Sunday, January 3, 2010

Unsticking the Stuck Part 2

Ok, so I've conquered a huge part of my fear since we last visited the topic of projects stuck in a perpetual state of frustration. My problem with the "Not Your Standard Issue Sweatshirt" wasn't a stitch problem, it was a length problem. So, I decided that it was time I conquered my fear and tackled this problem by literally cutting my sweater in half, knitting to my desired length and then grafting it back together.

At Stitches 2009, I took a class by Margaret Fisher that essentially taught me how to do this. I highly recommend taking a class from this master knitter because not only did I learn the initial course material, I soaked in her vast knowledge of everything knitting and crocheting. So, as I go through the steps she taught me, I am by no means giving this knowledge as a teaching lesson but simply showing you how I've applied what I've learned from an incredible woman.

First, before I begin, you'll notice that my sweater is completely seamed. So, before I can begin to cut, I have to unseam my sweater till about an inch above where I want to cut.

Leaving this extra space allows me to cut freely and then will help the seam appear continuous once I've knitted and grafted my two pieces together.

Second, chose a row that I wanted to cut right above my pattern stitch. It's easiest to cut in a section that is all stockinette because then I don't have to worry about knitting in pattern stitch later on.
I took a large tapestry needle threaded with a contrasting color and began to thread my yarn under one leg of each stitch in the row below my chosen row (see picture above).

Third, I threaded under one leg of each stitch in the row above my chosen row.

By threading the row below and above, I've created anchors for the stitches to rest on when I cut the center row.

Fourth, I repeated this process on the other side of my sweater, trying my best to thread the same rows and leave the same center row open.

It's important to thread under only one leg or else you won't have passed your needle through the stitch but in back of it.

In Unsticking the Stuck Part 3, I'll show you Phase 2 - cut and knit. I'll finish up with grafting in Unsticking the Stuck Part 4 and model my "new" sweater for you! Stay tuned!

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