Happy Mend-day

I had Junah & Ginny for a large part of the day on Saturday while Ali ran some errands, but managed to get organized and accomplish a few things before & after they were here.

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Though I've been wearing it with no problems, there have been two small holes in my Alabama Chanin Anna's Garden Swing Skirt almost from the moment I first pulled it on. The stitching may have been a bit tight on one of the applique pieces because the holes were on either side of just that one piece. Fixed!

An often-worn black sweater from J.Jill had some holes in seam lines, so I stitched & reinforced them. Fixed!

The lightweight brown cardigan is also from J.Jill and was my mom's. It had a tiny little hole in a really weird spot (right between the boob and armpit area -- possibly snagged on a purse strap/buckle?). It's apparently taken me almost four years to figure out how to fix it. I just stitched it up with some brown thread after determining that it's really not a highly visible area... but would be very noticeable if I did anything more than that! Fixed!

Not shown, a long wool Eileen Fisher coat that Kate snagged on super-duper clearance a few years ago. There were some holes in seams, a big hole in the butt area, and some small holes in one of the pockets... and it needed washing. Fixed!

Then it was time for The Big One. Another J.Jill sweater that I've had & worn for at least a couple of years. I put it on the other day and thought to myself that the elbows were looking a little thin and, sure enough, by noon there was a hole in one of them!

There's a great article by Bristol Ivy in the latest issue of Making, No. 5 / COLOR about a few different methods for mending knits, and a woven patch seemed the way to go for my project.

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I roughly marked the area with pins, stuck a little ham in the sleeve (for contrast as much as anything else), and started weaving. First, to establish the perimeter...

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Then back and forth horizontally (these are not technical terms!). I love the idea of "visible mending," so chose a yarn with a little personality -- a bit of a Madelinetosh Unicorn Tail that I dug out of the leftovers.

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I wasn't far into the vertical stage of weaving when I realized that the patch was not going to be a dense fabric... the original fabric is more of a mesh, but that won't work for the patch.

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So I eyeballed it and wove some more yarn in vertically, until it felt & looked right -- not quite twice as many.

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Then I wove in all the ends. That's the back side, above. WEAVING!

During this process, I thought of "Ruth" a million times. I never met Ruth, but when I was little and we'd go to my Grandparents' house, we'd drive through a little town called New London and I'd always spot/look for a sign that said "REWEAVING by Ruth." It was a fascinating concept!

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Though far from perfect, I am really happy with how it turned out, and I learned a lot. I'm wearing my patched sweater today (because it makes me happy... and it's chilly!), but I'll soon be patching the other elbow -- I'd like to do it before there's an actual hole -- and maybe trying another method/variation and possibly color.