It’s cool enough to reach for a sweater, and around here, that means this ancient, lovely thing.  It also means patching up the latest round of holes (seriously, the fabric is thinner than a tshirt, it gets tiny holes if you so much as look at it).

Luckily, that’s something I rather enjoy.

If you peruse the embroidery tag on here, you’ll see many of the previous mends.  (This is the bit where I preemptively mention that I can’t show you the whole thing at once because the mends are all over and there is no way to take a photo that encompasses all of them, plus the sweater is big and the mends are small, so if I try and take a picture of the whole think it looks like junk…you’ll just have to live with the mystery.)


Done! Er…for now…

And with that, I’m calling this patch of stitching done.

The first bit of stitching was in a previous post, the middle bit is below.  If you want to watch the progression of stitches on these, you can check out the embroidery tag on here and scroll backwards.

Now, it’s all but certain I will get/find another hole in this some time soon.  And I’ve given in and bought spare of all the colors I used stitching this so I can keep repairing it as I run out of thread (it’s just DMC embroidery floss, which you can find for like the cost of a stamp at pretty much any hobby store).

Now, for the housekeeping bits.  First off, no, I won’t show you the whole thing.  I’ve tried, and there’s not a way to take a picture that both shows all of the stitching and looks good (the stitching is small, the sweater is large, it just doesn’t work), so I’m not going to do it.  You’ll have to live with the mystery.

And second, there are lots of books on stitching if you want to read one.  I’ve recommended this one and this one and this one and this one in the past (as always, amazon links are affiliate links).  There are online guides too.  But I pretty much just made it up as I went along, and that method has a lot to recommend it.  You can always pick it out if you don’t like it!


Yes, yes the cardigan is back.  Remember it, the one I’ve been stitching on for, um, two years now on and off (scroll down)?  Yeah, it’s back.

The fact that this gets so many holes is proof either that I’m too rough on my clothes, that it was too delicate to begin with, or that I wear it all the time and therefore just beat up on it a lot.  Possibly all three.  But at this point, I’m not sad to see the holes, so I don’t really see a problem.

Just a little bit more

And here’s the third patch for this go round.

This one was another hole at the edge of the pocket (and a good reminder that if I ever knit a sweater, I should maybe do something to reinforce the corners of the pockets from the get go).

And that’s probably the end.  Probably.  I need to give the whole thing one more check to see if there are any other spots that need attention before it goes back in the closet!

More Mending

So remember that sweater? The one that I spent far too much time mending already (scroll down…you’ll see it)?  Yeah…yeah so it’s due for another round.  It’s got a few holes (I wear it all the time, I climb on rocks and through prickly things more than I should, and I have kittens…holes are a given).  I’ve  got some thread, and I clearly have an excess of free time.

I should probably just find another pajama sweater…I’ve had this one since at least 2014 and I’ve worn it more than just about anything else in my closet.

But I love this one (all the more now that I’ve stitched the ever living crap out of it)…and I hate shopping.  And to buy a replacement is sort of expensive (for you see, I’d want this one…because it has pockets and comes in a zillion colors and sizes).

So I mend it.  Kind of a lot.  And I’ve decided that really is ok.  And I’ve been super pleased with how well the stitching has held up in the wash (that bottom patch there is 9 months old and still looks just fine after lots of washes).

I am in no way an expert (clearly), but I’d call myself a cheerful amateur. I’m currently eyeing this book and this book (to improve my skills…since if I’m going to keep doing this I might as well learn something).  And I’ve recommended this one and this one in the past if you want somewhere to get started (as always, amazon links are affiliate links).

And in the meantime, I’ll be over here starting in on holes two and three and four!

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.

There’s still a hole in my sweater

It’s true…the hole (or rather holes) are  still there.  But I find I don’t mind them so much now!

DSC_2785 copyFull disclaimer, I know next to nothing about embroidery.  Which should be fairly obvious to anyone who does know something about it.  So apologies if you’re cringing over there.

DSC_2788 copyMy approach really is more or less keep doodling until it starts to look interesting.  I think it’s a viable technique, all things considered.

DSC_2803 copyI mean really, if you hate it, you can pick it back out.  And I sort of don’t hate it.  I might actually rather like it!

So what do you think?  Is that one done, or should I do a few more?  I’m considering moving onto the other holes and coming back to this one once they’re done (just so I don’t lose all enthusiasm and let it sit half mended in the closet for 3 months).  But there’s a part of me that wants to keep going until that’s 6 inches across!