Mother’s Day Mending

My mom has always been one of my favorite people to knit for.  She graciously accepted my first-ever knit, a garter stitch scarf out of nubby acrylic yarn, and still wears it from time to time.  Over the years, as my knitting has gotten more adventurous, she has been the enthusiastic recipient of my first lace project, a pair of beaded socks, and various other scarves and hats.  I love that she wears these things when I’m around her; it reminds me of what I already know deep in my heart: she love and supports me very much.

So when I noticed that one of her handknit scarves had a little hole in it, I wanted to fix it immediately.  We were at Stitches at the time, and I kept my eye out for some of the same yarn to do the repair.  It was Malabrigo lace in a green-blue colorway, and I thought it wold be easy to find a skein in a close color.  Not so.  When we parted ways, I forgot to get the scarf from her, and it left my mind.

The next month she came to visit for my birthday and happened to be wearing the scarf.  I was relieved to see that the hole at not grown!  It appeared that a small snag near the garter stitch border had broken the yarn, and just a couple of stitches had unravelled.  Fortunately, the yarn is a fuzzy single ply and very grabby, so it wasn’t going anywhere fast.  But how to fix it?

My mom left the scarf with me this time.  Quite by accident, as I was getting down a box of old Interweave magazines, I found a ziplock bag of yarn labels and tags.  This is a remnant of the days before I uploaded my stash to Ravelry; I saved every single ball band, just in case.  You know what happens next, right?

Malabrigo yarns come with a hang tag that is attached to the skein by a small length of yarn.  I did the yarn worshiper’s Alleluia and danced with joy!

The fix was relatively simple once I set my mind to it.  I got out my size 0 double-pointed needles and got to work looking for live stitches and pulling out tufts of broken yarn.  There were more stitches on the bottom of the hole than the top, so I fudged it a bit and picked up some intact stitches, then grafted the hole closed.  I took care to weave in the ends on the top and bottom of the graft, hoping to add further reinforcement.

I think it turned out pretty nice!

Next I gave the scarf a nice bubble bath and re-blocked it.  I think my mom will get many more years of enjoyment out of this scarf.  And I have about 6 inches of yarn left, just in case.

Easy Come, Easy Lace…

The scarf is finished!

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  • Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Lace in Emerald Blue (137)
  • Needles: Size 4 Circular Needles
  • Pattern: Easy Flame Lace Scarf by Wendy Bernard (it’s free!)

I started this project in October, thinking it would be a quick and easy introduction to lace knitting. I thought I would have it finished in plenty of time to give to my mother for Christmas. Well, it was an easy pattern, and a fabulous introduction to a simple lace, but it took me a lot longer to finish than anticipated. It felt like it would never end: 470 yards of lace yarn…ahhhh….

The perfect opportunity to buckle down and knit until it was finished came last week in Newport, RI.  My mom and I drove over for some coastal R&R, staying at the historic Francis Malbone House.  It was during their afternoon tea service, in front of a roaring Colonial fireplace, that I was able to muster up the energy to finish.  The two lemon squares I devoured may have helped things along a bit too.  FYI, this is a great time of year to try out some of Newport’s high end B&B’s at a deep discount; we got our room with a harbor view for about 2/3 off the usual price!

Back to the scarf:

As soon as I bound off, I tossed it to my mom in the wingback next to me.  She received the scarf graciously and encouraged me NOT to throw the leftover yarn into the fireplace.  I left it on the mantle, instead.  In any case, my mom has been very good about making a big deal out of my knitting, and especially this project. I am happy to have completed it for her, and hope she will enjoy it for a long time to come.

Before blocking, the scarf measured 68 inches long, 5 1/2 inches wide. I used a spray bottle full of warm water to wet the scarf, avoiding the potential stretching that fully submerging it in water might create. I then used my yoga mat to pin my work down, stretching it to about 6 1/4 inches wide and 71 inches long. This material seems to work perfectly for blocking; it holds onto the pins, and seals itself up once they are removed. It also allows for the fabric to dry faster since it is non-absorbent.

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Spike was not impressed, as usual.