Thursday, August 2, 2012


Early this year, a friend of my dad's asked me to repair a sweater.  I enthusiastically accepted and promptly forgot.  She reminded me in March, and I headed over to The Spinning Loft in Howell to try and match the wool.  Beth, the owner, graciously spun me a few yards of creamy Shetland and I headed home, where I set it aside and forgot about it.  Again.  July first, Maureen asked me how it was going, and with my head hung in shame, I made the repair.  It took me three more weeks to reinforce it, and then another to wash and block it.  I will finally be delivering the sweater to her today.  I'm not sure  I'll be able to look her in the eye.

But the sweater is amazing.  Absolutely worthy of repair and even the guilt I have over neglecting it.  It is her father's and was hand-knit in Ireland with some amazingly sturdy and pill-free wool.  The only repair was to the elbow, obviously one that her dad prefers and has spent many hours leaning on.  My patch is not perfect, but it should be effective, and I hope that he gets many, many more years of wear out of this beautiful piece.

This was my first repair, though I have several pair of hand-knit socks awaiting the same fate.  I essentially just duplicate stitched over the existing threads, as best I could.  It's a bit more difficult to do in a complex cable pattern.

Once I felt that it was properly secured, I turned the sleeve inside out and "wove" some cream sock yarn along the back.  I worked vertically first, catching just one ply of the yarn, going up and down until the area was covered.  Then I wove the yarn under horizontally, going under and over my first set of lines and trying to catch a bit of the original wool in there as well.

Though it is far from perfect, I feel fairly confident that this spot won't wear through again.  I had intentions of reinforcing the other elbow, but after close inspection I found that it wasn't even thinning.  So I gave the sweater a long bath and scrubbed out the dirty spots.  It looks nearly new.  Considering the pill-ridden condition of most of my sweaters, I am seriously in love with this Irish yarn.  I have a feeling that some Shetland wool will be coming to live with me very soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ravellenic Games - Day One

Well, yesterday's cast on didn't go quite as planned, but I made some progress nonetheless!

The opening ceremonies of the Olympics were not aired live here, so I cast on my swatch listening to Weezer on Pandora. Probably sacrilege, but I considered it an acceptable substitute. ;o)

I was lucky enough to get gauge on my first try, so I cast on the actual project and managed to get 36 rows into the back before turning in for the night. See?

I know it's not very exciting yet, but this project will definitely be a challenge to complete in the seventeen days of the Olympics.  I am making The Dude, a sweater pattern by Andrea Rangel based on the infamous sweater worn by Jeff Bridges in "The Big Lebowski."

My husband and I love that movie, so I am making this sweater for him for Christmas.  I am using the recommended yarn, Cascade Ecological Wool, in a size 2X. The challenge isn't so much the size or the colorwork (though that would be enough!) but the fact that the entire piece is knit in 1x1 ribbing!

I have had the yarn and the pattern and the plan to knit this for two years... I figured this challenge was the perfect incentive to get it finished in a reasonable amount of time.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Here's how I spent Tuesday and Wednesday:

Two beautiful days on Lake Huron.  I would have happily spent several more in the same place, but I ran out of yarn.  ;o)

Tomorrow marks the start of the Ravellenic Games!  I have a plan and I think it is a worthy challenge.  I hope to share my swatch tomorrow, but I have to knit it first!