Mending a Woolly Jumper - craft project progress

Mending a woolly jumper – craft project update 2

When one of my favourite woolly jumpers developed holes and was in need of some serious mending, I decided to give it a bit of a thrifty make-over. In my last post on this project I was showing you that I’d designed some colourful crochet patches to cover the unwanted holes in my jumper. I’d accepted that a subtle approach to mending was no longer a possibility on my well-worn woolly.

Creating the crochet patches didn’t really take too long, but then time ran into mid-Winter festivities and now here I am ready to progress with this thrifty mending project, especially as warm woolly jumpers are currently an essential item of clothing for our chilly January days.

Before sewing on the crochet patches, I wanted to increase the stability of the underlying knitted fabric. To do this, I chose to make a preliminary darn of each holed area of the jumper. The darned areas would then be covered over with the crochet patches.

Quickly darned holes to give worn knitted fabric stability
Darned areas of jumper to give worn knitted fabric stability

For the darning, I used some odd lengths of red double knit yarn I had left from creating the patches. First I stranded the yarn – separating it into its three constituent yarn threads as I wanted to work with thinner yarn than the original double knit. Using a darning needle, I worked my way across each of the damaged areas. I darned quite loosely as I didn’t want a really dense fabric underneath the patches. The images in the gallery below show you this process.

On my jumper, I had identified that some of the holes also had ladders running from them and the knitting loops had come undone. I’d noted the ladders on my mending plan.

Mending a Woolly Jumper - my to-do list
Task 1 of my new craft project: make a plan

It is a fairly simple process to mend ladders in knitted fabrics using a small crochet hook. I chose a 1.5mm hook for this task. You start by finding the loop wherever it is lurking at the bottom of the current ladder and insert the crochet hook into it. Then it is simply a case of hooking through each successive ‘lost’ knitted loop, working your way towards the top of the ladder. You can see this process in the gallery of images below.

When you’ve caught up all of the ‘lost’ knitted loops, it’s best to leave the final loop on the crochet hook until you have your darning thread ready to catch down the loop and secure it.

Mending a ladder in a wool jumper using a crochet hook
Secure the loop at the top of the mended ladder with the darning needle and yarn

Now that all of the holes have been secured by darning and the ladders have been repaired and their loops sewn in, I am finally ready to begin sewing on the crochet patches.

I’d measured the holes and crocheted the patches to the appropriate sizes. I pinned each of the hexagonal patches in place. I decided to orientate them all pointing skywards and earthwards … because it just felt right 😉

Sewing a crochet patch on my jumper
Sewing the first crochet patch on my jumper

Next, I’ll be sewing them all in place, again using the darning needle, but this time I will use a length of the pearl grey yarn I used to edge the crochet patches and this will make my stitching invisible.

When I have sewn on all of the crochet patches, there’s still another part to this thrifty mending project, as the lower edge of the jumper needs tidying up too. Hopefully I will have that done soon and then I shall show you how my Mending a woolly jumper project has turned out.

J Peggy Taylor

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13 thoughts on “Mending a woolly jumper – craft project update 2

  1. Coming from the tropics I’ve never done any darning but you have given me ideas as to how I can rescue a 16yo sweater bought in London. Now living in Florida, I need sweaters. Haha, new project coming up. Thanks.

  2. I found this tutorial very useful.
    I have a doubt. A knitted garment stretches right? Did darning affect the original stretch? Eager to know how you managed to get even stretch (I know you are an expert in yarn crafts) and also to see the final outcome of your jumper!
    TC! Keep smiling 🙂

    1. Glad you liked my woolly jumper project, Sindhu. Indeed, yes, knitted garments do stretch, don’t they. I think one of the problems with some of the knitted fabric in this garment is that it has stretched too far! When darning over the holes I have kept the darning deliberately loosely woven so that it still has a fair amount of movement in it. I didn’t want the darn to be dense and tight. I am using a hemming stitch to attach the patches. I am hoping that by lightly reinforcing the worn areas and then patching over the top with crochet the jumper will retain its normal shape. I will post the final result when the jumper is done 🙂

      1. ‘Keeping darning loose and less dense’ – that seems to be a great tip to remember while working with different fabric types. Thanks Peggy for taking pain to clear my doubt with your detailed answer 🙂 Thanks very much!

      2. I am glad it all made sense to you! I have found that working the darning that way does seem to help. I have made some more progress on this project now so I should be posting about it again soon 🙂

    1. Your comment made me smile – we seem to become ‘extra-attached’ to some garments more than others and will go that extra mile to keep them moderately wardrobe-worthy 🙂

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