Visible Mending

As part of my new resolution to keep my knitwear going for longer and reduce waste (although most of it has been going for many years already and was second hand to start with!), I've decided to try my hand at some visible mending. 

It's not something I've tried before, and I thought I'd share my first attempt with an old cardigan, in stages! 

A hole at the elbow- big enough to need a sizeable mend. 

A hole at the elbow- big enough to need a sizeable mend. 

Step 1: Threads across the hole to build my stitches around, and the start of Swiss darning over existing stitches to start it off. 

Step 1: Threads across the hole to build my stitches around, and the start of Swiss darning over existing stitches to start it off. 

Building up the mend, stitching around the vertical threads to keep newly formed stitches in place. I started changing colours, just for fun. 

Building up the mend, stitching around the vertical threads to keep newly formed stitches in place. I started changing colours, just for fun. 

I decided to add blocks of colour outside the original area for mending using more Swiss darning, The surrounding area was thinner than the rest of the cardigan, so the extra colour blocks will help to strengthen it. 

I decided to add blocks of colour outside the original area for mending using more Swiss darning, The surrounding area was thinner than the rest of the cardigan, so the extra colour blocks will help to strengthen it. 

The final mended area, with the original vertical threads picked out. 

The final mended area, with the original vertical threads picked out. 

The other elbow, which was in a similar state. As holes are rarely the same, I though the mends should reflect their unique nature and be different! 

The other elbow, which was in a similar state. As holes are rarely the same, I though the mends should reflect their unique nature and be different! 

One of the cuffs, which was wearing out at the edge, and had a hole. 

One of the cuffs, which was wearing out at the edge, and had a hole. 

I decided to re-knit the cuffs in colours to match the mends on the elbows. 

I decided to re-knit the cuffs in colours to match the mends on the elbows. 

The other sleeve... 

The other sleeve... 

Done! 

Done! 

The front, complete with buttons I added a while ago. When i first got this cardigan, it had clearly been well loved, and had odd buttons! 

The front, complete with buttons I added a while ago. When i first got this cardigan, it had clearly been well loved, and had odd buttons! 

The back, showing my first areas of visible mending! 

The back, showing my first areas of visible mending! 

If you'd like to see some other examples of visible repairs, I've started a Pinterest board with some examples I particularly like. 

How do you feel about your clothing changing over time, and would you want to see repairs on your clothes ?