Monday, December 27, 2010

Chop suey

Chop suey. Not bean sprouts and bamboo shoots, but the fearless adventure where I hack up my boyfriend's sweater to complete a variety of needed alterations. Let's go!

One thing I should have told you yesterday is that this picture was taken with the excess fabric pulled back and fastened with a knitting needle. In other words, the sweater is a lot baggier than this, but you can still see the drooping dropped shoulders and the excess length.

Now where are those scissors?

I hacked the just-finished pullover apart yesterday, removing all the body and sleeve side seams and then detaching the sleeves themselves. Next, I addressed a concern voiced by AmyPinSeattle in a blog comment that if I remove two inches on the sides, the sleeves will move up two inches  - and will therefore be too short. She's absolutely right. So I began the surgery by cutting off the sleeve ribbing, knitting another two inches in stockinette, and then finishing off with the three inches of new ribbing. Amazingly, this only took a couple of hours to complete both sleeves. I spritzed the cuffs and let them dry overnight. The sleeves are as good as new.

Now on to the front. Starting about an inch-and-a-half above the ribbing, I snipped off the bottom of the sweater and carefully picked up the live stitches. Next, I started K2P2 ribbing. This time, I'm leaving out the pretty patterning on the ribbing. Other knitters have made this alteration (here's an example); in fact, at least one yarn store owner is instructing her customers to abandon the pattern ribbing to eliminate the bagginess and tunic-like feel. This revision will work better for Tom, I think.

Next steps: finish the front ribbing, do the same for the back, and then it's time to break out the sewing machine. I'll steek the sides and reseam the garment and then, God willing, the pullover will fit perfectly and Tom and I and this sweater will live happily ever after. If you're a praying woman, I'd appreciate you putting in a good word for me. :-)

Meanwhile, I've also been working on the Kaffe Fassett scarf. Goodness, I love this Rowan Felted Tweed for colorwork. The hues blend beautifully in this wooly yarn. My only concern is the stranding and doubled thickness make for an exceptionally thick scarf, somewhat overkill for the moderately cold Mid Atlantic. I've been contemplating making this into an iPad cover instead - wouldn't that be beautiful? My friend gave me a $50 gift certificate for Webs - great gift, huh? I might just buy some more of this lovely yarn to make a fair isle sweater or vest.

But for now, I'm focused on making Chop Suey. Stay tuned for the next course, coming soon to a blog near you.


  1. WOW what a job you have done on that sweater. You go girl. I love the Kaffee scarf - just beautiful.

  2. Good for you! You have The Plan and you're stickin' to it! I am certainly a scardey cat when it comes to cutting into knitting stitches, a Cowardly Steeker!
    Bring on the next course (I love Chinese!) I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

  3. Look at that scarf !
    Color knitting is your thing, judging from the way you knit with speed and gusto to get such a work of artistic color!
    You should do more sweaters like the brown blue and white one you did a few months ago.
    You've learned and shared a lot since then.
    Go for it! are brave!

  4. You are one fierce knitter! I think most of us (raises hand) have had the experience of finishing a project made with oodles of love and the best of intentions, only to find it doesn't fit. And a lot of us (raises other hand) are so devastated by it that the only response we can muster is (a) tears; (b) throwing the hateful thing across the room; or (c) frogging the entire item and starting all over again, at which point the oodles of love are conspicuously absent. I'm in awe of your well-thought-out plan and looking forward to pics of the renovated sweater.

    --Lynda in Oregon

  5. Lynda, thanks for the support. I've gotten so many negative comments, it's nice to hear from someone who doesn't think I'm totally nuts. :-) I hope to have the sweater finished (again) in the next few days. Thanks again!

  6. I usually knit for myslef and i see that it will not fit and i think to myself, hmmmm, who will this look good on, instant gift!!! then if I really want it, I'll go back and reknit the item, but usually not...LOL