There's almost nothing worse in knitting or crochet than getting a hole in your handmade garments. It's so sad! And how do you fix it?
Well, we're here to show you two different methods for fixing your knitwear without panicking.
Kelley showed these techniques on a recent Facebook Live video, starting at about the 6-minute mark.
First of all you need some tools at the ready: darning thread and a darning egg (or alternative). Our favorite thread is Regia Darning and Reinforcement Thread, which comes in a wide array of colors. Many sock knitters work this thread into the heels and toes of their socks in order to avoid holes. Pro tip!
You'll also need a good tapestry needle. We love our Chibi Sets.
Darning eggs are called "eggs" because they're egg-shaped, with a handle of some sort. They're mostly wooden, although some antique darning eggs are made from thick glass.
If you don't have a darning egg, though, you can use a drinking glass! This is what Kelley uses in her video. Whatever you choose, make sure it's not fabric (you might sew what you're darning onto your "darning egg"!). Some brave souls use light bulbs, but I don't endorse that. Imagine the mess if it broke, and there would probably be more holes in whatever you're darning, not to mention in your hand.
Now on to the darning techniques!
Weaving Method for Worn Areas
Turn your garment inside out. Starting at least a quarter-inch outside of the worn area, weave darning thread in and out of the purl bumps, reinforcing the worn area. Go up and down and back and forth until the worn area has the same density as the original knitting.
Make sure not to pull too tight, or the fabric will be stiff and might pucker.
Weaving Method for a Hole
We don't recommend sewing the hole together or you'll have a lump and it might hurt your foot.
This method is very similar to the one above, but here you're creating the woven fabric over the hole. First you'll create a warp, just like in traditional weaving, and then fill it in with wefts, as shown below:
Create the warp by running the darning thread through the purl bumps, going back and forth in one direction across the hole, leaving the hole open. You'll have strands of yarn crossing the hole.
Now weave your yarn in and out of the strands, these are the wefts, making a woven fabric. Weave the darning thread in and out of the warp over and over until you have new fabric over the hole.
Make sure to start your warps about a half-inch beyond the borders of your hole, so you get a well-anchored patch.
Repairing a Hole with Duplicate Stitch
This is a great way to fix holes in garments other than socks. Duplicate stitch creates a little bulk, so you don't want to be walking on it.
Here's Kelley's swatch showing a duplicate-stitch patch (red yarn):
The hole is under the second and third rows of stitches. You can't even see it! Pretty slick.
To work this technique, start a couple of stitches before the hole, and work duplicate stitch several stitches beyond the hole.
Duplicate Stitch, Step-By-Step
Thread a needle with a yard or so of yarn.
1. Bring up through the bottom of the V in the first stitch, and pull it through. Leave about 4 inches at the back to weave in later.
2. Slide the needle behind the V of the stitch above the stitch you are duplicating from right to left, and pull the yarn through.
3. Put the needle back through the point where you started and pull through. You've now created a duplicate stitch. Continue for as long as you need to to cover and secure the hole.
Don't pull too tight, or the stitch will pucker. Try to replicate the stitch at exactly the same size as the one you're duplicating.
We hope these techniques help you fix your knitwear!