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Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Mini Tip Tutorial - Sweater Surgery Part 2

Last week I showed you how I shortened this sweater and today I'll be sharing how I made the sweater narrower. This is the Sochi 2014 sweater by Dale Garn which was designed for the Norwegian team for the 2014 Winter Olympics. My mum knitted this sweater for my husband and the sweater was on the big side when he first got it. Since then he's lost weight and the sweater was far too big. I shortened it by 6cm/2 1/4 in and took 8cm/3in off the circumference. 

You can see last week's tutorial here.

In today's tutorial I share techniques I teach in my Fair Isle Knitting/Steeking workshop and Professional Finishing Techniques workshop. I'm teaching both of these classes at several venues this year. See all my classes here. 

The first thing I did on this sweater was to cut a section off the length. This left me with a round of live stitches which I left on two circular needles (you can put these on a piece of waste yarn if preferred) while I cut a section out of each side of the sweater.

I worked out where the side seam would be. To do this I found the final increase at the top of the sleeve. The two increases were worked after the first stitch and before the last stitch of the round, so once I found the two stitches between the increases, I could follow that line to the top of the sleeve and down to the side of the body. I used a red yarn to mark the side.

I then measured 2cm/3/4 in either side of the side and inserted two more rows of red yarn, to mark where I wanted the seam to be. Just inside these two lines, I crocheted a seam (as I would in a steeked sweater). I then cut a section of fabric off inside the crocheted seams. After I'd cut the excess fabric off, I seamed the sides together using mattress stitch.

Please note: This tutorial isn't meant to be an in depth demonstration of each technique but an overview of how I used various techniques to make this sweater smaller. Please bear that in mind as you watch the video. The yarn is dark and it may be hard to see what I am doing and I do apologise for that. If I was doing this just for tutorial purposes I would have chosen a lighter colour and contrasting yarn to seam with.

Now that the sweater is seamed, I can re-knit the rib from the live stitches at the bottom of the body. 

I also unpicked the collar and re-knitted it. The collar was picked up from stitches around the neck. There is a zip inserted into the collar. I've never attached zips to knitwear before so was nervous about doing this. I did this part of the sweater surgery in Norway so didn't film it. But here's how I did it:
  1. Stitches were picked up for the collar. The collar was knitted and then folded over and seamed. I undid the seam and unfolded the collar.
  2. I undid the seam for the zip just for the section I'd be re-knitting.
  3. I unravelled the collar back to the first row. I then worked a row of decreases. I decreased about a quarter of the stitches. 
  4. I re-knitted the collar and then folded and stitched it down again.
  5. I re-attached the zip to the collar.
I thought I might have to shorten the sleeves too but once I'd made the collar tighter, that automatically pulled the sleeves up enough and they're now the perfect length.

I forgot to get a before picture of this sweater on Simon but here's the after picture. Trust me, it's a much better fit now and he wore it a lot in Norway and he's even worn it since we came home. Last winter he didn't wear it at all because it was too big.

Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. 

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