forth across the hole, catching the stitches top and bottom so the hole wouldn’t grow under the patch, and picked up a row of stitches below the hole.
Now all I had to do was start knitting back and forth. At the edges of each right side row, I picked up a stitch from the sweater and knit it together with a stitch from the patch. That holds the patch to the sweater on the sides.
It certainly won’t be invisible. It won’t even be terribly decorative (I’m sort of thinking I chould have gone with a higher contrast yarn to make it even more dramatic, but the speckled gray was so pretty I couldn’t resist, it’s the leftovers from this project in the Silver Lining Tweed colorway). But it should make the sweater last a good bit longer, especially if I do the other elbow, too. I’ll show it off when it’s done!
Oh and I’m going to sneak in a bit of a preemptive response. Someone, somewhere is limbering up their fingers to write and tell me I could have avoided this had I just been cleverer/cooler/more responsible and not bought a cheap sweater in the first place. And maybe that’s even true! But the more conscientiously made/sourced stuff is a heck of a lot more expensive, and it’s super hard to find it in fat lady sizes (even more so seven years ago). Sometimes budget or availability demands that you buy the cheap stuff and then make it work for as long as you can. And I’m pretty convinced that getting a few more years of wear out of something you already have has got to be at least as good a choice as buying something new to replace it, no matter how carefully made the new thing is. So, after this repair, this sweater will join the ranks of other things I’ve mended over the years, and we’ll see just how long we can make it last!