About Woolly Wits

I am a hand-knitting designer and teacher. See and purchase my published designs on Ravelry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Eileen Fisher Sweater Save?

In the past I've had great success (and savings) repairing Eileen Fisher sweaters, so when I came across an incredible bargain at my TJ Maxx store, I was ready for another save.

A large hole on the right front of this sweater had driven the price down from $298 to $6.  A quick look at the yarn convinced me that the texture would help hide my repairs.  What I didn't see is that this isn't simple stockinette stitch, but a slipped stitch pattern with two yarns - a hand knitting weight black and tan marled yarn and a heavy black thread.  The thread's breaking was what had caused the hole.

A much longer look still didn't leave me with much more insight into the structure of the stitch.  While it was clearly a slip stitch pattern because not every stitch was worked in a row of the black thread, I could not get a sense of any regular pattern, i.e. k1, sl 1 or k2, sl 1, etc.  So, I collected the dropped stitches onto a size US #7 needle, since that seemed about right.  I thought that the length of the yarn strands from the dropped stitches might give me a clue as to how many of the stitches had been knit vs. slipped, again it didn't seem to be a regular pattern.

So, I just kinda re-knit as many stitches as I had yarn to work and recreated the rows up to the point at which the break occurred.  Then I took two strands of a heavy upholstery thread to simulate the original black thread/yarn and worked a Kitchener seam.

In all this maneuvering, I had not found the other end of the broken heavy black thread.  So I continued with my upholstery thread and ran it back and forth through the back of the thick stitches to anchor my repair.  This resulted in a somewhat stiffer fabric, but less concern over future unraveling.  The finished appearance is not seamless with the surrounding fabric, but, as I had determined up front, the heavy texture does help hide the repair.

To test the success I sent the sweater off to my daughter at college since she (and not I) wears an extra small.  She has had it a week with no comments or  questions, so I think it has passed.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Have you ever come across a fabulous designer accessory in a high-end shop and thought, "I am a knitter.  Why would I pay over a hundred dollars for something I could make myself in an evening?"  So you went home and searched Ravelry, certain that there would be many patterns similar to this accessory from which to choose.  Only you discovered that, although this accessory seems so basic in its construction, there was actually no pattern like it.  Which meant that you had to write it yourself.  And maybe other knitters would like it, too, so why not share?

This is the story of PowderPuffs.  To me, the concept of two pompom 'ears' on a chunky headband seemed so obvious that I could not imagine that no one had ever written down instructions to make it.  So I did.  You are welcome.

PowderPuffs is a great stashbuster project.  Designed with super bulky yarn, it can be knit by substituting multiple strands of thinner yarn.

1 strand super bulky = 2 strands bulky = 3 strands worsted = 4 strands dk, etc.

And those multiple strands don't have to be the same color.  Mix strands of different colors for a marled effect.  The brown sample has two shades of brown to give it more depth, and that richer appearance is a better background for the faux fur pompoms.

Of course, it goes without saying this time of year that PowderPuffs makes a great gift.  Sized for toddlers through adults, you could make one for every gal on your shopping list.  Worked in a earthy color, I could also see this suited to the imaginative boy who becomes a bear - polar, brown or black - pick your favorite.

Thanks to my technical editor, Sara Byron, and my test knitters, Katie Carpenter, Katherine Jones and Barb Larson.

And a special thanks to my friend, Mike Lantz, who came up with not only the winning name, but most of the runners up.

Be sure to download your PowderPuffs pattern before midnight on Friday, November 11th while it is at a bargain introductory price - free!  After that date, it will be regularly priced at $3 USD.
Here's the link to the Ravelry page.