I’ve been cheerfully darning and repairing lots of items this week. An ex-colleague of Mr Conkers, remembering the visible mending I’d done on one of his jumpers, asked if I could repair some woollens after an attack of clothes moths.
The woollen items in this commission were all very fine knits – far better quality than Mr Conkers’ jumpers, it has to be said – so it was a little daunting!
My darning wool collection (which includes several skeins inherited from my great aunt) previously only ever included workaday colours – black, navy, grey and beige. I purchased red and yellow last year to darn my husband’s grey jumper (shown here) and the endless stream of socks and tights…
One of the jumpers in this commission, was purple, so I had a perfect excuse to indulge myself with some more exotic colours. I hadn’t come across Laine St Pierre before (just getting my darning wool from eBay or the high street), but their threads clearly have a dedicated fan base. They have every colour under the sun and their boxed sets are the stuff of yarn fantasy…
Unfortunately my phone hasn’t enjoyed this commission as much as I have, and has refused to capture the contrast of this repair on the dark purple jumper effectively. The darns are in the fuchsia colour shown in the middle above, where the jumper colour also appears more accurately.
I also repaired a hole and runs under the arms. I did this in the matching purple darning wool as Mr Conkers confirmed my feeling that in general gentlemen don’t like to have attention drawn to their armpits.
Those moths like to pick the best locations for a nibble, don’t they! This was the only hole in this very fine woollen jumper – right in the middle of the front. This jumper was a dark French navy, which I mended discretely with matching yarn.
I also went for subtle (if not invisible) mending on this woman’s glove – this was a long glove in a very soft wool with a pretty cable pattern on the other side, so well worth the mending.
A well-loved brown jumper needed the most attention, with moth holes, and large holes under the arms. I used the pink Laine St Pierre darning yarn shown above for this (just one thread of the four in a strand). Again it is more of a contrast in real life than my camera has managed to capture. I also reinforced the elbows where they were getting very thin. A stitch in time..!
There was also a jumper in which the only problem was that one of the raglan sleeve seams had separated. I repaired this invisibly along the original seam line with matching yarn, using some truly microscopic crochet hooks. In this picture it looks as if the jumper is in DK or something, it’s not! It’s a very, very fine knit, and that thread is very fine darning yarn.
I find darning restful, so enjoyed this commission. People who don’t knit or crochet don’t realise that we are often not working away while our minds wander. At least with the type of crochet I do, I am constantly counting, counting, counting. Quite often counting both stitches and rows at the same time, and/or doing mental multiplications! There’s no counting involved in darning, so it lets me have a quiet head for a little while.
See my post on Mending Small Holes in a T-shirt too.
I have a Pinterest Board dedicated to all kinds of mending and upcycling projects that you might find interesting: