What would you do?

I'm working on a top-down seamless sweater and have made it to the ribbing at the waist. I now can see that it is about 2 to 3 inches smaller than I'd like around the chest. (Cut me some slack, it's my first seamless) It has a fair isle pattern circling the chest and back that has a good stretch to it. Would you rip out and rework it, or would you block it first and see if you could pick up the extra inches without starting again? I would usually rip it out, but I'm leaning toward blocking this time because (i) it has such a good stretch and (ii) I realized it is 21,840 stitches from the start of the fair island pattern to the ribbing. Yikes!!


Bill's picture

This is going to sound complicated... but other than giving it away...I'd split both sides, after stay-stitching them...and I'd knit two 1.5 inch matching strips for the sides... then I'd figure out the sleeves...

ronhuber's picture

If your sweater is made from 100 % wool you should be able to get a couple inches out of it. If you do go this route remember you have to add to the bottom as it will stretch up and you stretch it out. I would add a couple of inches to the length. I have blocked out a sweater 6 inches wider as I changed my mind as to whom I was going to give it. If it doesn't work you can still do Bill's idea.

kiwiknitter's picture

I have no experience with Fair Isle so I can't give any advice, but I just want to say here that I think the pattern is fantastic!

My knitting is totally tubular!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

gaynnyc's picture

It's a GREAT looking sweater. I vote for blocking and adding a bit of length. Steeking scares the Sh^&t out of me.

klamathsteve's picture

Great job on the sweater. Take the sweater to your Dry Cleaner and see if they can steam some stretch into the chest, with 100% wool this usually can be done without any difficulty.



grandcarriage's picture

I second Bill. This is what I'd do if you cannot block it out, first, unstitch ribbing and thread stitches on waste yarn. Then, you (or someone you trust) take a sewing machine to the sides, and do two rows each side of where you'll cut (short straight stitch, down center of stitch, one row apart.) Cut the panels apart. I would then (personally) pick up stitches on the side and do a riff on the fair isle pattern to add width (you'll be knitting perpendicular to the side, and two inches of patterning would look pretty cool) cast off, and seam it to the remaining side. Finish ribbing, picking up stitches from edge of new side pieces. If you want to get really tricky, you could do the same thing on a sleeve. I did this on a favorite alpaca sweater, and it turned out really sporty, (although I would run the stripe down the top of the sleeve, and not the bottom, as I did). It could turn a great sweater into something really fabulous. Sometimes mistakes inspire greatness. (I'll post a picture of my 20 year old alpaca sweater on my blog, so you can see).

Not tonight honey: I'm knitting...

Thanks, everyone. I'm actually surprised that no one said rip it out and do it again. Maybe I'm the only crazy one who would do that. I'm going to try blocking, and if that doesn't work, I'll try the steeks.

I'll let you know in a few days how it turns out.