Patching up

“Where are those gloves with the leather?” asked Michael when the weather turned a couple of months ago. We searched in all the usual places but came up empty handed. (Yes, that was intentional)

Last week, during a fit of New Year’s decluttering, I found the gloves — in his brother Kevin’s room (or should I say “former room” since he no longer lives here?) Regardless, the gloves were located, and it was immediately apparent that they’d been found by some moths during their time under a pile of stuff.

cream and tan knit gloves on brown table, close up of several holes from moth damage

Michael was delighted and not at all concerned about the multiple holes. He was confident I could fix them and even suggested that the mending could be a design feature — even going so far as to suggest I use some “warm colors” for the patching.

I love a knitting challenge, and I love learning a new technique, so I started searching my stash and the Internet. Over the past several years, I’d seen articles and posts about “intentional mending,” incorporating stitches and patches into a garment rather than doing invisible mending.

I found a tutorial from Edmonton’s River City Yarns most helpful, in part because it demonstrates how to knit a patch to cover a hole while also securing its borders. Other tutorials were for knitting a small patch (basically a swatch) and then sewing it onto the piece — not as clever, in my opinion.

So I dove in. Along a worn-out thumb, I did some cross-hatch “weaving” since there didn’t seem to be space for a patch. I also figured it might be too lumpy. Further down the piece, I created a little patch over six stitches.

close up of knitting, with multi-colored yarn creating a patch. Six stitches are on knitting needle, held by thumb and forefinger

“That’s lovely, but those aren’t warm colors,” I hear you say. That’s exactly what I said to myself. So for the next patch, I snipped a length of more appropriate yarn leftover from a pair of socks and got to work.

close-up of small, reddish orange knitted patch on cream and tan knit gloves

Apologies for the blurriness.

This is really fun. There are quite a few more holes and gaps, so I’ve got plenty of chances to practice. I’ll keep you posted.

4 thoughts on “Patching up

  1. Hello – I love this post. I think you did quite a good job on the old gloves. Annie (who is home from London) presented me with a vintage black sweater that has a sleeve that is unraveling at the cuff. It has green and yellow appliqued flowers on the front and is very much worth saving. The yarn seems to be cotton but a blend of some sort. My grandmother taught me to darn socks and I’d grade myself as an advanced beginning knitter who no longer gets hysterical if I drop a stitch or find a mistake. I also, as you would suspect, have a collection of yarn in the basement and I found a nice segment for my project. I threw myself into the cuff repair. She was thrilled with the results and so was I. I am very happy that more kids want to recycle clothing instead of replacing it. (Thank you for the Sock Repair link). Cheers P.S. I did holiday felt decorations with my grandchildren and so had fabric glue at hand. I used the glue on several ends of yarn that were randomly sticking out, There was no hole or problem but I thought it might help overall. CMP


  2. Where, oh where have you been??? Or was I somehow left behind, not getting messages from you until today? I even remember that we first met when you were in some short-term position at Smith. How many years ago was that? Glad to see you here again and still knitting!

    Sarah Cross Mills, Portland, ME


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