Sunday, September 16, 2007

repairing a sweater with a felting needle

Yesterday afternoon we drove up to Albany and went to the Irish 2000 at the Altamont Fairgrounds. We saw one of our favorite bands, and enjoyed a new one we had not yet heard. They play in the traditional genre and do it extremely well. They go by the name of teada.

The weather turned cooler in the evening and I found myself wanting my earflap hat. My thoughts also turned to an old Aran sweater that we found the other day whilst cleaning out some old steamer trunks.

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This particular sweater was knit for my husband by his mother. She made it for him when he was in high school, so it's a little bit old. His mother passed away suddenly, not long after we were married, and I often wonder what kind of things she could have taught me about knitting. She was very good at it.

Anyway, the sweater has been packed away, not seeing the light of day for a long time. When my husband found it, he said I could have it. He also pointed out that it had several holes. I'm not sure what caused them, maybe moths at some point in it's life. After the chilly night spent at the outdoor festival, while we were driving home, I contemplated using my felting needle to repair the holes in the Aran sweater.

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Today, I gave it a try. First I lightly tacked down the area to close the hole, working from the right side of the sweater.

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Then, I flipped it over to the wrong side and reinforced it with some loose wool...luckily I had something in my stash that matched it fairly well.

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After I had "bonded" the wool sufficiently, I flipped it over again to the right side and went back into it "sculpting" and "stitching" the outline of the knit stitches.

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I did this method in all of the area's that had holes, including the twisted stitches of a cable. It worked out OK, I think. After I wear it a few times, I'll know for sure if it is a "proven" method of repair.

I feel good about restoring the sweater. I keep thinking about how much time his mother must have spent working on it...I wonder where she brought the wool (it is really nice wool). I think of the love locked into those stitches. Yep, I am glad I repaired it. I think the sweater is happy too.....

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here it is relaxing in the bubble bath...it's first bath in, ahem, years. I think I heard it mummer "ahhhh" as I eased it into the warm water....

12 comments:

pacalaga said...

Wow, your MIL was quite a knitter. It's a beautiful sweater! I hope your DH doesn't rip it right off you when he sees it all repaired... ;-)

cyndy said...

He told me that once his mother made him a sweater he really liked - and when he didn't wear it right away, she took it back, unraveled it, and knit something for someone else!

yea, she made some beautiful afghans that we have too. Most of what she made was knit with acrylic yarns (ugh!) Beautiful handwork, tons of time invested...all with stuff from " Woolworths" and that's not a yarn store....it was one of the 5&Dime stores that were popular in the 50's and 60's. I inherited her stash...most of it still has the labels on it. I can't stand the stuff...but can't part with it.

Leigh said...

Cyndy thank you for this! I never would have thought to get out my felting needles to help with wool sweater repair. Actually the past repairs that I've made haven't turned out so well. You've given me renewed hope(!)

MollyBeees said...

What a lovely sweater! And ingenious repair! Be sure and tell hubby "No Go Backsies" when he sees what a treasure you have!

Anne said...

How great is that??! My dad has a very similar one his mum knit him. It doesn't fit any longer, but she made it for him in college and he still has it.

Judy said...

Awesome sweater and fixing idea. I remember my brother yelling at my sister for wearing his sweaters...she is rather well endowed and he didn't appreciate looking like he was!!!

Lynn said...

You get an extra gold star for fixing that beautiful sweater. Nice work!

Beth S. said...

Such a clever idea! You're very resourceful. :-)

wyldthang said...

Hi Cyndy!! popping in to say hello! I've have fun reading down your whole page, catching up. I LOVE your bean bag!! We had a dreary tomato summer here too. I planted Cherokee Purple tomatos and they are the best I've ever tasted!! Even better than Brandywine. Have you tried the Cherokee Purple? My hubby thought they were nasty moldy looking(he's got a "delicate" palate), but wven he was pleasantly surprised. Well, gotta go pick the last of the shrimpy tomatos, rain is sposed to be coming(a VERY good thing!!) Celeste

carole said...

fantastic idea! I too have an aran sweater that needs repair. Mine is a cardigan and hand knit by someone but not for me.. it was bought at an irish store... so you've inspired me to fix mine as well. Mine is around the neck. I think I just need to pick up the stitches and re-cast off....

beautiful blog BTW

Donna B said...

That does look like one blissful sweater! I will have to add felting to my repair arsenal.

And....Happy blogiversary!

vanessa said...

nice save!

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