MacKenzie and the Greatly Loved Sweater

I have knitted quite a few Caitlin Hunter sweaters; she is one of my favorite designers for sure. One of her sweaters, Nordiska, was one that seemed to be a big hit with my cat, MacKenzie. The whole time I was knitting it I battled with him to STAY OFF THE SWEATER!!! It was just nuts! When I finished I took the final picture of it hanging from a tree so I could get the shot without a cat flopped on the sweater. My project notes on Ravelry are here.

Sometimes I had to give up and just let him have the sweater.

Somehow it seems to be fated that, out of all of my handknitted sweaters, I was wearing this one the night I rushed MacKenzie to the vet’s office. In the middle of the struggle to get him medicated there was a little injury…

Do you see that snag? One of MacKenzie’s back claws pulled out a one-ply 16 inch long snag!
Here’s the close-up.

That pulled row is so tight there was no way to hide it and it really affected the way the sweater fit. Ugh. I like this sweater, it is really comfy to wear (that burgandy yarn on the sleeves is a cashmere blend), so today I pulled myself together and attempted to repair it. Lucky for me, I obsessively save all of my left over yarn, and I had exactly what I needed to do the repair.

I started by putting in a life line above the damaged row of knitting. Of course MacKenzie was all over me trying to snag the yarn or maybe, if he could get away with it, just move in for a nap on the sweater.
Eventually I got life lines above and below the damaged row of knitting.
Once I had life lines above and below the damaged row of knitting I carefully removed it. I left 2 inch tails of the yarn from that row at each end so I could secure the ends of the replacement row once I got it in.
After that it was easy to return the stitches to the needles (and thanks to Ravelry I knew what size needle I had used!) while fending off more feline assistance…
and I then used Kitchener stitch to make the repair. Whew! This was a little rocky at the start, but I got a feel for it as I went.
I used a steam iron to block the stitches of the repair to blend in with the original knitting and ta-daa! I have a  functional sweater again. 

The repair isn’t perfect as I can sort of see my Kitchener work, but the casual observer would never see it or suspect what had happened. My beloved sweater is back in service, and from now on I will be taking it off before I subject MacKenzie to any more vet related abuse.

Poor guy! This wasn’t a good night for MacKenzie or my sweater!

Tonight it is snowing again and I am getting ready to settle in to knit on my latest sweater project. MacKenzie, exhausted from trying to put the moves on my sweater during the repair, is now taking nap. A perfect evening to get some serious progress done on the current sweater project.

Be good to your cats and knitting, people!

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

20 thoughts on “MacKenzie and the Greatly Loved Sweater”

  1. You are a very clever mender. I was wondering if MacKenzie was intrigued by the colours in the colourwork. They see colours differently so I’m told and he might see a similarity to his own fur. (or maybe he just loves soft wool)! I was just admiring my new parcel of Moel yarn from Wales that has arrived as I opened your email. It joins the numerous other bundles of naturally dyed yarn that I collect and will one day start knitting with. I need some of your motivation I think! I will start soon. My cat by the way is parked on my pillow on my bed whilst I am relegated to the edge of said bed.

    1. I’m not a very brave repairer… I thought about how to fix the problem for weeks before I had the courage to tackle it! It was snowing again yesterday so I was motivated to finally do it.

      I wonder if it is the colors. The minute he saw I had the sweater out he was determined to have it. How fun that you asserte collecting yarn colors… that is what happened to me, too. I had those colors in my stash and when the pattern came out I shopped the stash until I had the sweater figured out. I love having a well fed stash!!

      MacKenzie moves in and takes my pillow every morning when he decides it is time to get up. It must be a cat thing.

  2. Wow! That’s a wonderful repair!! I’m seriously impressed. I am awful about mending. I have several things I need to tackle, but I never feel like I know what I’m doing, so I keep putting it off. Do you have any recommendations for books or blogs or other resources that are helpful in teaching knitting mending skills? I feel like I should be able to work it out for myself, but my brain shuts down when I think about repairs.

    1. I have to be candid, I did mull over how to fix this for weeks before I tackled it. I bet if you do a search you will get a bunch of youtube videos of how to do a particular type of mending. The only other type of successful mending that I’ve pulled off is fixing a hole in a heel. I pick up stitches on the heel flap, knit a few rows and then turn the heel again before I Kitchener stitch the new heel into the sole. The old stitches just hang out inside the new heel and eventually kind of felt into place.

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