Ok, so somebody posted a question on Facebook asking how to mend broken yarn in the middle of a completed blanket. I have no idea how it happened, maybe somebody cut it by accident, or maybe it was knotted together and came undone, or maybe they didn’t weave in their tails correctly and it just unraveled.
No matter how it happened, it has to be fixed. If not, then the break will start unravelling stitches and make a lovely big hole in the middle of the blanket.
There were a number of helpful comments in reply to the post, most of which suggested fabric glue to stick the broken ends back together (the other suggestions were to use sewing thread to stitch the ends back together, and one suggestion of using clear nail polish. I–I have no idea how to respond to the nail polish thing. That’s just nuts.)
And I’m sure that all of these suggestions would work well enough (even the nail polish), but none of them are the correct fix. The glue (and polish) would leave a hard lump in the middle of an otherwise soft and pliable blanket. And plus, have you ever tried to glue two ends of yarn together? Well I haven’t either, but I don’t think it would work very well. It seems like there wouldn’t be enough points of contact for the glue to be effective
Fortunately, there is a solution that involves yarn, a crochet hook, and no knots (or nail polish) whatsoever.
I’m sorry, that’s my last dig at the nail polish thing. I swear.
Fair warning, this is not a beginner thing. You need to be very confident about how stitches look and how to tell the right from the wrong side. There will be lots of loose loops and way too many tails to manage, but with a little focus, it can be done.
May I present to you, my beautiful “blanket” that is literally 3.5 inches long.
Ta daa!!! Isn’t it beautiful? To make directions easier throughout, the rows are numbered 1-6, 1 being on the bottom and 6 being on the top. Row 3 is the topmost ecru row, and row 4 is the bottommost green row.
But unfortunately something terrible happened to it.
Dun dun duuuuuuuuunnnn!!!!!!
Yeah I cut one of the threads. See? Right there in the middle of the ecru in Row 3. Also, where the crap did the name ecru come from? What is that?? I mean, I know what it is. It’s the cream color. But the name ecru is ridiculous. It doesn’t even get a number when you get that color in embroidery thread. All the other thread is numbered, 339, 5014, 276, and ECRU. It literally is so special that it doesn’t get a number.
Also I looked it up, and ecru is “the light beige color of unbleached linen,” which is actually kind of cool.
So the Broken Thread is in the middle of Row 3. I do not want to undo Rows 4-6 to correct it. That would be a pain.
I feel like I should break this up into easy to digest chunks in as dramatic of a way as possible so……
First, we’re going to unravel the broken thread until you have roughly 6 inch tails. This may seem like a scary thing to do. It feels like something you can easily screw up so badly that it can never be repaired ever.
But don’t fret. It’s actually not that fragile. I mean, it is fragile, so pay attention to what you’re doing. I wouldn’t suggest getting up in the middle of this project to make a cake or whatever. So before you sit down to do this, make sure dinner’s not going to burn, work’s not gonna call, and the kids are going to survive until you’re done. Don’t worry. This won’t take all night.
Okay, back to Step One. Unravel that bitch. (sorry) Look. I did it.
Guys, I’m really sorry. It’s like 2 am and I’m really out of it right now. You’ll just have to roll with my crazy for a bit.
So there’s actually a specific place to stop unravelling. You can take out as many stitches as you feel you need to (I did 6), but you need to stop unravelling — um, not in the middle of a stitch. Don’t worry. I’ll illustrate.
(Note: if you would like, when you are unravelling you can insert a stitch marker into the bottoms of the green stitches to help keep them secure and orderly. I didn’t do that in this tutorial, but it can be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed.)
I suppose Step One should have been Make sure the right side of the row you’re repairing is facing you. If you don’t this whole tutorial will literally be backwards. If you don’t know how to tell the right side from the wrong side, google it. Sorry I’m really tired.
