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August 8, 2012 / KristenMakes

Mending your Knits

It happens to the best of us.  Moths.  Rips. Holes.  I was gutted to see that my Goodale (pattern link here) has been under attack from the wee beasties.
2 holes!

I immediately washed it (and a load of other woolens to prevent further infestation) but then the lovely thing sat unmended for over a year!  Finally, I decided to fix it up.  I thought perhaps a nice tutorial would be helpful for you too, so I documented the entire ordeal (which actually wasn’t that painful!).  Luckily, I always save leftover wool from each project – that came VERY much in handy!

Your materials:

Mending Materials

Garment, spare wool, darning needle, crochet hook

Firstly, to understand what you need to do, grasping how the knit fabric works is important.  I drew out essentially what makes a hole, and how you want to ‘mimic’ a stitch with your mending (the mimic wool is in red).  At least this is how I do it and it seems to work!

Now this garment is unique in that there was one hole where the KNIT side shows as RS (Right Side) and one hole where the PURL side shows as RS.  I began with the knit side as that is what I am most comfortable with.

Above you can see each step.  If your work is a bit messy from the RS (as mine was) you can work a chain stitch to cover up the mess.  Purl Bee has a great tutorial, but below is a diagram I drew of how it works, with each stitch in a different colour.

Next, I worked the same steps for the Purl-side hole:

The result is good, I think.  In this case the knit-side is messier, but as it is the WS, it won’t show and my aim was to make the purl-side pretty, which I think I did!  At least for my first attempt at mending a purl-side hole.

The very last step I like to do is secure it all with a wee spot-clean.  I actually felt it up a slight bit.  With warm-to-lukewarm water and a bit of soap, very gently wash the mended area – gently because you don’t want your mending to come undone, and because you don’t want to over-felt it.  Rinse clean, and lay flat to dry, arranging the piece to its original size.


You can see above that the piece is a bit fuzzy from the wash but it is drying (or resting I like to think!) after the ordeal.  The purl-side hole is located somewhere along the fold and I honestly can’t even spot it (well almost, of course I know where it is) without feeling it.

How did you find this tutorial?  Helpful?  Scary?  I’d love your thoughts!  Also the photo-tutorial files are also available as pdfs if you’d like.  Just leave a comment with your email if you’d like one!  Additionally all photographs can be viewed more closely and with more detailed captions on my Flickr Mending Set.

How has your mending worked out?  Any scary or successful stories out there?


Leave a Comment
  1. melonby / Aug 8 2012 5:09 am

    That hole looks exactly like a hole I got in one of my socks a while ago…I thought it was just a snag! 😦
    As it was superwash yarn, I tried darning it – and I posted about it for the Knitting and Crochet Blog week:

  2. Kerry / Aug 8 2012 5:15 am

    Thanks this is really useful, will have to give it a try. I know in theory what to do but I haven’t seen such a clear explanation before. I usually do quite a messy job without much planning – it works but it’s not usually pretty! Have you seen Tom of Holland’s blog where he does visible mending? I think that looks cool too.

    My woollens fall prey to carpet beetles rather than moths – so hard to get rid of!

  3. Nat @ Made in Home / Aug 8 2012 7:54 am

    This is really useful! I have not done any mending yet, but there are a couple of scarfs that may need to be looked at – it is just being ignored at the moment…

  4. Franca / Aug 8 2012 2:56 pm

    That is so helpful! I usually sort of weve the hole closed, it works but makes a big, not very attractive blob!

  5. gingermakes / Aug 11 2012 1:21 pm

    This is so helpful! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Sara Noemi / Aug 27 2012 10:08 am

    i very, very rarely knit but this s such useful information that I’ve bookmarked it. Thanks for the illustrations; those were especially helpful!


  1. what did you learn this week? | my life in knitwear

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