Monday Mending: Alex’s Sweater
I’ve been thinking a lot about mending lately. I’ve got a bit of an internal battle over two opposing viewpoints, both of which I believe in strongly: I can totally fix this and I will never fix this and I don’t really need it anyway so let’s trash it or turn it into rags. When our coffeepot with a built-in grinder broke a year ago, we hung onto it until last week before finally parting ways (meanwhile I switched to tea and the mister became addicted to the french press). Tinkering takes time we just don’t really have.
But when it comes to things that I definitely know how to fix, lately I’m making more of an effort to do so. Recently, that has included overdyeing a pair of light-wash jeans for my husband, and fixing up some frayed buttonholes on a favorite coat. I have plans to put a new edging on an old wool camp blanket I
stole permanently borrowed from my parents. So hopefully, you see, this is the first of many posts about simply fixing things.
My co-worker Alex is one of those amazing people who is always smiling. He goes out of his way to say hello, to give you a high-five, to ask about your weekend or your home renovation project, and to share his own. He’s always helping other people out.
Which is why, when he wore this unraveling sweater to the office one cold January day, I was so excited to volunteer to fix it.
It’s a commercial handknit, and while it’s definitely seen better days (there are a few slightly felted bits), it fit him so well and he loved it so much that it seemed to me quite worth saving. I picked out the sport-weight Brown Sheep Nature Spun and the fingering-weight Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift based on color alone, and ended up using both of them doubled.
The problem was really just the cuffs and collar. The fix was easy: I ran a lifeline, frogged a few rows, re-knit and voila, good as new! I added a stretchy bind-off to hopefully reduce the amount of wear on the edges in the future. I also fixed a few random small holes in the body of the sweater.
Alex was super excited about the fix and wore the sweater basically as soon as I gave it back to him… just in time for a 10 degree week full of snow. I’m really happy to have helped him out, and to have extended the life of a really lovely sweater.