MASTER­CLASS

How to add width to your fin­ished sweaters

The Knitter - - Content -

IN LAST month’s Master­class, we looked at adding length to a gar­ment once it had been cast off. This time, we are go­ing to look at adding width. Be­fore you be­gin, undo the side seams of your sweater, and block any gar­ment pieces if re­quired.

Bear in mind that any width added to the body will also need to be added to the sleeve (and vice versa) in or­der for the sleeve cap to fit in to the arm­hole.

For ex­am­ple, if width is added to the body only, the arm­hole will be too wide for the orig­i­nal sleeve to fit into. If both the sleeves and the body on the orig­i­nal gar­ment are too nar­row, then a strip the same width can sim­ply be added to both pieces. How­ever, if only the body or the sleeve needs to be ad­justed, a gus­set will need to be added to ta­per the ex­tra panel down to noth­ing on the ad­ja­cent piece.

1-3 By us­ing our di­a­grams op­po­site, first choose your pre­ferred style to add the nec­es­sary width, be­fore work­ing one of the fol­low­ing meth­ods to knit the additional stitches.

KNIT­TING AT RIGHT AN­GLES TO THE WORK

By pick­ing up stitches down the side of the gar­ment, you can add a panel worked per­pen­dic­u­lar to the orig­i­nal knit­ting.

4 With RS fac­ing, pick up two stitches for ev­ery three rows along the side seam and work in stock­ing stitch in rows un­til the de­sired ex­tra width is com­plete. Work the same for both front and back, and then Kitch­ener stitch or sew the two sides to­gether. Note if you are us­ing this method for the sleeves, you’ll need to use short rows to cre­ate a ta­pered gus­set, so you might pre­fer to try one of the fol­low­ing meth­ods in­stead if that isn’t for you.

KNIT­TING ON A PAR­AL­LEL SEC­TION

This tech­nique in­volves cast­ing on the num­ber of stitches re­quired to pro­duce the ex­tra width. The stitches are then knit­ted back and forth and joined to the orig­i­nal piece ev­ery other row as you go along.

To work a strip on to the right-hand side of the orig­i­nal knit­ting, work as fol­lows: Cast on one stitch more than the num­ber of stitches needed for the de­sired width, us­ing the ca­ble cast-on method.

5 Knit across the new stitches un­til one stitch re­mains, slip this stitch knit­wise. In­sert the nee­dle tip into the first stitch of the orig­i­nal knit­ting, pick up a stitch and pass the slipped stitch over it. Turn the work and knit to the end of the cast-off stitches. 6 Keep re­peat­ing step 5 un­til the new strip mea­sures the same length as the orig­i­nal piece of knit­ting, then cast off. Make sure that on ev­ery join­ing row you are work­ing in to ev­ery sec­ond row on the orig­i­nal knit­ting, not ev­ery row, to main­tain the right ten­sion.

If you are work­ing a strip on to the left-hand side of the orig­i­nal piece, cast on the same num­ber of stitches as for the right side and work two rows. *With the WS fac­ing, pick up and purl one stitch in the last stitch of the orig­i­nal piece, turn the work so the RS is fac­ing, K2­tog, work to end of row. Re­peat from * un­til the new strip mea­sures the same length as the orig­i­nal piece of knit­ting, then cast off.

To work a ta­pered sleeve gus­set, work in the same way along the de­sired length of the sleeve seam, de­creas­ing ev­ery few rows (de­pend­ing on the length of gus­set re­quired) un­til only two or three stitches re­main. Fas­ten off.

PICK­ING UP THE STITCHES FIRST

Your work might be neater if you pick up and knit all the stitches along the side seam be­fore you be­gin knit­ting a new strip. This way, you can en­sure ev­ery stitch is picked up along the same col­umn of stitches, re­sult­ing in a more con­sis­tent fin­ish.

7 With RS fac­ing, pick up one stitch in ev­ery other row along the side seam edge and knit across the WS row. Here we are us­ing a con­trast yarn for clar­ity. 8 Cast on one stitch more than the num­ber of stitches needed for the de­sired width on to the nee­dle hold­ing the picked-up sts, us­ing the ca­ble cast-on method. 9 Work across the new stitches un­til one stitch re­mains, slip one knit­wise, pass slipped stitch over.

Turn the work and work to the end of the row. Keep re­peat­ing steps 9 and 10 un­til the new strip mea­sures the same as the orig­i­nal piece, then cast off.

To work a strip on to the left-hand side of the work, fol­low step 7 above, then work from the top to the bot­tom to form the new piece.

Work a ta­pered sleeve gus­set as for Knit­ting on a Par­al­lel Sec­tion, pick­ing up the de­sired amount of stitches to cre­ate the gus­set length first.

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