Impromptu Jumper Surgery

One of my earlier completed jumpers is the Fair Isle Yoke jumper from A Stitch in Time Volume 1. It’s knitted entirely in Jamieson & Smiths 2-ply Shetland wool. I think it looks great, with those colour choices and texture. But it fits horribly. That unflattering neckline, those badly gathered and awkwardly short sleeves, the weird boob-eliminating bagginess, ugh. Whenever I’ve worn it I’ve spent the entire day tugging it into place.


The problem is, even though I have enough leftover wool for small alterations, I’ve already washed this jumper and the wool has matted just enough to make ripping and re-knitting an exercise in futility and madness. It sat neglected for some time, until I suddenly decided to take action. When ripping your jumper is no longer an option it is time to start treating it like fabric.

This post contains a fairly long photo sequence, so you may enjoy this background music to set the mood.

First things first is to unravel the collar. It’s messy, because of the aforementioned matting. On the plus side I have no problem cutting open all the seams. Then it’s just a quick steam and squish with the iron, and I have all these lovely pieces of knitted fabric just waiting to be measured and re-cut into a more suitable shape.

fiy-7Most of the increases are cut off the sides to reduce the blousiness. Bonus: watch as the winter sunset ruins most of my picture-taking.


Then it’s time to deal with the neckline…



I did this by eye because I am goddamn hardcore.


That edges of that scrap are completely solid by the way. I know some of you would rather eat your own hands that cut into the colourwork you laboured over, but trust me, Shetland wool won’t let you down.


I don’t know how the sleeves got so poofy originally. Total mistake on my part. Here is one sleeve laid atop t’other to show how much I ended up taking off!

Because the sleeves are too short I will be picking up and knitting along the bottom edge, then reattaching the cuff once I’ve inserted the extra length. It only needs an extra 1.5 inches to make it solidly elbow length, so it’ll be easy.


And so, after all that, a new and slightly different garment begins to emerge…


Join me in my next post where I will either be adding extra sleeve length and buttonbands or howling in despair at the realization of what I’ve done. Either way, fun times!


Filed under Projects, WIPs

11 responses to “Impromptu Jumper Surgery

  1. This is so exciting! I love slashing and dashing bad knits. I can’t wait till the next installment. 😀 (New follow from

  2. That’s quite the undertaking! Good luck, and I can’t wait to see the next steps!

  3. This is, truly, mega hardcore (and awesome). Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  4. Loving the hardcore nature of this post, I can see that you can try such radical things if the jumper was going to be binned anyway!

  5. I’m so sorry the original garment you made didn’t work for you. I wear mine all the time. I am excited to see you change it though! When a knit just doesn’t work out for you it’s better to be brave and take the scissors than to just let it sit in your closet. It’s looking great so far!

  6. I am massively impressed!

  7. I have to pause to salute your bravery! You go girl!!

  8. I think it would be easier and far less painful to perform root canal on myself, without Novacaine. I stand in awe with bated breath awaiting the next installment. May the knitting goddess bestow her blessings on you.

  9. Pingback: Impromptu Jumper Surgery Pt.2 | A pile of sheep

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