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Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Saga of the February Lady Sweater

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you know of my recent sweater tragedy.  I don't know why I did this, but I certainly learned a valuable lesson.  I knit a FLS out of a lovely yarn that a friend gifted to me.  The sweater only took 5 balls, so I destashed the 7 I had left over.  I never really wear the sweater because I didn't like the buttons and for some odd reason I thought that it was ill-fitting.  However, I recently acquired a beautiful set of buttons and decided to pull them out and put them on.  I stabbed my finger and made it bleed.  I fought to get them all off the card.  I got them all in place and they were beautiful!  Then I started to fold up the sweater and noticed a giant hole in the lace.  I was crushed!
My friend searched her stash to see if I'd given her a ball of the yarn but no luck.  Then I realized that I probably put them in the "make room for more" sale at the shop, so I called Naomi to see if she still had the bag of partial-balls and rewinds.  Nope.  We'd already sold it.

To make matters worse, I showed my husband the hole...and noticed the second, larger hole!  I was so disgusted that I tossed it into a corner put it on the dress-form and stuffed it into my closet until I could find the time to deal with it.  Meanwhile, I checked Ravelry, Ebay, Amazon, and put out calls for help in two groups on Ravelry, Facebook, and Twitter looking for the yarn to repair it.  No luck on any front.  The yarn is discontinued and I'm SOL.  That'll teach me not to keep a yard or two around for emergency repairs.

Now, if you haven't had a chance to tap into the genius of the employees at Bella Yarns... you're missing out.  After agonizing over this issue for days, I told the story to Ann who replies "so, you're gonna pull back the bind off on the bottom and take some of the yarn from there?...".  Genius!  Why the heck didn't I think of that!!  All this angst for noting.  So, once we got that straightened out , I decided to pull out the bind off on the sleeves and cannibalize the yarn from there (because I love the length of the sweater).

The first thing that I did was pull back the cast off on one of the sleeves.

Then, in order to be able to bind off the sleeve again (once I had my extra yarn), I had to tink (knit backwards, literally lol) another row so that I would still have some yarn left over.

With my free strand of yarn, I decided to try my usual trick for repair work: follow the yarn.  It's similar to duplicate stitching.  I just run my needle with the yarn attached along the path that the knitted yarn is following, and walah!  Repaired hole.

Now, I know that there are better ways to do repairs, specifically with lace, but for now I had to go with what I know.  The final result isn't perfect, but if you look at the before and afters you can see that it's wearable and it's hard to spot the repairs unless you look hard for them.
Look closely at the photos.  On the left are the repairs, and on the right I circled them so you can see them.  I had a particularly tough time finding the repair on the last set of photos, so that's a good sign that they'll go unnoticed. 

 So friends, let this be a lesson to you.  Always wind off a few extra yards so that you can repair your beloved sweaters later.  Or, always knit your sweaters from the top down so you can more easily pull back a row or two for repairs.  Or, always use commercially produced yarns that are readily available in the United States (and check Ravelry to see if others have used this color before or stashed it) so that you'll have a resource if you need more.  But I say, go for option one :)


  1. This is so pretty. I love the contrast of the bright buttons against the blue. Wonderful. :)

  2. thanks for the nice comment :) I came home and uploaded the photo, and immediately thought about how I look particularly fat in that outfit, lol. Sigh. That's the problem with bad lighting ;)