Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Grafting and Raining

At Christmas, I discovered that the sweater I had knitted for New Boy didn't fit.  The arms were too long and the body was too short.  What to do?  Since the arms were knitted shoulder down, it was easy to simply unravel a couple of inches and resew the seams.  But.  The body was knit bottom up.  Not so easy.  I knew the fix but I didn't want to do it.  However, there was no other way.   It involved cutting.

Here is how you add rows to an already knit garment.  Just saying here--don't try this the first time on an item you care about.  It's too scary.

First, pick up stitches on needles below and above the place where you will be adding rows.  I placed the lower needle two rows above the ribbing.  The other needle I placed two rows above the bottom needle so I would have adequate room to make the separation.

I think it is easier to manage the stitches if a circular needle is used.

Here's the creepy part.  Take a deep breath.  Pick up the scissors.  Take another deep breath.  Put down the scissors.  Think about just starting the whole sweater over.  Pick up the scissors again.  Carefully cut a strand of yarn in one of the stitches in one of the rows between the two needles.

Pull out the stitches between the two needles until you have two separate pieces of the sweater.  I have no photos of that.  I just couldn't bring myself to take a picture.  It was too sad.

But, here is the happy part!  You can take that lower half and begin knitting up on it!  It's not noticeable.  You just knit.  I added about three inches of stockinette stitch to that section. (He'd better not have grown much since Christmas!  I'm not doing this again!)

Now.  How do you put the whole thing back together?  You've increased the rows at the bottom but you still have to reattach that upper part of the sweater to the lower part.  This sewing together process is called grafting.  You can look it up on the internet or if you have a book of knitting techniques, read the instructions. (I recommend Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti.)  Sometimes this technique is called Kitchner Stitch after the brilliant person who figured out the easiest way to graft stitches together.  The best explanation I've found online is at the PurlSoho site.  Anyway, you just take that long tail of yarn you left on the lower section and thread a tapestry needles with it and begin sewing.  Follow the directions carefully.  If you mess up, just take out the seam back to the spot where you got off track and start again.

It works!  It really works!   You can tell where I grafted the two sections--about twenty rows up from the top of the ribbing.  But it will even out once it's all washed.

Now I just have to do the front of the sweater...

In happier news, it rained on Sunday!  Yes, there were horrible high winds that caused damaged in the area and it did flood a bit on PCH between here and Santa Barbara.  But it could have been much worse.  And we so need this rain.

This was at 8:00 am
dark, windy, rainy

More happiness!  The rain brought a little bit of green to our parched hills.  Please tell me you can see the green.


ellen b said...

Yes! I see the green!

A Joyful Cottage said...

I can see the green. You are the most courageous knitter I know. And knitting is something I don't do and most likely never will. Though I think it's a beautiful craft. xo ~ Nancy

Mereknits said...

You are so brave I would have had to start over from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

I can see the green! Wouldn't mind some out here in Iowa, either. Wonderful knitting solution. Mary

Julene said...

Smart girl adding on to the sweater like that!
Yes, I see the green!