To the rescue
Thursday December 04th 2008, 3:06 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit

Jim\'s sweater Suffering from writer’s blog, and then I was surprised when the doorbell rang just now, rescuing me: Jim,  (written about here, here, here, here, here and here–he’s Nicholas’s dad) holding a sweater out sheepishly.  This was clearly one of his favorites, not to mention it’s pine-green-wearing time of year anyway; it’s the second year he’s brought it to me.  I assured him quickly before he even asked that I’d love to mend it for him and that it would only take me five minutes or so.

But notice I didn’t invite him in for those five minutes, and I’m pretty sure he was on his way to work at the university anyway.

What I didn’t want him to see was, yes, I can do a pretty good job of mending a small hole in his sweater–but often after several passes at it.  Take matching yarn and dissect one ply from the rest to have a thin enough strand.  Thread needle with it (is there any question that I’d have yarn?) and weave up and down, recreating the missing stitch while connecting it to the still-existing ones. Pat self on the back for doing a good job, check it from the right side to be sure, grumble, carefully undo work so as not to make the hole bigger in the process, rethread needle, try again.  Have the single ply shred due to lack of twist from having been freed from its mates–undo, try again.  And so on.Had a few too many

That’s the part I would just as soon skip having an audience for.  So.

The sweater looked in good shape otherwise, and I was surprised when I looked at the inside to find I’d mended not one but five holes the last time he’d brought it by.  I finished mending today’s and held the thing up.  Right side out again, you really couldn’t tell; I was pretty pleased with myself.

And then I saw it.  Oh, *that’s* going to leave a mark!  About half a dozen stitches and rows’ worth of a mothbite, probably a carpet beetle’s at that size.  I tried. I really tried.  Hey, Jim, did you know that you can throw an old sweater in the washer and dryer several times and then cut it up into really useful hotpads? In green, to match your Christmas decorations!

chest pains

No, I’m not ready to tell him that yet.  Writing this gave me my required five minutes of throwing up my hands at it, and now I’m ready to dive back in. Undo, ditch the baby alpaca–it has too bright a sheen to it for the wool for that big a space, it calls too much attention to itself–go find the cashmere/cotton that I used last time that’s a closer color match, and go try again. I can make this work.

12 Comments so far
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How lovely that you are mending it for him. I had a rainbow tye died t-shirt. It was given to me by a dear friend who I later lost, then mended for my by my maternal grandmother. It no longer fits me, so it is now beloved by a dear friend who has become family, the mother of my godson. She appreciates it’s meaning to me, and wears it in comfort. (the cotton is silky soft from age)

Comment by Diana 12.04.08 @ 4:26 pm

I have an old Red Sox sweatshirt that was mended for me by my ex-husband’s grandmother. I don’t have anything good to say about him except he had awesome grandparents and I can’t bear to get rid of that sweatshirt because it has Nan’s stitches in it! She was a lovely woman (and at about 4’9″ she made me feel tall too). 🙂

Comment by no-blog-rachel 12.04.08 @ 6:08 pm

Think he’d like a little embroidery? 😀

Comment by Linda W 12.04.08 @ 11:17 pm

Really useful hotpads!? HAHAHAHAHA! Or should that be HOHOHOHOHO.

Comment by LynnM 12.05.08 @ 1:49 am

You are the kindest person to keep mending his favorite sweater:)Hugs Darcy

Comment by Darcy 12.05.08 @ 2:48 am

You are so sweet to repeatedly mend his sweater. I’ve come to the conclusion that he allows his sweater to have love and care from you because he wants to visit you.

Comment by Joansie 12.05.08 @ 5:55 am

You are a treasure. Not only do you mend sweaters for friends, but you share with us so we can do the same!

Comment by Channon 12.05.08 @ 6:52 am

There’s something about green garments that men just don’t want to give them up. It is a nice sweater aside from the holes. Sending good fix it vibes your way, not that you need them, just sending. 😉

LOVE the hotpad humor!

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 12.05.08 @ 7:41 am

I mend sweaters, too. I actually knit a patch for one last winter when husband put his elbow through it. Bought me the time to knit him a couple of new ones!

Comment by RobinH 12.05.08 @ 12:04 pm

Ahh, the mending…I do it for my husband’s shirts and occasionally well as for sweaters. My favorite was a nearly brand-new button up shirt that got torn on a hike with my dog Lucy (may she rest in peace..she was a saint for coping with my absentminded professor!) The hole was pretty large, and right where a breast pocket would be. Between asking him why he was wearing this new shirt to go hiking and grouching, I mended it….and ended up going the embroidery route. A little fly like insect closed up the hole nicely. You wouldn’t believe how jealous his fruit fly lab mates were when he showed it to them next day…and all because he tore his shirt!

Comment by Joanne 12.05.08 @ 12:11 pm

Ooh, that’s a big one. Good luck with it!

Comment by Jocelyn 12.05.08 @ 6:07 pm

I remember people bringing me their sweaters and beloved heirloom blankets with holes in them…and I really enjoyed mending for them. Even if it sometimes did take a few tries. But in the end they thought I was a magician…:)

Comment by karin 12.08.08 @ 8:33 am

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