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Tips & Techniques > Re-claim knits from moth damage.

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Posted by: room2ndfloor

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Member since: 8/26/08
Reviews: 36 (tips: 3)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 10/13/09 3:41 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 9 people   
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This is an Irish sweater re-claimed from extensive moth damage.

First, I washed the sweater by hand and blocked it, to reveal all the moth holes.

Using stitch markers and small lengths of yarn, I marked all of the holes needing mending.

By daylight in the morning (see true colors then), I blended two colors of yarn to get the heathery effect of the original.

To mend the holes, I used a fine-gauge crochet hook and a yarn needle. Technique was a comination of darning and crocheting, and I kept the tension light so it would stretch with the original knitting. As I finished each hole, I stretched the fabric to make sure that the mending blended in.

I then converted the pullover style to a zip-front cardigan. Using a yarn needle with contrasting yarn, I marked two lines on the front of the pullover, then cut the sweater between them. This is a Scottish/Scandinavian technique called a "steek". I then ravelled the damaged front portion back to my marked line and hand-overcast the open edge.

I then picked up stitches on each side of the front, both sides the same number of stitches. I knitted the bands in a 2X 2 rib (2 knits, 2 purls). This ribbing is eases well onto a rigid zipper tape. To bind off, I used a crochet hook slightly larger than my knitting needle.

I basted in the zipper by hand. As Elizabeth Zimmerman said, the strength is in the zipper itself, so many small gentle stitches will hold it in well. I used button and carpet thread to hand-pick the zipper into each bound-off stitch on the front, and I hand-overcast the back side of the zipper on the outer edge of the tape. This double sewing makes the zipper opening strong and it stabilizes the zipper band.

Finally, I reinforced the cuffs and bottom band with a row of double crochet.

Voila! An expensive Irish sweater, now fit for many more years of wear.

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catsmeow said... (11/10/09 10:45 PM) Reply
Your sweater looks great! No one would ever know that it ever had anything wrong with it. Good job!
christine A said... (10/14/09 7:34 PM) Reply
Wonderful! I love a good 'rescue' story.
ALFALFA said... (10/14/09 1:21 PM) Reply
excellent work. The cardigan looks like it started out that way. lynne
pjrsews said... (10/14/09 10:46 AM) Reply
Fixing something that most people would have to discard is such a great feeling! Nice work!!
Elaine Dougan said... (10/13/09 7:11 PM) Reply
Very well done!
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