Knitting a Patch

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I know this isn't a knitting forum, but I'm hoping some of you can help me.
  My editor insisted I change the name of the next Betsy Devonshire book, w
hich I was calling The Needle Case.  After some toing and froing we came up
 with Darned If You Do.  It's cute but now I have to add a scene where a so
ck gets darned.  I've been looking at tutorials on the 'Net, and have writt
en what I think is an accurate description.  If you are interested, please  
read this and let me know if it's okay.  Let me know if I'm stepping way ou
t of line with this.  If not, thank you very, very much!

Betsy went back to Crewel World to find Godwin deeply immersed in teaching  
a young woman to darn a hand knit sock.  It looked like a sock from one of  
his knitting classes.

The sock, a bright orange with small black diamonds, was bulging smoothly o
ver a small hole in the heel.

Ah, he's using a darning egg, thought Betsy.  The smooth wooden implements  
came in various sizes and shapes - some more like a computer mouse than an  
egg.  It was generally the truly egg-shaped that had handles on them.  They
 slipped inside socks or the arms and even the backs of sweaters that had w
orn or torn a hole in themselves.  It made mending them easier by freeing b
oth hands for the work and by preventing the stitcher from stitching the fr
ont onto the back.
There's something satisfying about mending a hand made garment, she thought
.  Ours is a throw-away society, it's good to push back against that once i
n awhile.

Godwin did not glance up.  He had threaded a darning needle appropriate to  
the thickness of the yarn used to knit the stocking.  The yarn he was threa
ding was a bright orange to match the area where a hole had worn through.

 "And now I take some of the leftover yarn from your stocking, which you wi
sely kept per my advice, and note I cut a length of it longer than you migh
t think you'll need, because it's ever so easy to cut the extra off than tr
y to pick up and continue with a new length."

"Okay," she said, nodding.

Without changing tone or looking around, Godwin said, "Hello, Betsy.  Valen
tina called, she's going to stop by in a little while.  Now, have you done  
duplicate stitch before?"

The young woman said, doubtfully, "I've looked at it on the Internet, and s
o I understand the theory of it, but I've never tried it.  Is it as easy as
 it looks?"

"Nothing is as easy as it looks.  So okay, before I start, you knitted this
 sock using four double ended needles, and there's a way to patch this hole
 using them, size double zero.  Would you rather do that?"

The young woman rested her chin and cheek in the palm of her hand, while sh
e thought, but then said, "I don't know.  I mean, I really don't know.  Whi
ch do you prefer?"

"Honestly?  I like duplicate stitch if the place is only worn thin.  If the
re's an actual hole, then I like darning with double zero needles."

"Fine."  She turned to Betsy.  "I'll take a set of double zeros, please."

"That's great, Molly."  Betsy brought a packaged set of four to the desk.  
Molly opened the package and gave the needles to Godwin.

He took one and said, "First, find the first row below the hole that has no
 damage.  You're looking for strong, solid stitching."  He pointed the row  
out and began carefully working across the row, starting about half an inch
 to one side of the hole, lifting a single stitch and running the needle th
rough it.  He continued across the row to half an inch the other side of th
e hole.  "See?" he said.

"Gotcha," Molly replied.

"Now, from the farthest left hand picked-up stitch, run up that column with
 another needle, picking up each stitch, beside the hole to a solid row abo
ve it."  He did so, his fingers moving nimbly, while she watched.

"You do that so smoothly," she said.

"Lots of experience," he said.  "I'm always wearing a hole in my socks, tho
ugh it's usually at the toe."  He leaned a little sideways and murmured, "I
 have such sharp toenails."

Molly giggled.

"Now, run the third needle up the right side, same as you do on the left.  
At this point you've got that old hole practically surrounded."

"Except at the top," Molly pointed out.

"Yes, well, we'll take care of that as we approach.  So, you take your four
th needle, and a matching yarn, or some left over from the sock lesson, and
 you verrrry carefully pick up that first stitch on the bottom row and the  
first stitch on the right vertical row, and you knit the two of them togeth
er with the strand of yarn.  Like so."

He deftly picked up the stitches onto the free needle and knit them into th
e strand of yarn.  "Now, continue across that row to the other side."
In a few minutes he said, "And now we turn and purl our way back, picking u
p that first stitch from the vertical needles, so we're tacking it down on  
either side.  You see?  We're knitting a patch over the hole."

"Well, isn't that clever!"

