What do you do when you're a winter bike commuter and find an Italian merino sweater at Goodwill for $4.99 with some small holes in it? Darn it! Yes, I mend, and sometimes I darn.
Timson is showing one of the holes. I've found the easiest way for me to spot holes in dark fabric is to hold it up to a bright task light, or, as Timson is doing, hold a piece of bright, white paper behind, and move the fabric over it. The amount of small holes in this sweater, all in the front, makes me think some moths are to blame. So tonight it's a quick mend, and into a plastic bag to go to the cleaners.
My favorite book about mending is Mildred Graves Ryan's Thrift with a needle. It tells you how to mend everything including knitwear. I also like the darning technique on HJS Studio's Darn Those Socks (she has lots of close up photos and very detailed instructions).
The mends turned out pretty well. This one is the best; in person you barely notice it. I don't have any yarn this fine, so I used buttonhole twist. And the holes were so small that I didn't darn them, but just took a few stitches to secure the rows--this is why the mends show up as slight waves in the long row of stitches. But on a bike, with jeans, I'm betting no one will notice. And I'll be warm. And for $4.99 and about ten minutes of mending, it won't break my heart if I get bike grease on it.