Repair and renew.

I think I am the only knitter that Neil from Moondarra Wines knows. Or maybe he knows more about my skills than I do?

This July I received a heartfelt plea to repair some knitwear from Neil. He even suggested using the ‘obvious repair’ method as favoured by Japanese, Kintsugi process where ceramics are repaired using gold to make a feature of the repair. His sister had spun the yarn and knitted him a jumper. A jumper that Neil obviously loved so much, he had worn it to death!

The cuffs were frayed, there were holes everywhere and signs of more holes to come…

Initially I was reluctant to help, as it seemed like such a huge task.

I searched through my stash of yarns at home and thought… ok, maybe I can do this.

I found some beautiful Tarndie Polwarth yarn from Tarndwarncoort - not only is the yarn beautiful and soft, the providence is very interesting too..

Polwarth sheep were developed by Richard Dennis at Tarndwarncoort in 1880, by crossing Saxon Merino sheep from Tasmania with Victorian Lincoln sheep. This progeny was then joined back to the Merino and bred to a fixed type. These un-mulsed sheep were named Dennis Comebacks and later renamed Polwarth after the local electorate.

They are Australia’s first breed of sheep. (via Tarndie website)

Then to satisfy the Kintsugi requirement I found some gorgeous Teal/Deep blue Merino yarn. I bought this yarn from a local wool supplier who sources their merino yarns from Ballarat sheep farms.

My first point of attack was the cuffs… they had to go!

I cut the first one off close to the sleeve and picked up the stitches till I eventually had them pulled back to the start of cuff. I then reknit the double rib cuffs - flat - using the soft grey/ brown Tarndie yarn.

Embolded with the success of this, I did the same with the other cuff! I was impressed with how good they looked, and also how soft the yarn was once knitted. When I sewed the cuffs back together I pretty much reseamed the sleeve up to the elbow. Hopefully reinforcing some very frail stitches on the inside arm.

Then I attempted to darn.

I’d never done this before but had watched a few videos and created a weft across the gaps, then wove through the yarn. It’s not super neat and pretty but the grey/brown of the Tarndie yarn, blends perfectly with the natural tones of the original yarn.

Then I darned about 4 other holes….

Then there was the big one! A massive elbow hole that really needed patching.

I took my knitting needle and picked about about 6 stitches from the bottom of the hole and knitted them. Then I cast on extra stitches to expand the knitting every second row. To create a stocking stitch knit patch that is actually attached to the body of the jumper.

Once I had knitted a patch big enough to cover the hole, I simply sewed it onto the edges of the hole. Whilst it is not a perfect fit for the hole, there is a little bunching, I think once it’s on, you wont even notice it.

The next area to cover was the Kintsugi element of the repair.

There was a small hole in the front of the left arm (bicep level - I guess from lugging boxes of wine!) and the existing seam at the sleeve and neck seemed extremely fragile.

So I darned the obvious front hole with the lovely blue yarn. I then used this blue yarn to re-enforce and in fact create a feature of this front left seam by over sewing using the same blue merino yarn. It’ looked pretty good I thought.

Then I continued the darning process using the Tarndie yarn on the back of the neck/shoulder seam.

The hem of the jumper was also worn ragged, however I didn’t want to totally replace this rib edging. I used the Tarndie yarn to carefully stitch the most obvious pulls and damage of the band, but I think it still retains it’s well loved character.

After sewing in the loose ends we have a beautiful reinvigorated and redesigned hand knit 100% wool jumper.

Made with love.


Netflix and KNIT

We’ve all heard the saying, Netflix and Chill. However most people are not doing the ‘chill’ part when binge watching the latest Drama or Documentary series. (For those not familiar - the ‘chill’ part is mostly for the Tinder daters haha)

For many, watching these 8 hours of TV can create some kind of guilt for not using our time productively - HELLO KNITTING!

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Knitting simple projects can be a great supplementary activity to do while you watch TV.

Even for beginners if you are knitting a scarf or small project with a simple pattern you can easily do both. Of course unlike other TV there is a pause button. You are able to stop whenever you like and you don’t miss a thing when checking your knitting.

I still have trouble with sub-titled programs which require me to look at the screen the whole time, but regular programs are great.

The What Jane Knits projects are perfect Netflix and Knit kits!

Super simple kits include:

The WJK Baby Poncho

Handwarmer Kit

Alpaca Slouch Beanie

In fact I should start measuring how long to knit each project based on how many episodes of a series it takes to complete.

My recent viewing history has been:

  • FYRE documentary - what a disaster… and still they tried to bluff their way through!

  • Seven Seconds - old series but great police drama

  • 7 Days Out - I’ve viewed the episode on Channel Paris Fashion Show and my favourite the 11 Madison Park restaurant relaunch - fascinating!

  • Ellen DeGeneres at 60yo in her stand up show Relatable. So funny and clever.

So remove your TV viewing guilt and get knitting while you check out your latest Netflix programs.

Note: Any viewing recommendations are welcome!