A ripable offense


Life here on d'nile is certainly lovely, don't you think?

Uhgh, so I thought I was in the home stretch on my garment for Donna's book. I was just picking up the stitches around the neck and front, and counting to make sure the piece had the same number of stitches on both sides.

The signs were there all along. It should have seemed odd that I had trouble picking up the same number of stitches on both armscyes. And it probably should have piqued my interest that I was having a little trouble blocking the fronts evenly. But apparently, I can be pretty resistant to the signs of reality.

01-Identify issue

You see those two stitch markers? They should both be the same distance from their respective shoulder seams.

The piece is knit seamlessly, which means that the sleeves are picked up and knit down from the armscyes. So in order to rip out the extra rows on the front section, I first thought I'd have to rip the entire *sob* sleeve out.

But I gave myself a few minutes to think, and realized there is another option.

O2-assess options

I decided to cut the sleeve off, just under the sleeve cap, and rip only the sleeve cap out. Once the front is fixed and a new sleeve cap knit, I'll graft the two parts together again.

03-safety net

I'm using a yarn with a fairly high wool content, and it tends to felt, every so slightly, to itself. I knew that unraveling would require some tussling and I didn't want to drop stitches on the sleeve, so I inserted a smaller gauge needle into the row of stitches that would remain live on the sleeve.

04-OMG cut

I made a small noodly prayer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and snipped.

05-no turning back

No turning back now.


Now it's just a matter of unraveling along the sleeve cap side.

07-catch mistakes

If you missed a stitch, just grab one of those locking stitch markers, and clip it on. In my case, didn't pick up stitches on the spare needle, in a straight line. I was offset by a row for a few inches. Once I realized, I secured the loose stitch, eased out the needle and re-thread it through the correct stitches.

08-pieces separate

The sleeve will be secured on the needle, when you are done, and you can unravel the remaining sleeve cap and reuse the yarn.

Oooh, I'm halfway there.

I'll let you know how the reknitting and grafting go.

And on that note, I need a pup fix.

panda in front of thea.jpg


I thought about your girls today. I took my puppies to go swimming for their very first time and it made me think of all the wonderful pictures of your girls running on the beach! :)

I hope the repair project goes well. It should - but that kind of thing seems to take a lot of patience.


Wow, that sounds scary! I mean, perfectly doable, but still ... intimidating in its own way. I have every confidence in you, though.

Seeing scissors in knitting nearly made my heart stop! Hope the repair goes well :)

Even though I've performed sweater surgery, it still makes my heart skip a beat!

Marnie, you're my hero. :)

Dogs make everything better, don't they?

I think I just fainted! The puppy picture helped, though!

crap! this is one of the reasons that i don't like designing sweaters in the round.
You made the best of a bad situation by sharing your process with us. How do you do it? Good knitting and puppy playing...

I did that to lengthen a pullover that was too short once, it's a pretty neat trick I feel. :D

Ugh. I know you were ready to be done with that one anyway. I can never pick up the all the stitches on the row either - it's good to have a save. I would cut in that situation, too. Even if it didn't save time it would be with it - less painful.

You are so brave. I don't think I could've done it!

Panda, you're just the prettiest little schmoo around. :)

Oh, scary! But very timely. I need to do something similar to shorten a colorwork vest and was have a *little* difficulty getting up the nerve to get out the scissors. Your photos have taken some of the fear out of the process, so thank you!

Good luck with the re-knitting! :-)

Genius! I've got to show Mum this technique. She's re-knitted the sleeves to the top she's making for her Mum the fourth time already! So this should help!

Ugh! Well at least it's exciting! Sometimes the high wire act makes finishing the sweater a little more satisfying at least.

Love the new look and thanks for sharing your sleeve rescue genius - YIKES !!


Panda is so good about the camera! Mine tend to flinch and turn away like I throw the camera at them after I take the picture.

Wow it is one thing to create something beautiful...but to err and then know how to fix it and still create something beautiful...you are just amazing! :)

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Marnie published on November 17, 2007 10:57 AM.

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