Monday, February 22, 2010

Fixing a Hole

Warning: this post is not for the faint of heart!

Two things before you start:
1) This post contains a mystery which remains unsolved.
2) It has a happy ending.

So, I mentioned in another post that there was a hole.

This is it.

Yeah, it's not pleasant. Of course, when you look at it in context, it becomes a little less scary.Can you see it? I circled it below.

So, not a tiny hole and certainly not one that could be ignored. But it could have been worse. The weird thing about this hole, which I noticed almost immediate, was that there were no broken threads. I couldn't find the spot where the yarn had broken to allow this bit of unraveling to occur. For those of you who are not knitters, each knitted stitch is looped through the one below it. And is connected to the stitches on either side of it. If you drop a stitch at the top of a knitted piece, it's possible for that loop to unravel all the way down to the bottom cast on edge (similar to when you get a run in your pantyhose - starts as a little hole/broken thread and away it runs). But if you don't drop a stitch, and the yarn doesn't break, there's really no way for the loops to unravel. Even if this made no sense to you, trust me, there's no way for a hole to develop without a broken bit of yarn or a dropped stitch.

If some more experienced knitter out there does know how this could happen, please tell me. Because I cannot wrap my head around it. As you may have guessed, this is the mystery of the post.

I looked for the broken yarn, but couldn't find it and figured I would go about fixing the hole and the broken ends would present themselves. Fortunately for my current purposes, the lace is now very stiff, so the stitches were very easy to pick up. The hole occurred in the part that was knitted on size 10 needles, but I used a much smaller needle, a size 2 to pick up the stitches.

Here are the stitches picked up. You can see that I used a pair of needle nosed tweezers to pick up some of the loops. It worked so well that I can't believe I'd never though to use tweezers before. Even better than using a crochet hook!

You can see how the lifeline is right below the area where the hole formed. Sheesh! But back to the problem at hand. I figured out which part of the pattern had unraveled. Then separated the strands and started reknitting them. After knitting them on the size 2 needles, I transferred them over to a size 10 needle so that the stitch size was consistent. Here's the size 10 needle.
Here are both the size 10 and size 2 needles.
I kept knitting. I found no loose or broken threads. I completed the pattern and ended up just having to tie the bit I'd reknitted onto the existing stitches on the side. I used some of the left over yarn I'd dyed and tied it very tightly and wove in the ends.

If you look at the pic below you can see that although the worst of the hole has been corrected, there is a wide section right in the middle of that looks like a stocking run. There should be a line of stitches and yarn overs up through there. Somehow they'd vanished too.

I reknitted those stitches as well and then tied them in where they were supposed to be. Again my tweezers were quite helpful.
And that's how I fixed the hole in the dress. It looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

I still have no idea how the hole was created. I hope no other holes spontaneously appear. This was almost fun to fix, like doing a jigsaw puzzle and a logic problem at the same time. But it also took about two hours, during which time I was in the guest room with the door shut and Nyssa constantly beating on the door. (For those who don't know, she is a very large cat.) I would prefer not to do this again.


  1. Dear Amy "Wizard" Overman,
    Our apartment is too small, and there appears to be a hole in the kitchen area. Could you knit an expansion for us? We will provide yarn and sticks. ; )

  2. I am willing to bet that you missed a stitch while doing a decrease and didn't notice. It might have caught part of a fiber but it wasn't strong enough to hold the stitch in place for long.

    Nice job on the fix though... well done!

    Congratulations and best wishes to you!

  3. Yeah..I agree with your friend above. But it's fixed nicely now and looking b-e-a-u-tiful! :D