Mending with needle-felting

When it comes to mending, I darn my handknit socks for a strong, secure, and nearly seamless (with duplicate stitch) finish. However, I've recently learned I could also needle-felt to mend my woollens, and it's been a revelation!

It has advantages and disadvantages:
  • Quick, easy, mindless. It's fun to stab things.
  • It can handle irregularly-shaped holes that might be annoying to darn.
  • It's easier to felt than to darn onto very thin yarns/fabrics, like store-bought knits
  • You could felt an attractive design over your mended area
  • I can use my fibre stash. I also bought a needle felting kits with a few grams of 30+ colours for a perfect colour match. You can even blend colours.
But...
  • The finished patch is fuzzy, which you can see on the right side.
  • Obviously, the mend doesn't match the surrounding stitches.
  • The felted patch is less elastic than knit fabric.
  • I already had some needlefelting supplies lying around, but maybe you don't, and then it's another craft rabbit hole to fall down.
I have darned several of my storebought jumpers in this way. It works great to close up small moth-holes in fine-gauge stockinette, and a snag in this ribbed jumper where I couldn't find a good colour match in my yarn stash.


You can see the fuzz in the mended area if you're looking for it, but it's barely noticeable.


When the original fibre has a bit of halo already, or if the garment has gone fuzzy over time, the mend blends into the fabrics texture. I find the action of the needle will fuzz up your existing yarn a bit, so I would not use this for an intricate stitch pattern or a really 'crisp' yarn.

Thin store-bought merino jumper, wrong side

Remember not to felt multiple layers of fabric together, and move your foam block periodically so you don't felt your knitting to the foam!


Thin store-bought merino jumper, right side

Sometimes I want a really clean finish, and I pull out my darning needle. But sometimes I just want to plug up the hole with some wool, and, (more and more often these days) I want to stab something over and over. So needle-felting is great for that!

~Joyuna

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