How to Fix a Knitted Afghan With a Hole

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Finding a hole in your afghan can be frustrating, whether you knitted it yourself or received it as a gift. However, a hole doesn't have to mean the end of the afghan. For small holes that are less than a row or two wide, the fix is a quick and simple spot of weaving. Larger holes take more time and concentration and use the same methods used to darn socks. With enough practice and the right color of yarn, holes of any size can be made almost invisible, leaving your afghan looking as good as new.

Things You'll Need

  • Darning needle
  • Yarn
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing thread
  • Scissors
  • Darning egg or mushroom

Small Holes

  • Turn the afghan over so you are working on the back side and carefully pull out the broken ends on either side of the hole.

  • Thread a darning needle with yarn that matches the color of the afghan as closely as possible. Insert the needle into the weave 1 1/2-2 inches away from the hole.

  • Pull the yarn through the stitch the needle was inserted into, leaving a small tail. Following the path of the stitches, weave the yarn back and forth until you reach the edge of the hole.

  • Pull the yarn through to the front of the afghan and continue weaving. Weave the yarn into the stitches above and below the hole to close it.

  • Pull the yarn back through to the back side of the afghan and continue weaving for 1 1/2-2 inches past the repaired hole. End off and cut the thread, leaving a small tail.

  • Weave both tails into the back of the afghan.

Large Holes--Weaving Method

  • Turn the afghan over so you are working on the back side. Place the area with the hole over a darning egg or another solid, rounded object. Alternatively, pin the area around the hole to a solid base to maintain tension in the area to be repaired.

  • Thread a darning needle with yarn that matches the afghan as closely as possible. Start an inch or two below the hole (working from left to right) and use a running stitch to sew the yarn through unbroken knitted fabric. Make sure to start an inch or so before the edge of the hole and continue the same distance beyond it.

  • Pull the thread through, leaving a short tail, and re-insert the needle parallel to the first line of stitches. Sew the second row in the same way as the first and as close to it as possible. Weave the yarn through the fabric opposite of the previous row by pulling the thread over where it previously went under and under where it previously went over.

  • Continue in this manner up the piece and over the hole to an inch or two above the top edge. When going over the hole, always pass the needle under the edges of the hole on both sides so that the weakened fabric stays on the outside of the work. You should now have a square of yarn around the hole, with parallel rows running across hole itself.

  • Turn the afghan 90 degrees so that the yarn running across the hole is now vertical instead of horizontal. Continuing with the same length of yarn, work running stitches from the top down in the same manner as before. When you reach the hole, weave the yarn over and under the threads that cover it, weaving each row in opposition to the one above it.

  • End off and cut the yarn when you reach the bottom of what is now a woven patch over and around the hole. Leave a tail and weave it and the tail you left in Step 1 into the knitted fabric of the afghan. Trim off the edges of the hole as close to the work as possible.

Large Holes--Duplicate Stitch Method

  • Turn the afghan over so you are working on the back side. Place the area with the hole over a darning egg or another solid, rounded object. Alternatively, pin the area around the hole to a solid base to maintain tension in the area to be repaired.

  • Use a sewing needle and thread of a contrasting color. Secure the thread lightly near the edge of the hole. Pass it from the bottom of the hole to the top, skip one stitch-width and pass it back down to the bottom. Continue this across the hole so that you end up with a framework of vertical threads spaced one stitch-width apart. Lightly secure and then cut the sewing thread.

  • Thread a darning needle with yarn in a color that matches the afghan as closely as possible. Working from right to left, insert the needle into the base of a stitch--the bottom of the "V" shape--several stitches away from the hole and at least two rows below it.

  • Pull the needle through the stitch, leaving a tail at least 6 inches long. Insert the needle from right to left again, into the base of the stitch directly above the one you just passed it through. Pull the yarn through again, keeping the tension so that it doesn't pull the fabric. The new stitches should sit snugly on top of the old ones.

  • Insert the needle into the base of the stitch below and to the left of the one you just worked. You should be passing the needle through the stitch next to the one that you passed the needle through in Step 3. Continue across the row in this manner, working the yarn into each stitch and the stitch directly above it, continuing several stitches past the hole at the end of the row.

  • Turn the work 180 degrees so it is now upside-down. Work the next row in the same manner as above, using the new row of stitches as a guide. This time, when you pass the yarn through the base of the stitches directly above the ones being worked, pass it through the new stitches, not the stitches on the afghan itself.

  • Continue in this manner until you reach the hole. Work the bottom stitches as normal from the previous row of duplicated stitches. To create a stitch above the worked row, pass the needle behind a pair of the vertical threads you made in Step 2. Use this method over the entire hole until you reach the row that reconnects with the knitted fabric. Continue duplicating stitches for a least two rows past the hole.

  • End off the yarn and cut it, leaving a tail at least 1 inch long. Work this tail and the tail from the beginning into the fabric of the afghan to hide them. Remove the sewing thread as it is no longer needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always work on the back side of the afghan so that the smooth "neat" side of the repair is on the front.
  • Be careful to keep an even tension when working, otherwise the repaired area will distort the rest of the fabric.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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