Help A Knitter Out

A couple of weeks ago I went to a class on small fruit trees hosted by our local Master Gardener group. I brought my knitting, of course, and this attracted the attention of a fellow class member. Turns out, this gentleman (my new friend David) had been looking for a knitter. Go figure!

David’s dad was in the service during WW II and spent a good bit of that time wearing the army issue sweater pictured above. Dad eventually passed the sweater along to David who still wears it. ALL THE TIME. (He also wants to learn to knit. We’re both happily married, or you know I would have been a goner.)

Anyhoo, the sweater is clearly a little worse for wear, and David would like to have it repaired. My question for you, friends and knitters of the blogosphere, is what’s the best way to go about such a thing?

This has clearly been machine knit at a very fine gauge, so while I could mend it well enough to stop the unravelling, I’m doubtful that the results would be cosmetically pleasing. I’ve googled hand darning machine knits and all kinds of WW II sweater things, but so far I haven’t come up with a good solution. I feel sure this wheel must have already been invented. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

On the homefront the rain has been unrelenting.

So I’ve decided to sit by the fire and knit until the sun comes out.

Or until I have to wake up and get back to real life. Ha!

Be well, my knitters. And please let me know if you have any advice about how to help David with his sweater.


  1. Have you tried taking it in to your local yarn shop to see if they have resources? People used to come in to our shop with requests like this – either asking for mending or to reknit a sweater. I never felt like I was up to this sort of task, but there were other people at the shop who had “special” skill sets – where one knitter is good, a group is better! 🙂 I know that’s probably not super helpful, but just a thought…

    • melinda

      Thank you, Elizabeth! This is a great idea and is probably something I’ll end up doing. I’ve just been putting it off because the closest yarn shop is quite a ways away. It’s not a terrible distance but further than I’ve had a chance to go since I got the sweater pics. When you say it, it makes so much sense, though, that I think I’ll have to put this plan into action sooner rather than later.

  2. Ohhh what a special sweater and how wonderful that you two met! I don’t have any experience with anything like this, but have you checked out Tom of Holland and his visible mending project ( I haven’t done much poking around there, but I’ve heard him interviewed on podcasts, and he has some really cool ideas about mending … maybe poking around his site would give you some inspiration?

    Also, your current knitting is looking really gorgeous!

    • melinda

      What a great suggestion! Thank you, Katherine! I’ve read some of Tom of Holland’s posts about this, but it’s been awhile. I will definitely take a closer look and maybe even send him a message. Thanks for the feedback on the Inlet cardigan too. I’m enjoying working on it. 🙂

  3. I love your knitting. Sorry about the rain. It’s so warm and sunny here my system is in shock; my internal thermostat is still set to winter.

    I think that sweater is more like a restoration project. I wonder if the textiles department of a museum could point you in the right direction.

    • melinda

      Thank you so much, Marilyn! I’m definitely ready for some sunshine. 🙂

      Your point about the sweater’s being a restoration project really resonates. I hadn’t formulated it in those terms, but it hits the nail on the head and gives me some things to think about in terms of options. Thank you!

  4. How nice that you happened to meet a person in need of some knitting expertise – a lovely coincidence. I have seen some really interesting examples of visible mending online, if the wearer doesn’t mind visible stitches, though the more extensive wear and tear looks like it might be helped with some patches? I wish I could be of more help!

    • melinda

      I love the idea of visible mending, but I don’t think that’s the look he wants here. I keep meaning to try it for something for myself though! Some of what I’ve seen is really incredible! 🙂

Talk to me!