Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Being a DIYer, I love the mentality of 'make do and mend'. Why discard something that I love, simply because it has a hole in it? Since adopting this philosophy, I've gotten pretty handy at darning knits. Darning is my go-to solution for holes, but I admit that darning can sometimes be unsightly. That's when I fall back on my second favorite strategy: patches.

Patches are great for covering up a darn and for adding more fabric to a high-stress area. For me, this is often the elbows of a much-loved sweater. I've patched one sweater with 2-mm felt, but this time I am trying something different: using woven squares from my handloom.

It turns out that a 4"x4" handloom is the perfect size for elbow patches. To patch the sweater, I simply darned the holes in the elbows and then used a blunt darning needle to sew a square directly over top. As the squares don't take to long to make, I was able to freshen up my sweater rather quickly.

I will note--for anyone who wants to follow in my footsteps--that you should pay attention to the yarn weight. I used KnitPicks Palette for my patches, as that was what I had on hand that coordinated best, but most handlooms aren't designed for fingering weight. I tried the yarn held single and double (above) and, while the doubled yarn matches better with the loom gauge, I decided I liked the drape of the single yarn. In the end, I wove with a single yarn held taught, so the squares pulled together when I took them off the loom and the weave was not too loose.

I'm very happy to have finally hidden the unsightly darns on this sweater, though I wasn't entirely satisfied with the patches at first. It looked too much like a mend instead of an intentional style. To this end, I decided to add a front breast pocket to tie everything together. It was simple to make one more square and I love how the sweater now leans more to "colorblock" than "mended". So hooray for weaving and adding new life to an old sweater!


Ashley said...

Cute! And useful. This is an awesome way to jazz up some "boring" closet wear as well.

Says the girl with 4 black cardigans...

Meredith Culberson said...

The elbow patch is very popular this year, and t seems like all my favourite shops have shirts with this feature. Thanks for the inspiration!