Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pretty "Darned" Good

Alrighty! So, my adventures in darning have been progressing, and after several practice runs on old T-shirts, I finally took the plunge and decided to give it a go with my SmartWool sweater.


For a complete novice, I think it turned out remarkably well.



Here's before:



And after:


Certainly not perfect, but pretty darned acceptable. Yuk, Yuk.



And from a distance... well, you can still see it, but it's really not too bad:

Please ignore the shadow of my hand taking the picture... 

Thanks so much to everyone who offered advice. I found several tutorials online as well, the most helpful of which was this one by Martha Stewart.


I'm not entirely sure that I got all of the "loops" because the original yarn was pretty darned microscopic. (Enough with the darning jokes already!) I had to wear magnifying glasses and it was still pretty hard to keep my rows and columns going straight.


In truth, the hardest part was matching the color of the yarn. I couldn't find any actual wool that was anywhere close, so I went with thread, which, unfortunately has a bit of a sheen, so in certain lighting it does show a bit, but I'm still quite pleased with my efforts.


I think I did get a tad bit of cat fur woven into the darn, but oh well... such is life!


So now, I think I can finally replace the song that's been running through my head: "There's a hole in the sweater, dear Liza, dear Liza..."


Since I've been trying to spend less time staring at my various screens, this song seems like perhaps it should take over the spot in my mental radio. Though, I think these days you'd have to blow up much more than just the TV and paper! Enjoy!






31 comments :

  1. Very impressive! That is darned near (you started it) invisible. Well done! :-)

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    1. Thanks! That's high praise from a person who actually knows how to do this stuff! And thanks also for your advice, it was very helpful.

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  2. looks great! on the picture of you i spent a long minute asking myself where the hole had been.

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    1. Woo Hoo! That was the goal. And truth be told, when it's all covered with cat fur (like most of my clothing is) I think it will be even less noticeable. :-)

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  3. I have darned many sweaters. I don't do a really neat job but if it keeps the hole from getting bigger and I can still wear the sweater, it's worth it!

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    1. This was my first attempt and I was surprised how easy it was. Hmmm... makes me wonder if there are any other things with holes in them that I can fix!

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  4. Congratulations :) I did a little bit of darning on the weekend, as well as sewing on buttons. It really makes you feel capable, doesn't it? I don't do a super-neat job either, but it gets done!

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    1. It was quite empowering. I'm actually sorta excited by the possibilities. Like maybe I can find one used at the thrift store that someone got rid of because it had a hole, but I could fix it! I'd dearly LOVE to have another one of these merino wool sweaters because they're just so darned comfy - oops... seriously, didn't mean that darned joke, it just slipped out. Anyway, pretty cool.

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  5. Whew, I'm glad you didn't have to take any of MY suggestions!! Your fix looks really great and also really durable.

    And I just got a hole in almost the same spot in one of my shirts. My first thought was "rats, now I have to get a new striped shirt." (I like to always have one long-sleeved one and one short-sleeved one.) Then my boyfriend recommended an iron-on patch (in the same color, ironed onto the back of the fabric, and you put a damp paper towel on the other side so the iron-on goo doesn't go anywhere. Sounded a little scary, but I got some iron-on patches.

    I've never understood darning before. I mean, patching knitting with weaving? How can that be good? You've just shown me that it can be good for small holes. And the hole in my shirt is right in the middle of a white stripe, so it would even be easy for me to try darning with white thread.

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    1. Ha! Actual darning is something that was ubiquitous when I was an exchange student in Norway, but I never saw anybody who could do it here in this country. Don't know what that's all about. People patch, and mend, but I never met anyone here who could actually darn. It seems to be a bit of a lost art. I was sorta starting to wonder if I hadn't just dreamt the whole thing up!

      Anyhow, for something that I'd built up to fairy tale status in my mind, it was ridiculously easy. And the Martha Stewart tutorial was great.

