I recently discovered a mistake in my CustomFit measurement set – the length I had entered for tunic sweaters is a few inches shy of what I actually like in tunics. The good news is that once you discover a mistake, you can fix it!
…the bad news is that I discovered this mistake because I found myself taking my beloved Cider Mill off after wearing it for around 15 minutes. And Jill Draper’s Rockwell is too luscious and warm for that to be okay. So, I did the only thing I could do: Pouted about it.
(Well, okay, not kidding. But only for a little while.)
I fixed it.
And I decided to document the process, because I thought you all might be interested to see that even us “experts” have to rip, sometimes. So, here’s how I lengthened my Cider Mill:
Step One: Measure Twice, Cut Once.
I wanted to be sure I was actually fixing the problem, so I measured my Cider Mill’s length against a favorite tunic. Yup, there’s definitely a problem.
I needed about two extra inches, maybe a smidge more, below the armholes. I decided I could safely drop the neckline depth by a couple of inches, since I always wear a shirt under this sweater. So the plan was to rip the body pieces back to just before the armhole shaping, and work an additional 2 inches before re-shaping the armholes.
Step Two: Lay in supplies.
I would pick out and rip the neckline, cut open the seams and take off the sleeves, then rip the body pieces down.
Scissors to cut, my darning needles to help pick out, and a nice glass of Cab to ease the blow.
Step Three: Rip out the neckline.
This wound up being more of a problem than I’d thought. My weaving in of ends in the bottom center neck area was, um, thorough enough that I damaged the front of the sweater picking it out.
But, I eventually got there, and the Rockwell is grippy enough that the neckline stitches were relatively stable.
Step Four: Removing the sleeves.
I had used a smoother yarn for seaming, so this part was simple. Soon, I was ready to truly start ripping.
(I saved the balls of yarn from the neckline to use in the re-knitting, so that the colors would blend well – I’d alternated the Rockwell when knitting Cider Mill originally, and wanted to continue doing so.)
Step Five: Rip and re-knit the front.
Since I’d damaged the front center neck, I needed to rip all the way back to the neck’s starting point – rather than just the armhole shaping like I’d planned.
This meant I’d needed to pick out a couple of inches of side seam, too:
…which was a bummer, but on the other hand, I could now re-calculate the rate of shaping in the new neckline depth so that all shaping would be smoothly spaced along the neck edge. (Oh yeah, I just made that lemonade!)
Step Six: Re-knit the front, the do it all again on the back.
The re-knitting itself was pretty quick on the front – the gauge is large enough, and the neckline shaping deep enough, that I got back to the shoulders with the help of just a few chapters of my current book:
The back took longer, because there was no neckline shaping. But even so, in relatively short order I was finished. (It helped that I only needed to re-knit from the armholes up, on the back.)
Step Seven: Re-seam the pieces and Re-knit the neckline.
I have a quick video of re-seaming the sleeves, below, but honestly, this was a quick step. Moving on…
Step Eight: Put it on as soon as the last end is woven in and wear it for days.
I finished the re-knit just in time for the big storm last week, and wore it for three days straight.
Moral of the story: Fix your mistakes! Wear that sweater!
I wanted to share this process in the hopes that it will give some of you the nudge to fix sweaters you want to love, but don’t. Even if the sweater is finished and mostly okay. My fervent belief is that if you’re not wearing that garment and you’d like to, it’s worth the time to fix it.
Here’s a little stop-motion video I made of the steps I took to rescue Cider Mill:
It took a few evenings’ worth of work, overall, and I’m so glad I did it.
What do you all think? Have you ever ripped and repaired something until you loved it?