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Love and Mending

I wasn’t always a knitter. Nobody in my family really taught me how to knit. (I think my grandmother tried once when I was seven. It didn’t take.) In fact, I only started knitting not long after I started dating Brock. He would meet me in Lawrence after my knitting class let out of the Yarn Barn and we’d go eat noodles at Zen Zero. Even then he was asking me if I would knit him a sweater. I started with a scarf, a little reluctant to commit to a whole sweater so soon.

Brocks Sweaters

I did finally knit him a sweater in 2011, ignoring all the boyfriend sweater jokes everyone made as I worked on it. The classic Cobblestone turned out really great! So great, that last year, I decided to knit him another, The Ishmael Sweater. He has worn one of the these sweaters every day the weather has been less than balmy for the last two years. I take it as the deepest, most loving of compliments that he wears them so much. He understands that when I knit for him, it is an act of love.

And he has just about loved these sweaters to rags.

Holy Sweaters
The elbows on both sweaters look like this. I have patched the green one multiple times. He has only just worn through the elbows on the red one.

Armpit Hole
He also somehow managed to completely rip out the kitchener stitch from one of the underarms. I was hoping this year’s sweater would be finished before the red one gave out, but no such luck. It’s also still January, so he’ll be needing something warm to wear for at least the next two months, but I managed to sneak these away for the afternoon.

Knowing that all my careful elbow mending only lasts a few weeks, this afternoon I finally purchased some of these at JoAnn:
elbow patches
Leather elbow patches. Let’s see him wear through these!

I started with the red sweater, because the mending was simpler. I sewed up the holes on the elbows (though perhaps not as neatly as I would have done had I not been intending to cover them up) and then I closed up the underarm again. I gave the whole sweater a good rubbing with the sweater stone, and then sat down to sew on the arm patches.

The nice thing about these patches, is that they already have holes poked in them, which I think is why they cost so much more than just a regular old swatch of suede. However, the holes were the perfect sewing guide, because I am a lousy hand-sewer with no patience.

But after about an hour’s worth of work, I had a smartly repaired sweater.
Repaired Ishmael

You’ll notice the patches aren’t in the same place on each sleeve. While aesthetically, I would have liked to have them match up perfectly while the laid on my work table, I decided centering them over the most worn parts of the sleeve would be more practical. And sure enough, as soon as Brock tried it on, the patches didn’t look at all lopsided, but covered his elbows perfectly.

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