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Last week, I showed you two invisible mending commissions I took on. However, there was a third garment to be repaired. What’s more, it’s not the first time I have tackled it. Remember That Green Cardigan?

VMPZC

That Green Cardigan

I hadn’t seen it for a while, and as Zoë has been wearing it day in, day out since it was repaired first time around, it started showing some more fraying, elbow holes and snags. But it was also very nice to see how the old repairs had really settled in; they look like they were always there.

AmyCardi_old_repair

An old repair and fraying of the welts

This time, I used Foula wool for repairs. It’s a somewhat different shade of grey, but the texture is quite similar to the Jacob wool I used previously. Assuming the cardigan will keep returning for more repairs over the coming years, I’d like to continue using different shades of grey (although I doubt I’ll get up to fifty…), making each repair episode discrete, yet all together they form a coherent story.

I used a variety of techniques this time. I’m starting to appreciate crochet as a repair technique:

AmyCardi_new_old_cuff

Old repair in 1×1 ribbing, new repair in single crochet

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More crochet repairs

Then there was some thinning fabric to be found in an unexplainable-to-me area. This I reinforced with Swiss darning in Brioche stitch:

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Swiss darning in Brioche stitch

As my love for Scotch darning just does not diminish, I used it for the hole in the elbow. The texture is amazing when using a heavy DK weight knitting yarn:

AmyCardi_Scotch_darn

Scotch darning in Foula wool

Zoë’s cardigan is fit for another round of heavy-duty work, which is just as well, as she spends lots of time in the forest, working for Wilderness Wood.

AmyCardi_repaired

Zoë’s green cardigan, repaired once more

And if you feel inspired by these visible mends, but you’re not quite sure where to start, then sign up for my next darning class at Super+Super HQ in Brighton. You can sign up below:

Eventbrite - Darning Workshop

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Have you ever wondered about cast-offs that matches your cast-on? Well, my Curiosity Cabinet of Knitting Stitches contains not one, not two, but three such matches. The Curiosity Cabinet opens to the public on 15 February at Prick Your Finger, so come along for a wee drink from 6 to 9pm.

FYSDoubleMoss

long-tail cast-on matched with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “casting on casting off”

Matching your cast-off technique to look like your cast-on won’t take you any extra effort, yet it is one of those details that really gives a finishing touch to your knitted item. One of my favourites in these matching looks is the tubular cast-on and tubular cast-off for 1X1 ribbing:

FYSRib

tubular cast-on paired with tubular cast-off

I just love how the stitches just roll over the edge to the other side, and as this cast-on is tubular, you have also knitted a neat little channel in which to hide your yarn tails. A winner all round. Indeed, these are the techniques I used for Susan Crawford’s Kasha cardigan, to match the ribbed edges throughout the garment.

Kasha

Kasha cardigan, with matching ribbed edges

As you probably know, the most common used cast-off is the chain cast-off: knit 1, [knit 1, pass second stitch on right needle over the first stitch and off the needle], repeat to end. This is a nice, firm cast-off that gets used very often, and wouldn’t it be great if you could have a matching cast-on? Well, you can. May I present to you the crochet cast-on!

FYSMossEdge

crochet cast-on complements the chain cast-off

This would be a good match for a scarf, for instance, as they give a firm edge and thus prevent the ends flaring out. If you would like to see these curious stitches in person, then come along on 15 February to the private view at Prick Your Finger, or pop in over the following few weeks.

Or, if you want to add these little gems to your knitting repertoire, then you can join my Curious Stitches workshop on 16 February 1-3pm; sign up here! I will teach you all six techniques shown in the green swatches above. This class is aimed at intermediate knitters.

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After teaching a glove-knitting class at Prick Your Finger I stayed behind and sat in on Rachael’s excellent beginners crochet class. I used to crochet doilies for my granny as a kid. They barely poked out from under an egg cup, but she used them nonetheless. But that was a long time ago, and apart from making a crochet chain for cast-ons, I haven’t really used any crochet techniques. However, when I saw Colleen’s gorgeous crochet bag, I was inspired to put my newly learnt skills to the test:

It was a lot of fun to make. Crochet has the advantage that it’s really quick to execute, and if it’s not to your liking, it’s very easy to undo and start again. I embellished my bag with a plaited cord and a tassel. Despite the muted colours and, dare I say it, plainness of the wools, it adds an understated touch of luxuriousness.

I used some left-over wool for this: the brown is Manx Loghtan from Garthenor Organic Wool and the heathered grey is North Ronaldsey from Blacker Yarns. I love the texture of this fabric – and the slight contrast between the stitch definitions:

The notions bag is lined, and in fact, I’ve been enjoying lining things lately. In this picture is a lined Sanquhar pencil case*:

For the notions bag I have used canvas, as I frequently have DPNs, crochet hooks and other sharp, pointy things rattling around in it and canvas is sturdy. For the pencil case I used some left over fabric from a pair of boxershorts. Who else can boast a matching pencil case and pants?

I have enjoyed all the hand stitching this involves. In both cases I first installed a zipper and then added the lining. I’m particularly fond of the tiny stitches that attach the lining to the zipper band, as they are nigh-on invisible.

My thread snipper also needed its own little wallet. The thin plastic case it came with didn’t really stay on very well, so I made one from layered canvas. Thanks to my indestructible Singer sewing machine, stitching through four layers was a doddle.

These very practical objects give me a lot of pleasure in their everyday use. They are unique, and well made, using quality materials. Both items replace bland and boring cases I bought on the High Street. The notions bag replaces one which had gaps at the end of the zipper. They were there to add some ease when opening and closing it, but it also meant that small things kept falling out. The pencil case replaced a tubular affair. It was made from some really light, yet stiff material, and for some reason it would always roll so that zipper faced down. But only when I left the zipper open. Pens and pencils kept falling out. I never thought about all this when I bought these items, but I got fed up with these minor annoyances. So although I’m pleased to have replaced notions bag and pencil case with unique pieces, they would never have turned out this way if I hadn’t used their generic predecessors.

The Notions Bag is Raveled here.

The Pencil Case is Raveled here.

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*) As an aside: it won’t be too long before I can release a pattern for the Sanquhar Pencil Case. Keep an eye out!

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A couple of weeks ago a friend gave me her favourite red cashmere jumper. Moths had a feast and they left holes all over the place. Otherwise it was still a lovely jumper, so it was the perfect candidate to enter The Visible Mending Programme. So this is what I came up with:

After going over the jumper with a comb to make sure I didn’t leave a hole uncovered, I used some Jamieson’s Shetland Ultra 2ply to chain stitched from hole to hole. I darned each hole with some judicious weaving. Then I got my crochet hook out and crocheted a ruffle made up from double, triple and quadruple sts. I bunched up the ruffle over each darned hole.

The hole on the back is slightly different: it has been closed by needle felting.

It’s my friend’s birthday tomorrow, so I think it makes a perfect gift!

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My friend has a lovely red cashmere jumper. But MOTHS have had a feast on it! As you can see, I have carefully gone over the jumper to find out where they had their starter, main course and pudding. I think they may have had a cheeseboard too. I marked all the holes with coilless safety pins, as I think this is a perfect candidate for the Visible Mending Programme.

I’m planning to use some Jamieson’s Ultra 2ply shetland laceweight to connect all the holes with a fine ruffle. Let’s hope the MOTHS won’t find out.

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