Tag Archives: make do and mend

A call to arms; raise up your arms

I started this project and this post months ago – last January, I think – and I finished the project over the summer, and the post last week, setting it to publish today.

I hope we know who the president is by now, and more so, I desperately hope it is not that horrible horrible man.

So this is not about politics.

It’s yet again about thrifted sweaters.

tealcardigan-label

I got this cardigan during a thrift store run last autumn or winter and hit another small jackpot – I’ve been wanting a teal cardigan, but didn’t want to buy the yarn and knit one, or buy one new

– and I lucked out –

and I so wish I had grander luck than just finding an old sweater for $3 or so…

But anyway, this one was probably made for men – it’s got some unfortunately narrow/tight hips and broad shoulders, and some reaaaaaally long arms.

tealcardigan-before

And the lower half of both arms were quite shredded.

tealcardigan-damage

I decided to conduct a partial amputation of the lower sleeves and re-knit the cuffs.

At least 8  inches were completely unnecessary – even for my monkey arms.

tealcardigan-sleeve

But the damn thing had cut/serged seams, so I was only left with short lengths of yarn – great to nearly invisibly repair the other various holes and moth nibbles, but not great for knitting for length.

tealcardigan-cuff-after

So I knit them in some dark charcoal wool and have paused to see if I like them as-is…

The bottom of the sleeve doesn’t poof quite as badly as it appears – some of the original cuff is still folded back inside – but I may end up narrowing them a bit. I may also knit the cuffs longer so they fold over. I might add an icord trim around the front so I can move the buttons over 1/2 inch to eek out a bit more width and add a decorative element. I might knit a shawl collar. I might take the short teal yarns and splice them all together and re-knit the cuffs. I might entirely re-knit the sleeves in charcoal. I might open up the side seams and add charcoal side stripes…

I have to admit I’m not feeling this one completely yet, but mostly because I’m still in need of another ass-clearing cardigan and this one stops short – I already used up my luck finding one of those a few years ago.

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Favorite sweater re-do, third time around

My favorite old cardigan was due for another round of repairs.

cardigan full

The elbow patch I put on a couple years ago was no longer covering all of the worn areas on one arm, and the other finally gave out.

New England-elbow

So I returned the sweater to a more somber state with matching charcoal elbow patches from a thrifted felted sweater.

oldsweater-elbows

(And our “cloakroom” doorway ended up being the perfect place for a vintage curtain I’ve had for years.)

I sewed up a few holes in the cuffs and weak spots in the arms – thankfully the nubby fabric is entirely forgiving and I didn’t need to worry about making perfect mends.

But the beige thread in the buttons seemed to stand out too much, so I sewed some black over it.

oldsweater-thread

And now the cardigan is stable once more, albeit a little less quirky, but still one of my favorites…

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Filed under collecting, recycling, sewing, thrifting