What do you do when you open up your box of Christmas decorations only to discover a family handknit heirloom is ruined.
You ask your favorite knitting friend to fix it. I must confess... I don't even fix my own socks or knitting problems. I get tons of requests to make fixes - but I just don't do them. This was different because I totally appreciate a family heirloom. Someone took a lot of time to make stockings for the whole family. They're very old. I can appreciate that sort of love... so I decided to tackle this project.
Start by creating a piece of "darning cardboard" with rounded edges that will fit snugly into the stocking.
With the cardboard inside the stocking, you can really focus on the damage done by this hole. It also ensures that when you repair it that you are only sewing one side of the stocking. I know with my luck, I'd sew the stocking front and back together!
Being careful to catch the loops for each column of knitting, connect the loops from the top of the hole to the bottom of the hole. You're creating some warp strings with these verticals strings. Next you'll weave weft strings horizontally to create a woven patch to close the hole shut.
Using the most similar yarn you can, knit a small patch - improvising the shape with decreases where necessary. Notice how the patch is very similar to the patched up hole.
Place the knit swatch over the patched up hole. Using the tails from the swatch, neatly sew the swatch in place.
Ta Da! The finished stocking looks pretty good. It's not 100% perfect - as the brand new yarn is clean and bright - and not yellowed with age... but at least the stocking will survive for the next generation.
Merry Christmas to all - and to all a good night.