Last year I bought DH a beautifully handknit deep red wool scarf at Savers. It looked pristine at the time but shortly after he started wearing it two little holes appeared! I suspect moths munched on it long before it got to the Savers store. So sad. sigh. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the holes were near each other, but noooo, instead there was one hole on each end, about 6 and 8 inches in.
Recently I stared at the poor scarf and tried to decide my best repair strategy. Unraveling and binding off both ends would be the simplest solution but, with a scarf that was only 48″ long to start with, 14 inches would be too much to lose!
Some one else might decide to remove only the few rows of scarf that actually contained the holes and then kitchener stitch (or ‘graft’) the three pieces of scarf back together but, since I don’t enjoy grafting even the last eight or so stitches of a sock toe, and have only ever grafted in stockinette (all knit stitches), I was not about to try grafting twice across the 11″ width of this patterned scarf (a mix of knit and purl stitches)!
I decided that I would simply unravel both ends and then re-knit the 14 inches.
After unraveling from just above hole #1 to the scarf’s end, I joined my freshly handrolled ball of yarn to the rest of the scarf with a felted join, aka ‘spit-splicing’, and started to re-knit the missing 8 inches.
I seriously doubted whether I’d be able to perfectly match my knitting gauge to that of the scarf but I was certainly going to try. DH assured me that the scarf would keep him warm and he that would enjoy wearing it no matter how it turned out. What a Sweetie! I went with size 3 knitting needles at first because of how the scarf’s live stitch loops felt ‘just snug enough’ when sitting on them, but after several pattern repeats I realized that the crinkly unraveled yarn was making my stitches come out too loose, so I switched down to size 2s.
Then the question was whether I would I rip out the 2″ of scarf that I’d just knitted or keep going? DH said, “Keep going! Definitely, keep going!”, because the scarf will be tucked inside his coat most of the time and who’s going to look at it closely enough to notice that slightly looser section anyway?
I knit, knit, knit, til I ran out of yarn. One hole gone, one to go. Yay!
I began unraveling the scarf’s other end, going from the cast-off edge toward hole #2. Things were a little different this time as I was unraveling from end #2 as I continued to knit on end #1. I stopped unraveling when I got near the second hole and bound off both ends of the scarf. It felt great to have saved the scarf but my results weren’t what you’d call ‘Great!!’
I wish I’d taken photos throughout this entire process, – I bet you do too! lol. – but I really, really wish I’d at least taken a photo of the scarf at this very point because without it you can’t know just how Bad things looked! The #2 needle part was a little narrower than the original scarf and the #3 needle part was wider as well as bumpy and ‘holey’. ugh. I was really, really hoping washing and blocking** was going to make a Big Difference!
Once the scarf started its cool citrus Soak bath I may have gotten a little distracted by another project. I’m sure that never happen to any of you. HAha. An hour later I carefully lifted the scarf from the water and immediately realized that, like magic, my stitches had relaxed and begun to even out! Eager to finish the process, I gently squeezed out some of the water, rolled the wet scarf in a bath sheet and stomped on it to help the towel soak up even more. Then I gently pushed and pulled the damp scarf into shape on a plastic covered cutting board and pinned the two newly knit corners.
I’m so HaPpY!! with how this turned out!, said while grinning and gleefully patting the still damp scarf. – The far end may look like it has a notch cut out of it, lol, but no, that’s just where the scarf takes a step down as it goes off the end of my folded cutting board. – Yes, there’s still a little bit of difference in the textures of the scarf’s three sections, not obvious in that flash photo, but this is nothing compared to how different they each looked before.
As DH said at the start, no one will suspect a thing when it’s tucked inside his coat
Later I came across this ball of hand-dyed heavy worsted weight yarn in my stash and immediately recognized it as a very close match to the deep red of DH’s ‘new’ scarf. – I hope you can make out the interesting texture of the scarf’s simple stitch pattern! *
I think I found this particular ball of wool at a fiber fest. The note says that it’s about one dollar’s worth of a little $3.00 Stash Bag that I got from Goose Down Farm. Yay! $1.00 for matching fingerless mitts.
DH is quite happy knowing that he’s going to receive a new pair.
But I’m in no hurry to start on them; I have until late fall.
*The scarf’s stitch pattern is simple, only four rows long.
Row 1: XXXXXXXOOOOOOOXXXXXXXOOOOOOO. . . repeat, to your desired width and Row 2: XXXXXXXOOOOOOOXXXXXXXOOOOOOO. . . length. You’ll need to make a Row 3: OOOOOOOXXXXXXXOOOOOOOXXXXXXX. . . swatch with needles matched to Row 4: OOOOOOOXXXXXXXOOOOOOOXXXXXXX. . . the weight of yarn you’ve chosen and then figure out how many stitches (a multiple of 14) to cast on for the width of scarf you want.
Slipping the first stitch of every row knitwise and purling the last stitch will give the scarf a tidy looking edge.
Row 1: K7, P7 across. (remembering to slip the 1st st knitwise and then K6 to complete the first K7 group) Turn.
Row 2: P7, K7 across. (slipping the 1st st knitwise, P6 for the first P7 group and K6, P1 for the last K7 group) Turn.
Row 3: P7, K7 across. (slip the first. . .purl the last) Turn.
Row 4: K7, P7 across. (slip, etc. . .) Turn.
Repeat rows 1-4. When your scarf is as long as you want, stop after either row 1 or row 3 and BO loosely in pattern.
**Blocking – If you wonder what blocking is or why you should bother, – In full disclosure, I don’t always bother. – you may want to read what the Yarn Harlot recently had to say about blocking.