The main body of the blanket was a standard granny square, done in a delicate, soft, sport weight yarn, while the border was a celebration of arches and picots.
Who knows, maybe the yarn was good old Plymouth Dreambaby or some such perfectly suitable stuff, but I imagined it was an exotic New Zealand yarn. I hear they have a lot of sheep there. Hence they must have wonderful yarn. My logic is unassailable, my imagination unbridled.
It looked like at least two or three rounds of double crochet were missing, but a closer look showed me it was really only the center. An excellent prognosis for recovery!
So here's a pictorial tutorial, or pictutorial, if you will. I'll start with the blanket saved, and then show the whole procedure again with a swatch I made, which shows the technique more clearly.
First, to save the loose stitches:
With a tapestry needle, I threaded a scrap of contrasting color sock yarn through the loops at the bottom of each dangling double crochet in the round above the missing section. I tied a little bow and I was ready for the next step.
Because the tear was in the center of the blanket, the loose partial stitches of the "lost round" had to be pulled open/unknotted/untwisted by hand. This took quite awhile. I'm just warning you, in case you have a chance to do this some day.
Once that was done, it was time to re-crochet.
I wanted to use as much of the original yarn as possible, but I was going to need something on which to latch the round of double crochets I was going to create.
I found a strand of yarn in my stash that matched the color, miracle of miracles. It was actually 2 strands of fiber unwound from some 3 ply Plymouth Encore.
So I chained four from my matching yarn, joined it with a slip stitch to the first chain, and I had a little loop which is blurry in the picture due to the limitations of my camera and my skills as a photographer.
Then I took the original yarn, which was still attached to the innards of the blanket, and did 3 double crochets into the loop I had made from my yarn.
Then I chained 4, dropped the loop from my crochet hook, stuck my hook into the bottom loops of the 3 double crochets in the round above, grabbed the loop I had dropped, pulled it through, then undid a couple of the chains, because you only need two chains in each corner of the granny square.
Then I did 3 more double crochets into the beginning loop I had made from my yarn.
Here's the beautiful edging:
I suggested to my happy client that in future, putting the blanket in a mesh lingerie bag and washing it on a delicate cycle would be the way to go.
Now for the swatch I made, and some basic directions repeated. I'm not using abbreviations here since some people have trouble reading those, and I am feeling merciful.
Insert tapestry needle with scrap yarn into bottoms of double crochets in round above "problem area."
Here I undid the center section of the swatch, as in the blanket above.
Thread the scrap yarn all the way around, in the round above the missing section.
Notice, on the lovely ebony crochet hook below, 4 stitches chained.
Join with slip stitch to beginning chain to form a ring, then chain 3, which counts as a double crochet, and do 2 double crochet into the ring. (Equals 3 double crochet.)
Then chain 4, to make this section easier to pull through the saved stitches.
Drop loop from hook, and poke hook through saved stitches, from left to right, or clockwise.
Special note which I hope doesn't sound too complicated: In this case, since it's the center round we are fixing, we will only need 4 groups of 3 double crochets each. These will go in between the 6 double crochets that make up the corners of the round above. That is why my hook has picked up the bottom loops of 6 double crochets in this picture. If you had a repair in a different round, you would pick up the bottom loops of 3 double crochets at a time in each section along the sides. Also, you would only need 1 chain in between those 3 double crochet groups.
Anyhoo, grab your dropped loop:
Pull through the bottoms of the saved stitches.
Then drop the loop, and undo 2 of the 4 chains--it's very easy to do that part.
Now do 3 double crochet into your center ring. Chain 4 as above, and continue these steps until you have finished the round and you are back to the beginning. Join with slip stitch to beginning double crochet.
That's all there is to it! It's easy!
I can just picture my mom rolling her eyes heavenward.
"Easy for you, maybe!" she would say.
And I would say, "Well, once you get the hang of it," and then we would both roll our eyes heavenward.
Anyway, the blanket is dear to a family's heart, and I was happy to get the chance to repair it.