"Yes, it is."  Godwin purled his way back, then handed over the sock with i
ts needles.  "Here, you knit a row while I watch."

Molly set out, moving slowly as she felt her way into the knitting.  "I'm n
ot used to such tiny needles," she said.  "But look, it's coming along."

She purled the next row, this time without her tongue sticking out of the c
orner of her mouth, her movement quicker and smoother.  "Wow," she said.  "
This isn't hard at all!"

"Tol'ja," said Godwin.  "As you get near the top, pull the bottom needle ou
t and thread it across the top, then knit the last row onto it."

"Yeah, yeah, that makes sense."
  
"So now you know you don't have to throw away a pair of socks you worked so
 hard making just because you blew a hole in one of them.  Come back in the
 fall, I'm teaching a class on duplicate stitching which you can use to pre
vent a weak spot in a sock or sweater or hat from turning into a hole."

"All right, I will.  Thanks, Goddy!"

Re: Knitting a Patch

I will go through this tomorrow. Do you realize we Brownies, back in  
England in the 1940s, had to darn a sock to pass a badge??? I remember  
along with that was to make a bed, and make a cup of tea. (No teabags).  
LOL Sheena will remember.

Gillian...certainly telling my age !

On 3/8/2014 6:45 PM, Monica Ferris wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: Knitting a Patch
snipped-for-privacy@fl.it wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yep, this is the way I remember it too. You basically
wove "fabric" with the yarn over the hole. I always
had trouble maintaining tension and not pulling the
yarn too tight making it all bunch up instead of
lying smooth. It just takes patience and practice.

You *could* get rather artistic about it though if you
used a contrasting yarn or a couple of different  
yarn colors, one for the base set of lines across,
then another for the weaving lines.

Another way was to do as Goddy described, only having
planned it in advance by the way you knitted the  
original sock: do the heel and toes in a contrasting
color that made it easier to rip out the old "bad"
sections and re-knit it with more yarn.

I also wouldn't use double 0 needles on the patch unless
they were the same size as I had used originally. I'd
use the same size needle and same size yarn as I had
for the sock in the first place.

One last note, that double pointed needles that small
often come in packs of five instead of four, meant
for sock knitting. It all depends on the manufacturer,
but most European brands would come in fives.

Can't wait to read the new one, Mary Monica. :)

Nyssa, who has a wooden darning egg with handle around
here somewhere

Re: Knitting a Patch
On Sunday, March 9, 2014 5:19:51 PM UTC+2, Nyssa wrote:

if it was a `hole` we wove over it , if it was a thined place we embroidered over the original stitches ,,, in a manner that looked like knitting.  
mirjam  

Re: Knitting a Patch

The passage looks good to me.

When the student gets to the top of the patch, she is going to have to
graft it to the original knitting.  Grafting is duplicate stitch over
stitches that aren't there.  But the viewpoint character left before
the lesson got that far, so there's no need to worry about it.


I always use interlocking rows of buttonhole stitch
<http://roughsewing.home.comcast.net/~roughsewing/PVENISED.HTM , but I
think that that is somewhat unusual.  (My theory is that woven darns
on socks got established when people darned so many woven fabrics that
they could make a woven darn work on *anything*.)

When I get a hole in the toe of a sock, I rip the entire toe off, pick
up the stitches, and re-knit the same way I did the first time.  There
is a ripple where new stitches spring from old, flattened stitches
that never blocks out.

I use duplicate stitch only on very small patches of damage, or very
valuable garments.  If there is anything at all left of the original
stitches, duplicate stitch hardly requires instruction:  Just cover up
the existing yarn.  (Magnifying glasses help.)

If the garment is *really* valuable, I will use a separate piece of
yarn for every row of duplicate stitch, and break the yarn by pulling
out individual fibers so that there isn't any clear end.  The last bit
that won't work in a needle can be tucked in with a crochet hook.


--  
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://joybeeson.home.comcast.net/
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Knitting a Patch
Not trying to complicate things, but with needlework I would have thought of using pattern darning before sock darning.  

Many needlepointers are using pattern darning patterns as backgrounds on hand painted canvas pieces these days:-)  

Happy Stitching,  
Donna in Virginia  

Re: Knitting a Patch
On Sunday, March 9, 2014 1:45:38 AM UTC+2, Monica Ferris wrote:
Monica Best of Luck with the New book !!!!

