Mending Crochet





Broken connecting bars in Crochet are one of the most common problems that keep family heirlooms hidden in the closet. At the same time, they are one of the quickest and easiest of mending problems to fix.





What’s really wrong? Is anything missing, or are things just broken or disconnected? In this case it’s a little of both. In one direction, the bars are missing. In the other, just disconnected.





Crochet will unravel if the broken loops are left open. Either make sure all the ends are pulled through, so the loops will not unravel, or cover the ends with stitching to secure all the broken ends.






Use a mending thread significantly lighter in weight (thinner) than the thread used to crochet the lace. This allows stitching to be hidden, yet bars can be built up to the appropriate weight with several passes. Select the finest, thinnest needle available. With a very thin needle, it will be possible to slip the needle through the bars without breaking them.

The heaviest thread shown here is a common sewing thread in a beige -- it is too heavy and too dark. The finest is a lacemaker’s thread -- actually too thin and also too dark. The center thread was selected -- light enough but not too light in a white that blends well.

ekurella_2266_74255061






Click on images to enlarge

Filling the space while maintaining the lines of the original design is the key to a good mend.

It is not necessary to duplicate the original stitches with crochet. Creating new bars with the appropriate thickness, and some texture will do the job. The gap is bridged first; the thickness of the connecting bar can be built up later.

In creating the first bridge, stitch all the way back to a secure point in the lace. Simply picking up the tip of the broken bar invites shredding and more breaking.






When reconnecting the broken bars, stitch all the way through the broken bar from the tip to the secure back end. Catching just the tip will probably cause it to shred and come apart. Stitch to a secure point that can be anchored.

ekurella_2266_76788602


When reconnecting the broken bars, stitch all the way through the broken bar from the tip to the secure back end. Catching just the tip will probably cause it to shred and come apart. Stitch to a secure point that can be anchored.






When the lines and spaces are reestablished -- the gridwork is back together, the weight of the new bars can be built up to match the rest of the lace. A combination of wrapping and buttonhole stitches will create a good, slightly rough texture to blend with the crochet. This is the advantage of starting out with a lighter-weight, thinner thread.






There are a couple ways this could have been done better. The final loop was caught and stabilized -- it will not unravel. But the last thread just passes through the loop, and does not form a loop of its own. It looks just a bit wrong.

The final result also was a little bit lumpier at the end than we would have liked. There is a way to improve on this result -- see #6, A Second Choice Of Thread

lacecurator@gmail.com  www.lacemerchant.com      219-659-1124    Elizabeth Kurella 2014