Repairing Lace Knit Qiviut Items

Qiviut items are made using many different knitting techniques.  The most popular are knit lace designs.  Lace knitting is the best use of the light weight qiviut yarn.  An experienced knitter can create a beautiful item using very little yarn when lace knitting.  Usually 1 oz. of qiviut yarn is equal to 200 yds.

The most popular items that are made with lace weight qiviut yarn are long neck scarves and the circular scarves called smoke rings.  Because they are worn around the neck and near the zipper on your coat they may snag or get caught up and break.  Earrings and rings, although a beautiful accompaniment, are another hazard to fine lace knitting.  The biggest culptit, however, in my experience are moths.  We don’t have fiber eating moths in the area of Alaska that I live in so this is not a problem locally.

In the past 25+ years I have repaired a few lace items and have come up with a system that works nicely for me no matter how the offending hole occurred.

  • Try to tie off (yes, with knots) as many loose ends as you can. If you are opposed to knots take the broken end back far enough, by pulling out stitches, and then hide it by winding it back and forth neatly in the part of the knitted item that does not need repair.  If done carefully your ends will be invisible.
  • Match the yarn used for the repair to the item you are repairing as best you can.
  • Use a sewing needle threaded with your matching repair yarn and pick up those loose stitches. I like to use two or three sewing needles depending on how large the hole or holes are.
  • From here you can either ‘darn’ the hole by filling it in with simple embroidery chain stitches or you can re- knit the pattern using the sewing needles. I like to try and match the pattern as best I can.  It takes some practice with sewing needles, it does work nicely though.
  • Give gentle tugs around your repair to make sure all the loose stitches are again knitted. Tie or carefully wind loose ends in neatly and you are almost done.
  • Please wash in hair shampoo or gentle cleanser , lay flat on a towel, press out water gently and lay flat to dry.

Attached are a series of photos showing lace knitting repairs on a smoke ring which is a circular lace knitted scarf.

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Here you can see the hole, sewing needles and matching yarn.  The bright colored yarn is to mark the repair area.  The hole is above the bottom needle.

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Here is a better picture of the hole and the open stitches.  I have already started to hide the broken ends and have used the sewing needles to begin picking up the open or raw stitches.

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Here the hole is closed up and the pattern is matched pretty well.  You can see there are some tight areas where the repair is and the new yarn has been wound around existing stitches to hide ends.

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Repair is done.  Hole is closed and ends are ready to be hidden.

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All finished!  Well, I did wash it before I sent it back to the customer.  The repair is just above the bright colored yarn.  On the left middle corner of the diamond.  The stitches look a little pulled and tight, otherwise they look good.  After washing it is even less noticeable.

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