Repair Restoration Services in Knitting and Crochet
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I am Susan Kerin, a nationally awarded knit and crochet designer. I’ve been knitting and crocheting since the age of ten. I have also sewn my entire life, winning a “Singer Sewing” contest at the age of twelve.
Do family cherished legacies or other special pieces need TLC restoration, refurbishment, or a simple repair?
For several decades now since I was twelve years old (Ha! Liar Liar Pants on Fire), I have also applied my expertise in repair and restoration to heirloom and cherished pieces and all kinds — knit, crochet, and many other fabrics. For items that seem unable to be fixed because they might be “too far gone,” often they “CAN” be repaired and restored. Or, creativity takes hold and it can be transformed into something “new.” I’ve worked on a wide range of projects arriving on my doorstep from across our United States.
My needlework library (scroll down further for photos) holds over 3,000 knitting and crochet books as well as publications in related genres. This is a cherished collection from which I study needlework history and patterns.
The repair and restoration process includes pattern dissection, replication and insertion for seamless repair in knit and crochet fabric, clothing, linens, heirlooms, fine garments, and other needlework genres and textiles. Fine thread crochet lace repair is often a focus (fine thread bedspreads and tablecloths). For many years projects from across the U.S. have landed on my studio table, where I apply my detailed study of patterns. Projects range from small and minimal to large and major and are never too big or too small. I am always stimulated to hear the personal family history of pieces from those fortunate to own them and who thoughtfully make inquiries to have significant needlework survive.
“I contacted Susan to repair a turn of the century hand crocheted bedspread I had purchased several years ago. The edge of it was becoming totally unraveled all around and I desperately wanted to restore it so I could continue using it, as this is a blanket I really treasure.
After doing some online sleuthing I came across Susan’s website and from that moment on, I knew my bedspread was in expert hands. She understands the sentimental value of the things you are entrusting her with. She answered all my questions and kept me apprised throughout the process. I viewed it as an investment in the future and in her utmost expertise and decades of experience – truly, I believe you get what you pay for.
I think she is really dedicated and knows her craft. She is truly unique. In our first conversation she was able to give me the approximate year of the original pattern, talked about the historical aspects of such needlework and all kinds of interesting details surrounding her work and her process. It was a great experience to chat with her and learn so much. I found out she has a needlework library room where she studies and she has more than 3,000 books. It amazes me to think of her collection.
My bedspread has a new lease on life and looks good as new! Susan, thank you for taking my project on and providing me with many more years of joy.” Thank you so much, Susan. B. in New York
Susan did an amazing job on an heirloom lace mantilla (scarf worn in church) that belonged to my mother. The lace had aged quite a bit and had several holes. I contacted Susan to see if she could repair and restore the piece and she responded promptly. She worked with me and provided various options to bring the piece back to life while managing my expectations with what can be done with old lace. Susan helped come up with a solution to fix the holes and prevent them from spreading further. Her work was meticulous and detailed, and the result turned out better than I could have imagined. I was especially appreciative of the care she took with Mother’s lace, knowing how important the mantilla was to me.
I am so glad I found Susan online and would highly recommend her.
After she finished my project I asked her about a couple of other items I had that might need repair. I didn’t even know whether they were knitted, crochet or some other sort of needlework craft. I found out that whatever the genre is, she knows what you are talking about, tells you what kind of needlework it is and gives good insight. What I particularly appreciated was that when I asked her whether the items were worth salvaging with professional repair and restoring, she was very up front with me about the reality of the issues to consider and then how to make my own best decision whether to have a restoration done.
She didn’t — at all — try to talk me into a project and it was comforting to have her advice. She comes up with extremely interesting options to salvage damaged pieces. It was stimulating to hear her thoughts as we chatted. Her creativity seems unending; she came up with ideas I never thought were possible. She really thinks out of the box while all the while focusing on maintaining the historical and family aspects of the project to still maintain it as an heirloom piece.
