When one of my favourite woolly jumpers became worn and raggy, I decided to give it a bit of a thrifty makeover. I’ve been sharing my progress on this craft project from time to time over the past couple of months. In my last post I was showing you how I’d darned the holes and caught up the ladders in the knitting using a crochet hook. I was then ready to sew on the bright crochet patches I’d made to fit each of the worn areas.
To sew on the crochet patches I chose to use the pearl grey woolly yarn I’d used as the edging on the patches so that the stitching would be almost invisible. You can just about make out my oversewing stitches around the patches on the close-up image above.
As I had hoped, the loosely woven darning reinforced the ‘holey’ parts of the jumper and helped retain the jumper’s shape while I was sewing on the crochet patches. When all of the crochet patches were sewn on, I hung up my jumper to consider how I felt about the overall look.
I’d been pondering previously on whether the crochet patches would stand well enough on their own or whether they needed ‘a little something’ to help them hang together as a design. Now that I had all of the patches in place, I really felt they needed that ‘little something’. Whilst I was continuing my pondering, both my husband and son admired the ‘flowers’ on the jumper. Interesting! I hadn’t designed the patches as flowers, but I could definitely see the possibility.
I decided to develop the design and have my ‘flowers’ growing out of the new border that I was planning to add to strengthen the lower edge of the jumper. Using the dark grey yarn, I began by crocheting a line of chain stitches close to the edge of the jumper. I was careful to avoid any damaged parts of the lower edge as I didn’t want the border to easily pull away from the bottom of the jumper.
When I’d finished the ring of chain stitches around the bottom of the jumper, I began to add some stems and leaves to the ‘flowers’using crochet embroidery. To keep the finishing simple, I continued with the same dark grey yarn.
As the flowers are geometric and stylised, I developed the stems and basic leaf outlines in a similar stylised way. I think my leaves have also been partly influenced by another project I am now working on, harking back to the designs of the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau.
When I’d completed the crochet embroidery, it was time to consider how I might work the border around the lower edge of the jumper. The ring of dark grey crochet chain would form the point of attachment. Using the dark grey yarn and working into both loops of the crochet chain on the outside of the jumper, I crocheted a row of half treble crochet (half double crochet in US terms 😉 ). I then worked a row of spike stitch using the pearl grey yarn. As I worked each of the spikes, I pushed the crochet hook right through the jumper edge so that these stitches caught the original lower edge of the jumper and formed a binding row.
Keeping with the alternating greys, for my next row I changed back to the dark grey yarn, again working in spike stitch and my final row of spike stitch was worked in pearl grey. To complete the new jumper edging, I worked a row of double crochet (single crochet in US terms), alternating between the two grey yarns on each stitch.
I like the slightly woven and slightly tweeded appearance of my new and strengthened jumper edge. The edging is tougher than the knitted part of the jumper, but as the edge seemed to be wearing out in several places, I am hopeful that a stronger edge will help.
… and here we have the finished jumper! My jumper full of holes has been transformed into a unique garment for the cost of nothing but a rummage through my yarn oddments and a few hours of crochet. I am pleased with the way my thrifty makeover has turned out. Now all the loose ends have been carefully tucked in and my favourite woolly jumper is finally ready to wear again!
J Peggy Taylor