knitting

There’s a hole in mi knitting, what am I gonna do?

UB40 once sang ‘there’s a rat in mi kitchen, what am I going to do’….which is a scary thought indeed, but a hole in my knitting?! Nooooooo!!!!! I couldn’t think of anything worse 😦

A couple of nights ago I was getting ready to take a stroll down to the shop and with the weather being a bit nippy I decided to wear my Holden Shawl.

DSC07702

But imagine my horror when I found THIS!!

Hole in Knitting

It wasn’t actually this bad when I found it but I panicked and started pulling at the yarn trying to tie it up at the back, and ended up dropping more stitches. I was so annoyed 😦

After calming down I did what any sane and rational person would have done in the first place and headed straight for the internet for a solution to all my problems. And it turns out there are quite a few.

I decided to try this one from Knitty and here is what I did.

Firstly I secured the live stitches on stitch holders and assessed the damage (in doing so I inadvertently made the hole even bigger, grrrrr)

Knitting hole

Then I loosely grafted the live stitches together.

fixing hole

The area of damage was 4 stitches by 2 rows.

Luckily I had some spare yarn from this project as I had done a little gauge swatch when I made the shawl last year, so I unravelled about a third of that.

Unravelling a swatch

As  you can see the yarn had lots of kinks in it so it needed to be straightened. One of my favourite methods of straightening small amounts of yarn is by using a teapot.

straightening yarn

I threaded the yarn through the steam hole in the lid of the teapot and pulled it back out through the spout. Then very carefully I partially filled the teapot with hot water, just enough so as not to make contact with the yarn, then slowly started pulling the yarn from the spout. When I reached the end I refilled the teapot and reversed the process pulling the yarn back through the lid, and hey presto!

straightened yarn

Lovely straight yarn 🙂

yarn

Back to the shawl…the instructions on Knitty said I would need as many lengths of yarn as there are rows missing, and the yarn needed to be about 3 inches longer than the gap.

The trick is to lay the yarn over the hole and use these lengths of yarn to rebuild the stitches using a crochet hook to pull the yarn through.

fixing knitting hole

First row done.

Row 2

2nd row.

You then graft the 2 sets of live stitches together. An excellent tutorial on grafting can be found here.

I must admit it took me a couple of attempts to get a result I was ok with, and where it was still a bit messy in places I used a duplicate stitch to tidy it up. It’s by no means perfect but luckily for me the yarn hides a lot of sins, and I think once I have it on it will become less noticeable…

Repaired hole

…especially if I wear it as a scarf 🙂

Holden

If you find a hole in your knitting my one piece of advice would be – don’t panic! There is always a way to fix it, and thanks to the internet it doesn’t have to be scary. Now I would take a hole in my knitting over a rat any day!

Happy knitting x

13 thoughts on “There’s a hole in mi knitting, what am I gonna do?”

    1. Thank you! I did freak out a first and it made things worse 😦 it took a few attempts to get the rows looking even, and I’m still not 100% happy but I think I can get away with it now!

  1. Wow! I hate to say this but it would probably take me a couple of days or longer and maybe someone else suggesting it before I thought to look on the Internet………. I’m not glad you got a hole in your shawl Jem, but I do see it as most fortuitous for me 🙂 for now this excellent advice and your pictures will stay stuck in my brain and hopefully rise to the fore when such a disaster befalls me again. You did an excellent job! And I didn’t know about the teapot unkinking method either – what a gem that is Jem!! 🙂

    1. Oh I do hope you never have to experience it, it was such a horrible sinking feeling, I really didn’t know what to do at first! I did try looking in my knitting books too but none of them had a section on how to fix holes 😦

      In a strange way I am glad it happened too as it was a good learning curve and if it happens again (which I really hope it doesn’t!) I do feel better equipped to deal with it…

      The teapot trick is great isn’t it – I can’t remember where I picked that one up from but it’s great for small amounts of yarn, and quick too!

      1. I want to find some kinky yarn just so I can try it 🙂 I was just thinking too that imperfections are all part of hand made and repairs also fit that criteria – wear your scarf with pride it is such a pretty pattern! Having said all that I made my daughter a Whovian themed light catcher for Christmas and the connector that I used at the top couldn’t hold all the weight and snapped leaving me with a massive repair job or a complete do-over – I was panicked for sure!! Luckily for me my other daughter came up with a solution [it’s great to have a really practical person in your life somewhere!] and it got fixed – but obviously – so it is definitely a flawed handmade object!! I didn’t think to look on YouTube for this either 🙂

      2. Yes that’s very true, it all adds character! I’m glad you managed to fix your lightcatcher ok, I bet you have been busy in the run up to Christmas. I do hope you will share pictures of some of your creations in January, I would love to see what a Whovian light catcher looks like!! x

  2. What a timely coincidence that you liked one of my blog posts today. I found a hole in my husband’s jumper last week and the dog also had a bit of a chew on my shawl and made a hole. I thought they were unsalvageable, but luckily I looked at your blog and found this post. Hopefully I can do as good a job as you did. I can’t even see the difference!!

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, I really hope it helps 🙂 I was filled with dread when I found the hole in my shawl but it really wasn’t so bad to fix, just arm yourself with a crochet hook and a bit of patience and you will be absolutely fine!

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