I have a small side business repairing sweaters for local people.
Today I am going to walk you through my method for repairing a hole in the elbow of a machine knit cashmere sweater.
First you need a knitting needle that is the appropriate size to make a patch that looks similar to the original knitted fabric. Most cashmere sweaters are knit on a US size 1 or 0 needle. Here I am using Hiya Hiya needles in 2.0mm size. I could have used a smaller needle if I had them. I prefer these steel needles for delicate repair work because the yarn slides nice and smoothly across the needle.
You will also need a thread to produce the color patch that suits your interest best. Regia makes a woolen/nylon thread in a wide range of colors. Usually I can find a color similar enough for the project I’m working on.
So the first step is to determine the true size of the repair needed. It’s easy to underestimate the actual damage. Don’t be tempted to make a repair too small or it won’t last very long.
Most holes are actually twice as big as they look if you take into account the area outside of the hole where the thread or yarn has worn thin. This will soon unravel if you attach your repair to this area. So go beyond that to where the yarn is strong, healthy and the original thickness.
Starting at the bottom of the hole, in the healthy fabric, pick up the right leg of each knitted stitch to accommodate a wide enough patch, plus 2 more stitches (I’ll explain why the plus 2 in a moment.) In this case I have picked up 24 stitches. This actual patch needs to be 22 stitches, plus 2.
Now, counting up from the row you picked up, count how many rows you need so you don’t lose track of how big of a patch to make. This particular sweater needs 26 rows to get to the healthy fabric on the other side of the hole.
Next, you just knit and purl your way through the rows until you have a little flap of fabric attached at the end you started on.
In my next post I’ll show you how to attach the repair flap on the other 3 sides making a nearly invisible repair.