Above two photos: Testimonial
I was indeed excited to find you completed my project so soon. Thank you so much! What I found when I looked at the precious work of my Grandmother made was so surprising. I did not find repairs. I found art restoration of incredible quality. Your masterful work literally brought tears to my eyes. I will never forget the gift you shared with me by accepting this item into your care.
Below Photo: Testimonial
Hello again Susan. Attached is the backstory on the crocheted tablecloth that we will pass along to my daughter when she opens the wedding gift. Besides the sentimental value of the heirloom, this rich history further validates the investment in it’s restoration. I am so pleased with the work you did in restoring it to its 1940 glory. The color match is perfect, and I cannot tell at all where the repairs were made, although I know there were many. The cleaning is also amazing, yet it retains the patina appropriate to its age. I’ve told her father about the gift and he is very touched at the thought. We can’t wait until she opens it! We plan on giving it to her at her bridal shower so we can be there when she does.
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Below: Bedspread repair restoration project. The project had been started many years ago. Multiple motifs were out of gauge. These were further disassembled as needed and reworked to size. Then the bedspread was assembled and finally finished with a compatible crochet edging pattern. The bedspread photo on the right is the newly washed bedspread now at the owner’s home.
TO RECEIVE A QUOTE PLEASE CAREFULLY FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FOR A GOOD CHAT
Note: .jpg attachments preferred for all photos needed below.
And, remember that old adage that “A picture is worth 1,000 words”.
GETTING THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE OF THE WHOLE SHEBANG
(1) Take a photo of the entire piece laid flat, then
(2) Take photos of the general problem areas, and then
(3) Take closer up photos of the holes within those general areas just taken, and
(4) Include information about the history of the piece within your family or otherwise how you came to own it and what you know about it.
(5) Email the photos along with your full name, city, state, telephone number WITH YOUR TIME ZONE along with the history of the item … to my email address in pink above. I typically call within 24 hrs. but I quite often call within fifteen minutes of receipt!
Send as many photos as necessary, remembering that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Please be sure to follow the directions to allow for a thorough chat about your piece. And, thanks in advance! (I will be calling you from Ocean Pines/Ocean City, Maryland, EST)
(6) Email to: SusanDianeKerin@gmail.com
The Inquiry. “My Dog Ate My Doily”
“So my husband was given this doily from his mother and
I believe his great grandmother or grandmother made it.
Not completely sure. I just know it’s old and I don’t even know if the person who made it is alive.
They have a ridiculously large family and it’s hard to keep everyone straight.
Our dog, who he will likely kill when he finds out, decided to chew on it and I’m assuming
ate part of it. It looks pretty hopeless but I figured I’d give it a shot in asking if there’s
any way it can be repaired and how much roughly it would cost. Thanks! Annie G.”
I had to chuckle as I read her words because I immediately thought of that old expression, “My dog ate my homework.”
I called Annie and we had a chat about her doily dilemma and her need for lace repair services. This is life and these things happen. With many years of knitting repair and lace repair projects under my belt, I’ve heard many stories like this when one is faced with a damaged family heirloom needing repair to replicate and restore the pattern to make it whole again.
The good thing is that we realize the legacy value of these fine arts when we are fortunate to have one handed down to us from loved ones owing such skill. Once a lace repair is complete, we often rethink how the item should be used for the future. The cost of lace repair can be minor or major, depending upon the size of the job. Sometimes an heirloom piece, like the pineapple doily in this case, is professionally framed and hung afterwards, especially when it may be the only item made by Grandma that you own. It stays perfect after the lace repair and is displayed prominently for family to appreciate.
Others put completed lace repair projects such as doilies under glass. That is, a table gets a sheet of glass over it with the lace repair displayed under it for viewing, without danger of drink spills, soiling from daily wear, and of course the “DOG”. This could also be done with a repaired tablecloth of manageable size in which it is under the tabletop glass and the remainder of it hangs. Often when a lace bedspread is restored it is used as the attractive bedspread but removed at bed time. Or, it may be aesthetically pleasing displayed as a runner across the end of the bed, or placed hanging from a blanket rack.