So anyway. On the left side of the repair, unravel until your tail is sticking out of the right of the bottom of the green stitch above. If you look closely, you’ll see that each stitch in Green Row 4 has two loops. They’re kinda twisty, but they’re there. That left tail needs to be sticking out of there to the right. You can just let that dangle for now. We won’t need it again until the very end.
On the right side of the repair, you want to stop just before that little loop pulls through the bottom of its green stitch. In fact, you can actually yank on that tiny little loop to make it much bigger. Go ahead. You know you want to.
See? Easy as pie.
Now we’ve got a 6 stitch gap in row three. It would be easy as pie to just crochet 6 new stitches into Row 2 to fill in the gap in Row 3 . The big problem is, how do you connect it to the bottom of Row 4 (that first green one there)?
Don’t worry. It can be done.
Okay, so now comes the finicky bit.
Work one double crochet and pick up your new thread at the same time. We’re going to use a new length of thread to repair this, and you’re going to have to get it going right away. Here’s a video showing how to pick up a new thread without tying knots or anything. This is a video of half doubles, and my tiny little fairy blanket is double crochet, but the method is the same. Start the stitch with the old thread, finish it with the new. Crochet over the tails to secure it as you move down the row.
But right now you just want to do that one double crochet stitch, working in your new yarn as you do it.
Insert into the bottom of the stitch above.
First, remove the working loop from your hook. Ahh! loose loop!!!! Dude, chill. you got a whole bunch of loose stuff going on here, one more loop isn’t that crazy. Go ahead and make it a nice big loop so you don’t accidentally frog that first dc you just made.
Then, now here’s the finicky part, insert your hook from left to right through both of the bottom loops of the green stitch above.
You can see my 1st double crochet there on the right with my nice big working loop that I mentioned earlier. I’m using a lovely bright red for this so you can clearly see the fix. You can also see both green loops on my hook. Next, grab that lovely bright red working loop and pull it through the bottom loops of the green stitch above.
See? Working loop is back on the hook and ready to go. It’s pull through the bottom of the green stitch above, right where it should be.
Guys, can we take a moment to appreciate that I’m doing this with friggin thread? That’s why the pics are so shitty (sorry) by the way. I’m having to zoom in super close to see this crap.
Double Crochet, bitches (sorry)! Just like it says. Do one double crochet into the top of Round 2. This one’s easy cause you don’t have to pick up any new yarn like in Step 2.
Same as Step 3. Actually that’s all. Just repeat steps 3 and 4 until you get to the end of your repair. You should end with a double crochet.
Okay, so the repair’s all done, you just have to do one last thing.
Step 6 or Whatever
You’re going to repeat step 3 again, but this time when you insert your hook from left to right into the bottom of the green stitch from Round 4, you’re going to do it through the one with the leftmost ecru tail sticking through it. Pull the Lovely Red Working Loop through that same green stitch until the ecru tail is sticking out on the right side (where it’s been since the beginning) and the red working loop is sticking out the left.
Dude that pic is really in focus. That’s beautiful.
And you’re done! Cut the Lovely Red Working Yarn with a nice long tail and pull it straight through the front like so:
Then all that’s left is to weave in those pesky tails. There should be 4 in total, but if you were thinking ahead you should have crocheted over 2 of them already (the ones in the back, not visible in this pic) (to be fair, I did tell you to do that in Step 2).
And, just to blow your mind, there’s actually 2 repairs in that pic. The red is the one I did to take all these pics, and there’s another one in Row 5 just above and to the left of the red. I wanted to do another in all the same color so that it would really disappear. You can see it if you look real close, but you have to look reeeaaaaallll close.
And there you have it. This method does not make perfect identical stitches unless you’re some kind of crochet god, but it does recreate the stitches well enough to repair an unfortunate tear in a project that you really care about. We all have antique afghans our grandmothers made that have a hole or two, and this certainly works better than nail polish.
Sorry. Last dig at the nail polish, I swear for real this time.