Holding my breath

The sweater below is Banff. It is one of the first sweaters I made when I learned to knit (only 4 short years ago). I love this sweater, it’s roomy, it’s comfy, it’s soft. It’s everything I want from a sweater except that it is too short. I have a fairly long torso, and even though I lengthened the design (I also made the neck shorter), it still ended up being too short. Actually, it is too short for a short-waisted friend of mine as well. I had several choices: keep the sweater despite the length, give the sweater to charity, or rip it. Then I thought of another alternative… cut the sweater’s bottom off, reknit it so that it is long enough…

I saw this technique on someone else’s knitting blog a looooonnnnng time ago (no link… sorry). The pictures haunted me because cutting into a sweater to change it’s length was a scary thought when I began knitting. I could barely keep the stitches on a live needle. Ripping back a few rows was enough to give me mental hives. How could I deal with stitches in the middle of a sweater that aren’t on a needle?!

Several years later, I think I can do this.

First, I used a small circular needles (I used US3’s) to pick up stitches all around the sweater. You pick up every other loop leg (look closely, you can see this in the picture below). This prevents the sweater from running up into the portion I don’t want to undo. Since the sweater was knit bottom up, that probably wouldn’t have happened but I like guarantees.

Then, take a deep breath, and snip one loop leg anywhere below the circular needle.

Begin ripping.

Keep going.

Finally, the bottom of the sweater will be separated from the top.

I ripped out the bottom section completely, and started reknitting. You can’t just start knitting back down using knit stitch (since it was knit bottom up), you have to turn it around and purl for stockinette. If you use the knit stitch, I believe the columns will be off by one.  I could be wrong.  I didn’t experiment because purling is as easy as knitting for me.

I reknit (purled) 4 inches so far… I’ll post pictures soon.

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