Now, getting back to the “DOG”… Later in a follow up email Annie noted:
“I was so afraid to tell my husband what had happened and thought he would be devastated and upset.
It turns out I was more upset than he was! Thanks for your lace repair advice today!
And P.S. The dog lives to chew another day.”
During our chat, I had suggested the episode might become a handed down, memorialized, family story – if she did not want to have the lace repaired she could still frame it with the story and photo of the dog included in the frame.
Just arrived home last night and today opened the box from you…
it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!
I can’t tell you how happy I am.
I am so glad I found YOU!!
You have a truly wonderful and special talent!!!
Thank you so much!!!!!
Wanted to thank you for such professionalism, from initial contact through finished product and delivery. Sitting with my Grandmother’s project in my lap, completed by your expert and caring hands, left me in tears, and with a full heart of appreciation and wonder at your expertise and process. Rest assured, should anyone ever ask or say they are looking for someone of your caliber, you will be strongly recommended. Your attention to detail was exemplified in a finished restoration that will be, as you say, a legacy piece.
Below Three Photos: Crochet Bedspread Project Testimonial
I received the crocheted bedspread you restored and immediately put it on my bed. Every time I walked by it brought back wonderful memories of my Mother who had made it for me when I was a child — the ties that bind. You did a wonderful job. In Japan there is an art of repairing broken pottery so that the repaired piece often becomes more beautiful than the original and it is given a second life. You applied that art to this bedspread and I am so thrilled that it, too, now has a second life.
When I first spoke with you about the project I sensed the depth of knowledge you had on the subject and appreciated how well you explained things, even the things that were not yet known! You stayed true to your word and kept me updated in impressive detail as you progressed on the extensive work. I admire your style and communication abilities. Thank you again for the great work and for sharing your knowledge with me. With warm regards, B.L. Miami FL
Below: Heirloom Crochet table piece repair restoration completed and under glass (bottom left photo).
Yankee Sweater, circa 1925, Knitting Repair Restoration
Tunisian Afghan Repair Restoration
Photo Above – Testimonial
What do you do when you want to restore a moth-ridden 50-year-old afghan made by a favorite aunt? You take it to Susan Kerin. I’ve known Susan for only a short time. However, I found her to be an extremely skilled professional whose passion for her work is captivating. Her energy is boundless. And most importantly, her devotion to restoring and transforming this afghan was both unquestionable and reassuring. Her work has made it possible for this tattered heirloom to be transformed and become a family treasure to be handed down for generations. I actually traveled to Susan’s studio to pick up the project when it was completed and toured her interesting sanctum. I was able to experience a bit of her repair, restoration and creative processes first-hand during her summary review of the work as she explained how the work evolved. Beth in Maryland.
Where It All Happens – The Creative Sanctum of Susan Kerin
Repair and Restoration Artist, Knit and Crochet Designer
Above: The Library – 3,000+ books of the fine arts of knitting and crochet along with related needle work and other creative genres publications.
Above: The Studio Office – Leaving the Library and walking across the hall.
Above: Desk Central in the Studio Office – Book research from the library moves to the office for continued pattern study for restoration work and historical inspiration for new design work. Private lectures with instructional lessons in knitting and crochet and other needle work genres also take place here. Teaching includes learn-how as well as custom lessons in areas of special interest to the client.
When repairs and restorations are completed, there is the task of writing notes detailing what was done to bring a piece to whole again.
For new designs, swatching of pattern ideas happens here. Instructions are written and patterns are tested. Then the photo shoots are done. A final edit is performed and pattern instructions for needle workers are declared complete. Lastly, the new pattern is posted to the website.
Above: Project Table – where a whole lot happens. Swatch boards on the wall are the result of test swatching new design idea elements during the creative process. The swatch boards become by-product artwork providing continued inspiration, and they’re lots of fun to make, too.