My doctorate isn’t going to be in medicine or knitting, but I spent a good portion of yesterday engaged in sweater surgery.
If you’ve been around this blog for a long time, you might remember the Dale of Norway sweater I’m making for Sweetie. Last I mentioned this project, I had finished it enough for him to wear when the King and Queen of Norway visited Duluth. It was good enough for him to throw on for the occasion, but it needed some additional work and went into hibernation. Now that we’re headed back to Minnesota for the holidays, I’ve pulled it out to assess what needs to be done.
I made him try it on for me last time he was here, and this is my to-do list:
- Add five inches of length to the body so it hits him at the hips instead of riding at the top of his jeans
- Add three inches of length to the sleeves: do so at the biceps rather than the wrist so it’s not too narrow
- Finish off the insides of the zipper with a facing to hide the zipper tape
- Stitch down the sleeve facings
- Attach the official Dale of Norway patch to the right sleeve at the wrist
The need for additional length on this sweater is so frustrating. I should have thought of this before I even began knitting, but my past self apparently didn’t notice that her husband was 6’4″. Since that’s both the most annoying and the most time consuming part of finishing up this sweater, that’s where I started yesterday.
I tried things out with a sleeve first since they need less length and have way fewer stitches. I snipped a stitch at the underarm just below the colorwork and unraveled a row of stitching, putting the live stitches onto two circular needles as I went along.
Once I was done, the sleeve was completely free from the body of the sweater. I knit on the sleeve side of things for my 3″ and then joined the two pieces back together with kitchener stitch.
In case you’re curious, this is how it looks now that it’s fixed but has not been blocked.It’s pretty clear where I added the additional length (although I think it would be less so when worn) because my gauge is slightly bigger. I noticed the gauge difference when knitting, but I didn’t think it was substantial enough to warrant a change in needle size. I’m confident that with another full wet blocking, some spoon smacking, and perhaps a good steam, this alteration will barely be noticeable.
I’m not going to do a full tutorial on this process, but there are plenty of resources out there if you’re in a similar situation. If you’re simply lengthening or shortening a sweater and don’t have any hems that you’re trying to preserve, check out Eunny Jang’s video for Knitting Daily. If you’re looking to try something like what I did here, check out blog posts here and here for instructions and images.
Now that I have the confidence of a successful first sleeve behind me, I’m ready to tackle the second sleeve and the massive body. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish up this long-time UFO and get some great photos of it in Minnesota!