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The cardigan is a wardrobe staple because it's so versatile. You can wear the same cardigan you paired with a pretty frock and pearls last week with your favorite T-shirt and jeans this week. Getting a hole in such a go-to item as your favorite knit shell is understandably annoying, but don't chuck that well-loved sweater just yet. Instead, take the time to patch it up yourself.
Feel like you're all thumbs when it comes to clothing repair? Creating a felt patch is an easy way to cover a hole in a cardigan. It's super cute and involves no sewing skills. All you'll need for this quick repair is a needle-felting mat, wool roving, a disappearing ink pen and a needle-felting tool. Use the pen to draw the shape of your patch around the hole. Place the needle-felting mat on the inside of your sweater. Lay your wool roving across the patch shape. Use the needle-felting tool to punch the fibers into your sweater so they transfer evenly to the other side. Add another layer if you want a thicker patch.
If you're trying to mend a hole in a fine-gauge sweater and you have some skills in the craft department, you may want to sew the hole closed. This technique works best on small holes. You don't even need yarn, just some matching sewing thread. Hand sew around the edge of the hole, picking up each loose loop and sewing through the loose strands. Pull the thread snugly and finish off by sewing a couple of stitches in the back to keep the hole securely closed. Knot the end and snip off any excess thread.
If you're feeling a little pioneerlike and ready to exercise some serious sewing skills, choose to darn the hole closed. Darning involves creating a knitted patch directly onto the underside of the sweater. For best results, opt for yarn or thread that is the same weight as your sweater. Using the rows in your sweater as a guide, thread the new yarn in and out of the back loops and over the hole. The darned patch should be about an inch wider than the hole on either side. After you're done, go back and darn a second, diagonal set of stitches directly over the first set.
Protect Your Sweaters
Avoid getting holes altogether by treating your cardigans with care. Don't dry-clean them too often -- the chemicals can strip the yarn. Some sweaters are machine washable, but if your washer doesn't have the appropriate setting for woolens, hand wash it instead. Avoid having little critters nosh on your cardigan by keeping a box of mothballs near your knitwear. Don't let your sweater succumb to daily wear and tear. Buy a few of your favorite brand so you can rotate them.