Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A Matter of Correction

When I was learning to knit I decided that I didn't want to knit a scarf or granny squares or any of those other beginners items: I wanted to knit a jumper - and one with lots of pattern to it. I picked this one and set off with enthusiasm.

I followed the pattern to the letter and the result was a jumper that I never felt comfortable wearing because the body and the sleeves were shorter than I'd normally go for. I tend to like my tops to come down well below my waist and, to put it bluntly, this didn't.

Three years on and a with a little more experience I dug it out wondering if I could modify it. I had plenty of the wool left over so I decided to try picking up the stitches around the body and add a few inches of chunky rib - and then to do the same to the sleeves. I knew this wouldn't look as seamless as if it has been ribbed from the word go - but I figured I wasn't wearing it as it was so I might as well give it a chance.

A quick search on Google suggested that I'm by no means the first person to have done this and that the solution is not to just pick up the stitches as you would for a border, but to unravel the bottom edge completely.

Doing so for a cast on edge is more complicated that you'd think. You can't just detach an end and pull - it simply won't unravel. Instead you have to cut a stitch just below where you want to unravel to, and then unweave this loose end manually, picking up each stitch as its revealed.

The jumper had a hefty lump of pattern in it with stitches added, subtracted and switching places regularly; needless to say I found the process of identifying which bits to pick up as stitches hard work. A considerable amount of time later though and I had 95 stitches sitting on my needle and a completely loose piece of knitting that had been removed. Success!

I put in one row of knit and then started on a 2/2 rib.
With six inches of ribbed knitting added to the bottom I started to get quite excited. The whole jumper felt so much better for it. However, I did spot one potential problem. I couldn't just take a jumper that finishes at my waist, extend it straight down and expect it to fit over my hips - my body doesn't work like that. So I planned out a little triangular section to put over each hip so that it didn't have to stretch too much. Here was my plan:

I finished off the second half of the body quite quickly (becoming a pro at picking up thoses stitches!), and then added one inch of ribbing to each sleeve just to complete the job, and ta-da - one jumper that fits and is comfortable. Maybe next time its cold and wet this will be my jumper of choice.  


  1. Hey - that looks fantastic! I am uber-impressed with the alteration. I wouldn't really have known it wasn't part of the original pattern. Well done!

    1. Thanks :) I'm really pleased with it. It wasn't all that hard to do, but it feels like a whole new jumper. Win!

    2. And you do now wear it instead of leaving it hidden in the back of the wardrobe!


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