Friday, January 27, 2012

Fix It Fridays (1)

A blog I follow (Knitting Park) is having a "Fix it Friday" feature where each week she fixes a knitting project that didn't quite turn out right or needed tweaking for some reason. I have enough projects which "need fixin" that I decided to join in. Look for posts each week...for as long as I can keep up!

I have a friend who asked for a favour. She has a favourite sweater that she has been wearing for years and can't stop wearing, but the sleeves are too long. They started too long and she thought she could live with it, but they've only been getting longer and more annoying. So her question was, Could I shorten them? -Sure, I said, No problem!

First step was to have her mark the sleeves:
It's always better to do both so you can average the results and be more likely to get it right.

I checked out the sleeves and they were done in the most common way--knit from the bottom (cuff) up. This meant I could not just unravel them from the edge by pulling on a loosened end; I was going to have to cut the strand and unravel it stitch by stitch.

So I counted rows from the edge and made my first snip:
You'll notice I snipped a little below the safety pin. This was for two reasons: first, I needed to leave room to unravel a row so I could have enough yarn to cast off with; and second, because the sleeve will bounce up a little higher once I remove the extra length. We wouldn't want to go from too long to too short! (That would be a harder problem to fix!)

Once I had a loose end to work from, I picked out one row stitch by stitch, placing each released stitch onto a needle:
Once I had the stitches on the needles, I tinked the row to give me the yarn for the bind off.

Because I was tinking from the bottom of the knitting, it wasn't as straight forward as undoing knitting from the top down, but it just took a little extra care. Once the row was done, I went around again slipping stitches so I could make sure none of them were twisted. (Although possible to do while tinking, I prefer to do one thing at a time.)
Yes, I changed needles. The red ones were too small and slippery.
From there is was just a matter of binding off, redoing the part of the seam that I took out, and weaving in the loose ends:
Then repeat for the other sleeve.

When finished, you can see that this sweater looks like it will now fit a normal person with normal sized arms:
Mission accomplished!

Fix It Friday Summary:
Project 1
: shorten sweater sleeves
Cost: $0
Time: ~1 hour


  1. Does this mean you will fix OTHER PEOPLE'S knit problems? If so, I have some to suggest!! Good work.

  2. Nice try, but she happened to catch me on a generous day!! :) Although I'm pretty free with advice if you have specific issues.


  3. Great job fixing! The sweater looked store-bought, was there an arm seam that you had to knit over?

    I'm on Ravelry too: silvermox

    I'll look you up. Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Thanks, Nancy. Yes, the sweater was store-bought. There was a seam in the sleeve. I briefly mention in the post that I undid it and then resewed it once the stitches were bound off. This was really easy since I didn't have to knit any extra length onto the sleeves, but just bind them off.


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