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Visible Mending for Handknits: Darning Looms and More

Learn three ways of mending your beloved sweaters before you put them away for the summer. Plus, see how to get started using a darning loom with our helpful video.

Debbie Blair May 17, 2024 - 9 min read

Visible Mending for Handknits: Darning Looms and More Primary Image

Do you love the look of visible mending but feel like you need some help getting started? Darning looms are a great way to help you get the hang of the darning process. Photo from Visible Mending with a Darning Loom, Long Thread Media

Many of us are used to darning the holes in our handknit socks. But you may be unsure how to mend a hole that’s been worn in the elbow of a favorite sweater or how to repair a spot left behind by a moth. Swiss darning is a great way to cover up a moth hole and will look seamless if you use a matching yarn. Or you may choose to create a colorful embellishment using a palette of colors. Create woven patches with a pin loom and stitch on top of the worn spot, or use a darning loom to weave a patch into the fabric itself.

Swiss Darning

Swiss darning—also called duplicate stitch—is one method that’s easy to learn. Adding new yarn over the top of knitted stitches allows the new stitches to stretch in the same directions as the knitted base.

Swiss Darning Steps

* Tapestry (blunt) needle
* Mending yarn
* A form of some type, such as a darning egg or mushroom (a plastic lid or an apple will work equally well)

Photos by Matt Graves

Step 1. Secure your knitted fabric over the form using a ribbon or elastic so the fabric is stable but not stretched. Insert the needle a few inches from where you intend to begin your mend. Bring the needle point to the right side (RS) in the center of the stitch below the one you want to duplicate.

Step 2. Insert the needle behind both legs of the stitch above the one you wish to duplicate; pull the yarn through.

Step 3. Insert the needle at the base of the stitch you are duplicating, pass it behind one leg of the stitch below and one leg of the adjacent stitch below; pull the yarn through. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you have duplicated the final stitch of the row. The working yarn will be one stitch beyond the end of your mend.

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