Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Patches

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!

2 comments:

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!