We learned to darn on a `Darning Mushroom`  [if you never saw one , i found
 some examples on http://www.ebay.com/bhp/darning-mushroom
I still got an old that was My Husband`s grand Ma. When we did not have one
 ready we used a turned small drinking cup ..
Quoted text here. Click to load it
s came in various sizes and shapes - some more like a computer mouse than a
n egg.  It was generally the truly egg-shaped that had handles on them.  Th
ey slipped inside socks or the arms and even the backs of sweaters that had
 worn or torn a hole in themselves.  

Quoted text here. Click to load it
eventing the stitcher from stitching the front onto the back.
We always held the the sock tightly with one hand and mended with the other
 , never saw or heard anybody who had 2 free hands to mend ,,,  


Quoted text here. Click to load it
ht.  >Ours is a throw-away society, it's good to push back against that onc
e in >
Quoted text here. Click to load it

THE TREND Now is mending repairing reusing recycling  

Quoted text here. Click to load it
o >the thickness of the yarn used to knit the stocking.  The yarn he was >t
hreading was a bright orange to match the area where a hole had worn throug
h.
EXCELLENT  



Quoted text here. Click to load it
ight >think you'll need, because it's ever so easy to cut the extra off tha
n try to >pick up and continue with a new length."

EXCELLENT  

iF HE IS KNITTING THE PATCH THERE IS NO NEED TO HOLD A DARNING EGG OR MUSHR
OOM INSIDE THE SOCK  IN FACT IT WILL HINDER THE KNITTING  
mirjam  

Re: Knitting a Patch
My favorite line: "Nothing is as easy as it looks." I love how it just sits there being subtly provocative but with no explanation or elaboration.

Also, I love how the group's responses have taught me why socks often have different colored toes & heels. Funny how manufacturers make them that way on purpose now, with no connection to the idea of repairing (mending).

I love learning this sort of historical trivia.

Re: Knitting a Patch
On Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:22:33 PM UTC+3, Danny Breidenbach wrote:
Hallo Danny , i forgot to tell that sometimes my mother used to add another thread only to the heel part of the sock ,, to strengthen it from the begining .

if you like reading Historical tyrivia [of knotting] here are  books i recommend  

Socks & Stockings, By Jeremy Farrell, B.T.Batsford Limited London , 1992

Stockings & suspenders , a Quick Flash, by Rosemary Hawthorne, Souvenir Press 1993.

A History of Hand knitting, by Richard Rutt, Interweave Press, Loveland Colorado, 1987.  
mirjam  
  
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: Knitting a Patch
There are so many different ways of darning a sock. Duplicate stitching is  
definitely one of them and makes a beautiful darn that is almost invisible.
 So, Godwin is doing it right.  You might want to ask this question on Knit
ting Paradise, a knitting and crochet forum.  It's http://knittingparadise.
com.  

I JUST discovered your books and have been having a delightful time reading
 them.  I'm up to number 3!  

Re: Knitting a Patch
I  have 2 darning eggs that belonged to my Grandmother, and have used them  
to do quick repairs on small holes in the toes of my  socks-faster than  
going to the store for new ones. She taught me the weaving  type of darn.

 1 With the egg  in the sock sew a rectangle around the hole. Use the egg to  
keep the shape of the heel or toe.
 2 Sew a few small stitches from your anchor stitching to where the hole  
starts, then a long stitch to the other side of the hole, then small  
stitches to the anchor stitching. Make a horizontal line for each row of  
knitting. Use the egg to keep the shape rounded
 3 Do vertical rows starting & ending the same way & weaving the threads  
over the hole.

My darning eggs have handles on them that were used to stretch fingers of  
gloves to darn them.




I know this isn't a knitting forum, but I'm hoping some of you can help me.  
My editor insisted I change the name of the next Betsy Devonshire book,  
which I was calling The Needle Case.  After some toing and froing we came up  
with Darned If You Do.  It's cute but now I have to add a scene where a sock  
gets darned.  I've been looking at tutorials on the 'Net, and have written  
what I think is an accurate description.  If you are interested, please read  
this and let me know if it's okay.  Let me know if I'm stepping way out of  
line with this.  If not, thank you very, very much!

Betsy went back to Crewel World to find Godwin deeply immersed in teaching a  
young woman to darn a hand knit sock.  It looked like a sock from one of his  
knitting classes.

The sock, a bright orange with small black diamonds, was bulging smoothly  
over a small hole in the heel.

