Alright, let’s fix them

Back in early August, The Boy got a pair of the spiffy Allbirds shoes (the ones made of wool!) to wear as slippers.  He likes them and has worn them around the house for the last few months.  However, come the end of December, it became clear there was a problem.  The lining of the shoes had worn through over his big toes, and the outer layer of fabric was starting to get thin.  If we didn’t do something, there would soon be a hole.

We didn’t really want to buy new ones (especially if they only last 5 months…), and they were in otherwise good shape, so I thought I’d see if I could fix them.

Needle felting seemed like the best bet.  I had the wool on hand (I also had some less colorful wool in the stash, but The Boy liked these…please don’t write to me and tell me I’m a monster for putting something colorful on a guy’s shoes — it will annoy me, and it won’t change the shoes).  I bought a felting needle and some foam and started experimenting.

I started by cutting the foam down to fit in the shoe so I’d have a firm backing behind the fabric to stab into.  Then I pulled off a tuft of the yellow wool, set it over the thin spot, and started stabbing.

It stuck just fine (which makes sense…wool sticks to wool).  I kept building up the yellow, making it thickest where the hole was, and then added on some orange, again making it thickest where the existing fabric had worn thin.  A little bit of purple finished it out.

When I pulled out the foam and put my hand in, I could totally feel where the wool and poked through and reinforced the whole area.  I suspect it will continue to felt down and tighten up as they’re worn over the next few weeks.  I’ll report back later in the year and let you know how its holding up.

I think this will solve the problem.  The worn spot is much thicker and sturdier now, and it seems like the patch will hold.  I won’t know for sure until they get some more wear on them, and I’m a little bugged that the shoes needed a repair after less than six months, but with any luck, this should make them last a lot longer!

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.

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


Somehow…and I have decided not to dwell on how (though I have refreshed all of our moth traps just to be extra cautious), a pair of The Boy’s socks got a hole.  Right up at the top where you are absolutely not getting any serious wear.

I’ve never actually dealt with a hole involving the cast on edge, but I decided it couldn’t be that different than a hole anywhere else.  Step one is find yarn…these were the options the stash offered.

From left to right that’s two yarns from a Frabjulous Fibers color morph on Cheshire Cat in the Yellow to Fuchsia color and two yarns from an Indigo Dragonfly Tornadoz set on Chameleon Sock in the Cahoots color.  They’re all leftovers from upcoming Curls 3 projects (and I’m working on the assumption that the lovey yarn companies who sent the yarn won’t mind me using a yard or two of the project leftovers to mend a sock…because yarn people are cool like that).  The closest match seemed to be the orange-er of the two Frabjulous Fibers yarns.

And the result isn’t exactly perfect (you can totally tell there’s a mend…the yarn isn’t an exact match and there’s a wodgy bit where the middle of the hole was).  But when it’s down at ankle height, it’s not super noticeable, and it will keep the socks in the rotation going forward.  Totally worth the 30 minutes it takes to do the mending!

The pattern is Xanthophyll, and if you’re reading this the day the post goes up and happen to scroll back and look at the post that went up earlier today, you’ll see something nifty.

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 got 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.