A Hard Learned Lesson

In an attempt to be a lazy knitter, I learned a lesson the hard way – if you want to make a bottom up sweater longer, it is unadvisable to try to undo a cast on edge when the fabric is 1×1 ribbing.

My latest project is another Stephanie Lotven sweater – Simple Addition (RAV LINK). I bought three skeins of Berroco Weekend from a LYS, the last three they had in black. This equalled to just over 600 metres. If I made Simple Addition as a short sleeve top, I should have had enough yardage to make this sweater.

I had a few days off from work, and the lovely weather gave me the perfect opportunity for some outside, dedicated knitting time. In what felt like no time, I cast off the sweater, and had only used around 2 and a quarter skeins. I tried on the sweater before blocking, and it was SHORT. I wanted more length to it.

In my attempt to be lazy, rather than frog back and start again, I thought I could simply use my needle to pick up stitches on the body and rip back the cast on edge.

So, fun story. This could have worked if my sweater was made in stockinette. It wasn’t. It was 1×1 ribbing.

After ripping back, the stitches on my needle seemed super twisted. I wondered if I had grabbed the wrong leg of the stitch when I was picking up. I tried knitting a few stitches, and it was just wrong. So I googled. It felt as though, when I was trying to knit those few stitches, that I was in between the stitches and not truly where I needed to be. And, yes, that is what happened. When you rip back from the cast on edge, you’re almost knitting in between the stitches. If it’s stockinette, it isn’t super noticeable – I had a pair of socks I had to fix a while ago, and I was able to pick up stitches, rip back, and reknit the leg where a hole had appeared. This isn’t so straight forward with ribbed stitches.

Ultimately, I frogged the whole sweater. Each section is carefully marked – the yarn I frogged from the sleeves, front, back, and body all labelled. I’ve re-cast on the sweater using the remaining yarn. Hopefully, this time around, I can get the length right and use up as much of the yarn as I can. Hopefully…

I also took zero photos of the previous iteration of the sweater. Zero. So here’s a picture of the new sweater in progress.

2 thoughts on “A Hard Learned Lesson”

  1. That’s rough! Ultimately, I find it easier to cut above the edge work (ribbing, in this case) and add inches going the “right direction”, and then graft it back together; somewhat like an afterthought heel or pocket. It has saved many hours of trying to figure out where to put stitches, as you described. Doing it this way – cutting and grafting, also allowed me to add a pattern repeat for a cable, that I would not likely have been able to wrap my brain around reverse-engineering. Good luck with your new version!


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