February 12, 2014

15 Cut Your Knits to Fit! (Yes, You Read That Right)





I know you guys cringe when you read "cut" and "knit" in the same sentence.  I know it hurts, but sometimes you really just have to treat your knitting like fabric and trim just like a dressmaker would!

Let me tell you what happens when you take a realllllly long time to make something.  According to Ravelry my Stained Glass Madness began in August 2009.  Yes, that was 4 and 1/2 years ago. Thanks to a knit-a-long on Ravelry for old, languishing Rowan projects, I got off my ass and finished up the entire body of the long-sleeved cardigan!






Original Rowan colorway, pattern is Scales by Brandon Mably

But after trying it on, I realized there were some really weird "curves".  The fronts were simply not symmetrical in very distinct places!  I marked with safety pins how much they were off.




Yes, there are parts of the pieces that are significantly larger than they should be.  I checked and it's not a stitch counting mistake, so it must be a tension mistake.  There are many stories of your tension changing depending on circumstances.  Maybe you're stressed or super-excited and knit tighter.  Maybe you are on vacation in Northern Quebec and you have not a care in the world.  :)




Funny thought -- could I use this cardigan as a "stress map" of my last 5 years of life?




The back I did quickly and tightly: 1) I was in a stressful life transition and had a month off, 2) it was just really fun to do.

Then, there was an apparently languid time of my life (relief, perhaps?) where the end of the first cardigan half and the beginning of the next were larger!   This definitely overlapped with Quebec Vacation Time.

The tighter finishing of the last cardigan piece represents my life now.  How DO I feel?  Happy, facing an unknown job/location future, and honestly really busy mentally in my craft and increasingly online life.

:)  Oh fortune teller, what will the sleeves bring?


Free 8-Ball pattern that should be converted to a Magic 8-Ball IMO



So what do you do if your knits don't fit together right?  Get to the cutting table!  This is one of the reasons I LOVE seamed garments, you can really adjust for fit.

Try on your garment and safety pin the seam the way it should look.




Re-sew your seam.





Treat the excess like a steek.  First you secure the stitches.  You can use a sewing machine and do two parallel stitch lines.  My sewing machine is busted and only goes backwards, so I made a line using slip-stich crochet.  I stuck the crochet hook in about every 1.5 stitches.




Get ready...




CUT!  Bonus: look at all those ends you don't have to weave in.  You can use any ends that are around to tack the seam down, if you so desire.






Now, why cut at all you ask?  Well, that excess fabric is going to roll.  This means that your seam will be lumpy, and you don't want that.  Another option is to sew down the excess, which I did in in the too-scared-too-cut days of my Brocade by Kaffe Fassett.




I really don't recommend it, the seams are way too firm and thick.  (I'll need to take a picture of the inside and add it to this post).

Check out some more posts about cutting your knits to fit!  Here is a post about my Staccato coat by Kaffe Fassett where I had to re-do the armholes by cutting.




Also, check out this awesome two-part series by A Pile of Sheep about how she took a knit she knew she would never wear and totally re-worked it.  I had so much fun reading it!

And as for my cardigan -- I know you will say I should just end here and wear it as a vest.  But I've decided I'm going to go through to the end, come what tension may!  I'll update you in a COUPLE OF YEARS.  Bwahaha!








15 comments:

  1. I think you are so brave but the result was worth it. Lovely colours and pattern.

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    Replies
    1. I'm really happy with it -- I might even tweak a little more but will wait until the very end. :) Thanks for reading.

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  2. Correct and brave decision - super! Thank you for a show.

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  3. Oh wow. I always learn the best lessons from you! This is good to keep in mind if I am ever brave enough to knit a sweater.

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    1. It's true that you have to be brave, but what makes me sadder is working so hard on something and have it not fit! Scissors are at the ready. :)

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  4. I think it looks amazing!! And you are a very brave woman :)

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  5. The pictures are adorable of you! I love it as a vest!

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  6. I love your blog posts. You are so brave and just go for it ! It looks wonderful, as do all of your 'alterations' and creations.

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  7. Oh, but it's a terrific vest! If you stop now you don't even have to call it a decision of laziness. Look great with that red t-shirt.
    -- stashdragon

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    1. "Looks" great, I meant to type.
      -- stashdragon

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  8. Really like it as a vest although I'm sure with sleeves it will be equally fabulous. Really like the Brocade sweater too.

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  9. Daring pattern, daring adjustments. Love it :)

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  10. Your intarsia cardigan is really close to finished now! Good for you for persevering! Sewing + Knitting is a genius combination. Thanks for the details on how you steeked your sweater!

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  11. thanks for the cutting tip. My lampshade if far too wide and needs to be shortened. Can't face redoing with less stitches. Just got to be brave now and cut!

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Thanks for your comment! :)

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