Tag Archives: thrifty mending project

Mending a Woolly Jumper - craft project progress

Mending a woolly jumper: finishing my craft project

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.

Crochet patches sewn on - just the raggy edge to sort
The crochet patches are oversewn in place … just the raggy edge to sort out now

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.

Crochet patches sewn on my jumper
With all the crochet patches sewn on, it’s time to think about how to complete my jumper mending project

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.

Beginning the crochet repair on the jumper edge
Completing the circle of crochet chain stitches around the edge of the jumper

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.

Crochet embroidery links the crochet patches
Stems and leaves in crochet embroidery link the crochet ‘flowers’

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.

Crochet border to bind the raggy jumper edge
Working the reinforcing crochet border on my jumper in spike stitch using two colours of grey yarn

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.

Crochet patch and new  crochet edging on my jumper
The new crochet border in spike 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.

My Woolly Jumper - mended and wearable again
My Woolly Jumper – mended and wearable with its new flower design and crochet edging

… 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

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

Mending a Woolly Jumper - craft project progress

Mending a woolly jumper: craft project update

The pre-Winter makeover I planned for my well-worn woolly jumper is slowly making progress. When I introduced you to this thrifty mending project, I had conducted Task 1 – an analysis of just how much jumper was damaged or missing altogether. My next task was to determine what materials and methods to choose to begin the mending process.

Due to the quite extensive work needed to repair this garment, I decided two things. Firstly, although previously I had successfully darned this jumper, this time there was no way the mending could remain unobtrusive. Secondly, since the jumper is worn mainly for outdoor work, it seemed sensible to minimise any spending on this project. I was sure I could conjure up enough yarn from my scraps stash to mend and reinforce the worn areas, hopefully with a bit of imaginative design to lend a more ‘cared for’ impression to this well-loved old woolly.

Designing a patch for my woolly jumper
My variation on a hexagonal motif with a bright edge for my woolly jumper patches.

As a method of repair, crochet patches seemed an obvious choice for me. This way I can match the motif size to the size of repair needed. Accepting that ‘unobtrusive mending’ was not going to happen, I decided to go for something bolder. A rummage through my yarn scraps stash yielded some bright red yarn, left over from a pair of cosy indoor socks I’d crocheted recently. I thought the red teamed up well with some smooth dark grey yarn and to make a defined edge to the patches I found some woolly-textured yarn in pearl grey.

The crochet motif I’m using for the patches is a basic hexagon. I began with the dark grey and worked the centre of the hexagon before adapting the final row to suit the size of motif I needed. To firm up the outer edge of the motif, I worked a row of double crochet (that’s single crochet in the US 😉 ) using the pearl grey yarn. The red highlight is a simple crochet chain worked in a double thickness of yarn and then woven in and out around the hexagon frame. To adapt the pattern to create the different sizes of patch, I’ll work the pattern in different sized crochet stitches and probably use different numbers of rows.

The first crochet patch for my woolly jumper
The first crochet patch for my woolly jumper

I made my first crochet patch for the largest hole in the jumper. When I tried out the motif, I liked the contrasting colours against the dark maroon of the jumper. I think this idea is going to work. I shall continue my woolly jumper mending project, creating the remaining patches using the same style of motif. Hopefully it won’t take too long to hook up the crochet patches and then I’ll show you how the patching looks.

J Peggy Taylor