      You might want to practice on something that you don't care about first - it took me a few tries to get the hang of it. Plus you'll get a feel for what size of thread/yarn you need to use. Good luck with it!

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    2. Didn't work out this time. Oh, well. Thanks for the hints, though!

      I did take the opportunity to sew up holes in a few other things. And it looked like all the thread was coming off a jacket button, but when I finished pulling the thread, the button was still on. Huh. I decided to reinforce the buttons anyway.

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    3. Interesting... the magic stay-put button! I think I'd probably err on the side of securing it too. :-)

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    4. Ha, sorry I made it sound so magical! But after pulling out a bunch of thread, I got to the end of the thread, but there was still lots of thread holding the button on. Well, now there's a little bit more!

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  6. Awesome! I do have to admit that I can't tell where it is...so I'd say you did your job successfully :)

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    1. Flattery will get you nowhere... or, in this case it made me pretty pleased. Yay! Sweater saved!

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  7. I had to zoom in to the photo and hunt for the darn- it definitely doesn't stand out that much!

    I need to darn a pair of my brother's socks and do various other mending jobs..should get on with it this week really!

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    1. Yes well, I took a look at my overflowing mending basket today and decided that perhaps I should tackle a few of those long-neglected tasks! Never a dull moment! :-)

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  8. I think you did an awesome job. The tear will never get worse. I find that when darning sweaters or socks that the trick for making the repairs truly invisible is tracking down yarn that is the same color and gauge as that of the sweater or sock.

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    1. You called it! I thought about trying to order something online, but I figured my chances of matching the color that way were slim to none! Anyhow, I'm pleased as punch to have acquired this new skill!

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  9. Yay! for you, you have added a new skill to repertoire. Now you can go out there and save lost sweaters.
    In the pic I couldn't even tell where the darn was so great job.
    Marie

    A Darning joke.
    How the non-darner handles a hole in a sock
    She holds the sock over a garbage can
    drops it in
    and says"Oh darn!"

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    1. Yuk Yuk! I think this topic is pretty primed for bad jokes! Anyhow, I have to say that I'm pretty DARNED excited about the prospect of saving lost sweaters. Especially if they're the merino wool variety because it's my new favorite thing on the planet!

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  10. Congrats! I'm happy I got to start Monday off on a positive note!

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  11. There's a hole in your sweater, dear Katty dear Katty ... I'll darn it, dear Georgie dear Georgie ... now I'll be singing that all day long, much to my children's chagrin.

    You did a fabulous job. It reminded me of taking my kids to a museum last year--a house from the depression era. One of the docents showed us a darning egg for darning socks and asked my offspring what I did with their holey socks--"Throw them in the trash!". She showed us how to use the darning egg. I think my son is disappointed that I don't have more Little-House-On-The-Prairie skills so we can be a self-sustaining family. You, however, are the new darning icon.

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    1. Ha! So... I was trying to find something to use as a darning egg, and I dug out an old plastic Easter egg... which worked brilliantly until I set it down and Smoky & Jasper took off down the hall with it. I guess plastic Easter eggs make great cat toys!

      Sorry about filling your head with that song... if you want to replace it just listen to the John Prine one... your kids might get a kick out of mom singing about topless dancers and blowing up television sets! :-)

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    2. We have tons of those stupid Easter eggs around the house because my kids like to play with them ... and of course, the cat loves to get in on the action!

      It's more fun to annoy my kids with songs they don't want to hear. One of the joys of being a parent is the ability to embarrass ...

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    3. You're crackin' me up - "the ability to embarrass..." I love it.

      You know, now that I think of it, I may have filled those Easter eggs with catnip many years ago. Maybe that explains why they were so intent upon stealing it! :-)

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  12. Replies
    1. Awwww thanks. I figure most people won't be straining their eyes trying to find the darned spot so I probably shouldn't worry about it.

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  13. yay! Very impressive :) I really had to look to find it.

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully it really is hard to find and I don't just have a bunch of blogging buddies with bad eyesight! :-)

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