How to Fix a Hole or Snag in Knit Sweaters

Updated on January 2, 2017

What a Little Yarn, Thread, and Care Can't Fix!

A little yarn, thread and practical know how can work wonders when repairing garments.
A little yarn, thread and practical know how can work wonders when repairing garments. | Source

Don't Let a Sweater Snag Derail You

What to do when your favorite sweater gets snagged?

We all know that uh-oh feeling. The sweater you love so much gets caught on a rough place. Heart sinks. Sweater sleeve or edge pulls out. A long cord of yarn hangs from your sleeve, maybe even resulting in an ugly hole—now what?

Whatever you do, don't throw out the sweater. With a little practice and care, you will become an expert at fixing the most impossible of rips, tears, and holes. Just start out slowly and have patience with yourself. Here are some steps guaranteed to get you from Snagville to Solution Junction every time.

Fixing a Hole - a Classic problem

Hole and Snag Fixing

Fortunately, fixing a hole is not nearly as difficult as it may seem. Every problem has a solution, and here is no exception. Let's break it down into two possibilities - Hole or No Hole.

No Hole

  1. Turn the sweater inside out
  2. Pull the yarn inside (so it's on the inside of your sweater). The ugly evidence is out of sight for now!
  3. Stretch the sweater in all directions - first horizontally, then vertically, so that the pulled seam regains its original shape and elasticity.

Not always, but sometimes, this is enough. The loopy yarn may regroup to accommodate the space left from the snag. You may choose to secure the long yarn piece with a needle and thread, or not. Problem solved!

The Hole Problem

If there is a hole, simply follow the steps described above. A patch will need to be secured from the back side in a color that blends into the sweater. If you do it nicely enough it won't even be noticeable!

Using a scrap of fabric of the same color, carefully stitch the swatch onto the knit backing with a single threaded needle. Small stitches are better, and—easy does it.

It's Easy to Fix a Snag on the Edge of Your Sweater

If the edge of the sweater gets snagged on some rough spot, pull the sweater ribbing to an exaggerated width to normalize the tension of the sweater as it was before the snag occurred. If there is an excess of sweater yarn extending from the sweater's edge, use a crochet hook to carefully weave it back into the body of the sweaters without showing any lumps or suspicious bumps. Do not ever cut this yarn! Just weave it in. The crochet hook should be inserted in the lowermost link. Crochet upwards and towards the top. Little by little and you have stitched up the entire opening. If needed, you may secure the ends of the crochet loop with a needle and thread like in the Hole method.

Fixing to Fix 'Em

Do you fix your own snags or pay a professional

See results

A Basting Stitch Holds the Material in Place

Elbow and Knee Patch

There are plenty of holey opportunities. If you need to "fix a hole" on fabric, it can be easily remedied. So you have a hole on a kneecap? Fixable. Hole on an elbow? Yes.

Holes form where they get the most wear and tear. If your kids' knees are constantly growing hole, try fixing them from the back and on the front. Use a piece of compatible material from the back to plug the hole, so to speak. Then add colorful patch pockets on the front. No one will know whether it's a fashion statement or a case of the holey moleys!

Holes on the elbows - same thing. The popular British Isles sweater design includes two patches of compatible (but different) wool color affixed on the outside of the elbow. OK - it's fashion now, but in the old days, it was a matter of keeping those elbows covered! People were skinnier than they are now and those boney bones just kept a-poking their way through to daylight.

Fix Fix Fix

Button Pops

Another wholly feasible problem is a hole resulting from a popped out button. You know - when the clothes are too tight and POP goes the button. Once again, a classic solution will save the day. Place a piece of fabric in the back, baste around it in a contrasting color, then stitch it to the back of the fabric with tiny, fine stitches, using only a single threaded to leave less of a footprint. The basted stitches are there just to hold the fabric in place while you stitch. Basting is done in larger, fleeting stitches and single thread so you can easily remove it when the job is done. It works as well as straight pins without your hands getting stuck.

Another way to fix a small poked hole in fabric is to stitch it overhand until any and all rough edges are contained in the stitching. This was how I fixed my favorite, sheer crepe de chine dress after I passed through a heavily parked area on the way out of my friend's wedding. Rip! It caught in the mires of a metal bumper and I assumed the dress was gone for. Not so. Some fine hand stitching was enough to hide the hole, protect it from ripping any further. A stitch in time saves nine, but in this case, nine stitches in time saved 90 more. I wore that dress another few years.

Economic Necessity - Learn How to Mend

The caption, Make Do and Mend was popular during the War effort (1939-1946).
The caption, Make Do and Mend was popular during the War effort (1939-1946). | Source

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • EuroCafeAuLait profile imageAUTHOR

        Anastasia Kingsley 

        4 years ago from Croatia, Europe

        Great tip, thanks Jennabee25!

      • jennabee25 profile image

        Jenn Dixon 

        4 years ago from PA

        A crochet hook to pull loose and snagged threads through is useful, too!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        5 years ago from the short journey

        Good stuff here. There are a lot of reasons that it's important to know how to fix holes, and knowing how saves $ that can be used elsewhere, like on more yarn to make more sweaters! :)

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)