Day 23 – Weaving in all those ends…

I’ve already said this, but there is more to ‘just knitting’ a gift; day 14 was blocking; day 9 was gauge swatches; day 4 was ripping back mistakes/wrong needle size/wrong yarn choice.  Today is weaving in all the ends to finish the project. 

I tend to leave this part last; sometimes I’ll knit up facecloths, put them in a pile to weave in the ends later.  So at this point in the knitmas chaos, I ‘should’ be done the knitting and just have a pile of ends to weave in….but as mentioned on day 20, I’m behind – partly due to Day 3 (distractions) and day 4 (mistakes).  So to prevent multiple IOUs (day 15) I have to weave in ends to ‘finish’ projects ASAP.

Sock Fix: Swiss Darning

My mending pile now remains filled with MY items…always the last to be looked after…what is it they say about the cobbler’s shoes?

My first pair of socks that I knit for myself are from 2007, and although its held up quite well, the heels were getting ‘weak’ so they needed some boosting before I actually created holes.  It’s much easier to mend weak stitches than recreate something that is no longer there (ie mending a hole).

If you look up darning socks on Pinterest and the like, you’ll see a number of methods of knitting or patching over top of the holes.  Reknitting or swiss darning are my preferred methods of mending knitwear.  My interpretation of swiss darning is basically doing a duplicate stitch over the weaker stitches.  I didn’t think of taking better photos for the blog until after the socks were already fixed.  I had luckily taken photos of the before shot to show family members (read: my husband) when they should be providing me their knitwear for mending, not after they create a huge hole.  But I digress…

A photo posted by Katherine Caughran (@stringandbeans) on

I no longer had the matching yarn, but this is on the bottom of my foot, so I really didn’t worry about matching the yarn, besides it’s easier to show the mend when its a different colour 🙂

Sock Fix: Skinny legs, Long(er) Feet

To further my spring cleaning of the mending pile, I took a pair of Kman’s outgrown navy socks (barely used) and ripped out the toes to make them longer.

Background:  Kman goes to a Montessori school and wears a uniform consisting of navy or white socks, navy pants and a white or red golf shirt.  He prefers navy socks and each year asks me to knit him a new pair of navy socks.  Last year his shoe size grew so FAST he hardly had a chance to wear the socks that I had knit him.  But his ankles and legs are still the same circumference.

So, rather than knit new socks, I thought I’d save some time and rip back the toes and reknit to lengthen.  I have lots of navy sock yarn purchased just for him!  After I reknit the first sock and had him try it on, he did say the band was a bit tight.  So in addition to lengthening the socks, I ripped out the top of the sock band and cast off using Jeny’s Super Stretchy Cast Off. 

The photo might not show it  well enough, but you should see the original sock length on top of the new sock length – I added over an inch in length!

Spring Cleaning

Following up to my business idea of fixing sweaters, socks and the like…I had a pile of socks with wear that I needed to get caught up on…

The first, a sock I had knit for my dad, which was confiscated by my mother as her bed socks…unfortunately she caught the toe on something, and it needed major surgery…

I started with picking up the ladder with my crochet hook, to determine how much I may need to stitch, but that showed me that there were two different places the yarn was cut (not just one), so instead of doing swiss darning, I tore back the toe and reknit it using a russian join to reconnect the broken strands.
My mother is happy to have socks again (although had she given me both socks, I probably would have reknit both toes and resized the socks to her feet, since they were originally intended for my father)…

New Plan!

Before the holidays, I was asked to fix someone’s sweater.  I looked high and low to find matching colours for the wool sweater.  It had 6 safety pins to hold various holes in place, and had previous iterations of patching done by the owner’s mother.

It took me longer than I care to admit, but I finally found colours that could match as best they could, and fixed up the holes along with a number of weak spots that threatened to break with wear.  Lo and behold the sweater was wearable again…and the owner was ecstatic…because he’s had this sweater for 35 years and its his favourite.

Which led me to my new plan – repairing favourite sweaters, socks, kilt hose…something that I enjoy and will keep handknits, cashmere sweaters, and the like still in circulation 🙂