Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yes, you can cut it

Over the weekend, I was making decent progress on Arisaig. I decided to seam up the one sleeve I had knit and sew the sides to get an idea of how good (or bad) the fit was. When I blocked the sleeve, it literally grew to be like 25" long. I did my best to fluff it into place, but when I tried the sucker on, all sewed up, it came down to the end of my index finger. Sigh.

I had one of those knitting-discouragement moments. I didn't want to finish it. I didn't want to rip the whole darn thing out and start over because that sleeve took forever to knit. I felt crappy. Then I thought of two projects I've worked on recently, the Prosperous Plum Tank and the Grannie Smith Cardigan, which both use provisional cast ons. I started thinking . . . maybe I could undo the sleeve from the cast on edge and undo 2-3" inches of it and get some live stitches to re-knit the 4 row seed stitch border? Maybe??

Well, I unraveled the cast on edge and discovered that you can't frog from the bottom up. It would take FOREVER. Every stitch needed to be unraveled individually. Then I remembered a post I read by Wendy about how you could use spit to repair a cut strand of yarn. This wasn't really applicable here but made me think, maybe I can cut the sleeve to where I want it and find some live stitches that way?? I tried Googling "cut sleeve", "shorten sleeve knit", etc, but didn't find anything helpful.

But I cut anyway. And pulled out lots of teeny weeny little pieces of yarn everywhere. And realized I didnt exactly cut straight across.

The bottom edge (left) is the cast on edge I unraveled.

Somehow, I managed to figure out where little mini-rows needed to be re-knit and got all the loose pieces back into the row and actually had a set of live stitches. I knit the 4 row seed stitch border and cast off.

It worked! The sleeve now comes just past my wrist. I ended up cutting away 16 rows, so the good news is that sleeve #2 will require 16 fewer rows. I went to bed a very happy, proud knitter that night. Who knew you could cut it?


  1. Wow, you are brave! And it turned out great--good job!

  2. Congratulations! If I'd tried that it would've been a disaster...

  3. That was brave! And, well done. I did it once, but it was just on a collar, so not as much to lose! Nicely done.

  4. Good for you - you're taking control of your knitting!

  5. Congratulations! You are the Master of your knitting! Another thing you could have done to avoid all of the little ends is just to snip one stitch and pull out that yarn all the way around the row. You do have to do one stitch at a time, but you avoid all of the loose ends. I'll be you'll never be afraid to take control of your knitting again!

  6. Wow, that took guts - I'd be terrified!

  7. It looks great! I would have been so afraid to do that....

  8. Paula4:55 PM

    I am so glad to see this post, as the same thing happened to my sleeves when I blocked them. I had the inspiration to cut and re-knit the bottom of the sleeve. Looks less traumatic than I thought.


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