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.

Volkstricken: Monday Mending, Alex's Sweater Volkstricken: Monday Mending, Alex's Sweater

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.

Alex's Sweater - Yarn for Repair

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's Sweater - Repaired

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.

Monday Mending: Alex's SweaterHappy Mending!