Ah, he's using a darning egg, thought Betsy.  The smooth wooden implements  
came in various sizes and shapes - some more like a computer mouse than an  
egg.  It was generally the truly egg-shaped that had handles on them.  They  
slipped inside socks or the arms and even the backs of sweaters that had  
worn or torn a hole in themselves.  It made mending them easier by freeing  
both hands for the work and by preventing the stitcher from stitching the  
front onto the back.
There's something satisfying about mending a hand made garment, she thought.  
Ours is a throw-away society, it's good to push back against that once in  
awhile.

Godwin did not glance up.  He had threaded a darning needle appropriate to  
the thickness of the yarn used to knit the stocking.  The yarn he was  
threading was a bright orange to match the area where a hole had worn  
through.

 "And now I take some of the leftover yarn from your stocking, which you  
wisely kept per my advice, and note I cut a length of it longer than you  
might think you'll need, because it's ever so easy to cut the extra off than  
try to pick up and continue with a new length."

"Okay," she said, nodding.

Without changing tone or looking around, Godwin said, "Hello, Betsy.  
Valentina called, she's going to stop by in a little while.  Now, have you  
done duplicate stitch before?"

The young woman said, doubtfully, "I've looked at it on the Internet, and so  
I understand the theory of it, but I've never tried it.  Is it as easy as it  
looks?"

"Nothing is as easy as it looks.  So okay, before I start, you knitted this  
sock using four double ended needles, and there's a way to patch this hole  
using them, size double zero.  Would you rather do that?"

The young woman rested her chin and cheek in the palm of her hand, while she  
thought, but then said, "I don't know.  I mean, I really don't know.  Which  
do you prefer?"

"Honestly?  I like duplicate stitch if the place is only worn thin.  If  
there's an actual hole, then I like darning with double zero needles."

"Fine."  She turned to Betsy.  "I'll take a set of double zeros, please."

"That's great, Molly."  Betsy brought a packaged set of four to the desk.  
Molly opened the package and gave the needles to Godwin.

He took one and said, "First, find the first row below the hole that has no  
damage.  You're looking for strong, solid stitching."  He pointed the row  
out and began carefully working across the row, starting about half an inch  
to one side of the hole, lifting a single stitch and running the needle  
through it.  He continued across the row to half an inch the other side of  
the hole.  "See?" he said.

"Gotcha," Molly replied.

"Now, from the farthest left hand picked-up stitch, run up that column with  
another needle, picking up each stitch, beside the hole to a solid row above  
it."  He did so, his fingers moving nimbly, while she watched.

"You do that so smoothly," she said.

"Lots of experience," he said.  "I'm always wearing a hole in my socks,  
though it's usually at the toe."  He leaned a little sideways and murmured,  
"I have such sharp toenails."

Molly giggled.

"Now, run the third needle up the right side, same as you do on the left.  
At this point you've got that old hole practically surrounded."

"Except at the top," Molly pointed out.

"Yes, well, we'll take care of that as we approach.  So, you take your  
fourth needle, and a matching yarn, or some left over from the sock lesson,  
and you verrrry carefully pick up that first stitch on the bottom row and  
the first stitch on the right vertical row, and you knit the two of them  
together with the strand of yarn.  Like so."

He deftly picked up the stitches onto the free needle and knit them into the  
strand of yarn.  "Now, continue across that row to the other side."
In a few minutes he said, "And now we turn and purl our way back, picking up  
that first stitch from the vertical needles, so we're tacking it down on  
either side.  You see?  We're knitting a patch over the hole."

"Well, isn't that clever!"

"Yes, it is."  Godwin purled his way back, then handed over the sock with  
its needles.  "Here, you knit a row while I watch."

Molly set out, moving slowly as she felt her way into the knitting.  "I'm  
not used to such tiny needles," she said.  "But look, it's coming along."

She purled the next row, this time without her tongue sticking out of the  
corner of her mouth, her movement quicker and smoother.  "Wow," she said.  
"This isn't hard at all!"

"Tol'ja," said Godwin.  "As you get near the top, pull the bottom needle out  
and thread it across the top, then knit the last row onto it."

"Yeah, yeah, that makes sense."

"So now you know you don't have to throw away a pair of socks you worked so  
hard making just because you blew a hole in one of them.  Come back in the  
fall, I'm teaching a class on duplicate stitching which you can use to  
prevent a weak spot in a sock or sweater or hat from turning into a hole."

"All right, I will.  Thanks, Goddy!"  


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