How to Restring a Chair, Knit Wit-style

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
(Knit Wit's makeover breathes new life into a tired bucket chair. All photos by Kat Borchart)
As cofounders of the new biannual craft magazine Knit Wit, art director Gigi Jack and editor Zinzi Edmundson combine both their love for print (the two hail from titles including Bon Appetit, C Magazine, and Foam) and their shared passion for inspired handiwork in the realm of fiber art and textiles—hold the kitsch. "I’ve been a knitter since I was 8, and I love it, but I just wasn’t really connecting with a lot of the media around it. Like, if it’s not 'grandma' it’s arm warmers; neither of which are my thing," says Edmundson of the motivation behind the project.

The pair joined forces and rolodexes for their aspirational 108-page debut issue (available the first week of November; pre-order your copy via their Kickstarter page here), which  includes features spanning a behind-the-scenes tour of London's Wool and The Gang to interviews with textile designer Heather Taylor and Mexico City shoemaker Beatrice Valenzuela."We thought, let’s make this approachable lifestyle book with beautiful photography and stories that everyone can relate to," says Edmundson.

Given their keen eye, we asked the duo to create a DIY project just for us; below, they share their innovative makeover of a past-its-prime outdoor bucket chair.  

What you’ll need:
- A wire frame chair
- Scissors or a box cutter
- Rope or twine (we used two balls of this hemp cord from Michael's)
- Gardening gloves (recommended, not essential)
- A paint stirrer or batten
- Fork

Prep: Use a box cutter or scissors to remove previous caning.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 1: Tie the end of one ball of cord to the bottom left corner of the back portion of the chair. Use the Poacher’s Knot technique, illustrated here (and animated here).

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 2: Run the cord to the top rail of the chair and wrap around one-and-a-half times.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style

Step 3: Run the cord back to the center rail and wrap around once.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 4: Run the cord to the front rail and wrap around one-and-a-half times. Finish the sequence by running the cord back to the center rail and wrapping around once. TIP: Tuck the tail of your initial knot into the loops of the center rail for a clean finish.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 5: Continue this pattern until you’ve covered the whole chair, keeping the tension loose throughout. Tie the end of the cord in a loose knot.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 6: Wearing gardening gloves to protect against rope burn, evenly arrange the ropes and pull strongly in the same sequence that you wound until they are very tight.

Step 7: Admire your work. You can stop here if you like a simpler look.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 8: Use a paint stirrer as an impromptu batten. There will be two sets of cords on your chair, front and back. Use the batten to weave over and under the strings in front, in an every-other consecutive pattern.
How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 9: Use one hand to angle the batten forward (this should be difficult if your warp—aka vertical cords—is tight!), and weave a portion of cord in-between the gap. Continue in whatever pattern you choose—we went for a simple triangle pattern, but the possibilities are endless.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 10: Use a fork to push down and evenly arrange your weft, aka horizontal cords. We left some breathing room between rows because we like the way it looked. Again, very customizable.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
Step 11: Admire your pattern, then take your chair for a test drive.

How to Restring a Chair, KnitWit-style
I am Editor-at-Large at Lonny.
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