Monday, November 9, 2009

Saving Mr. Greenjeans

In 2008, I made a sweater published in Knitty called Mr. Greenjeans. I knitted it from my handspun yarn. I started trying to wear it, but it kept slipping down my shoulders. The fit was terrible, and so I decided to give it away. I promptly just forgot about it. The decision was made, and that was that. It was in the give away pile, however, I am very slow to actually get the box together and give something away.

Last week, at my Monday knitting group, one of the ladies brought in a sweater, knit sideways from garter stitch. The yarn was beautiful, but she was really unhappy with the fit of the sweater. She said when she put the sleeves in, that it was just weighted down, and the fit was terrible. We discussed ways to fix it so she could wear it.

The problem was all the weight of the yarn stretching out the garter stitch - which likes to grow and grow and grow. It needed to be stabilized, so we suggested crocheting a neckband to give the neck stability and stop the garter stitch from stretching. We discussed how in sewing, that a lot of stabilization is put in the neck and shoulder area, since that is the foundation that the garment literally hangs from. Sweaters don't get this stabilization, but unless the yarn is very light weight, they need something. Machine knitters often crochet a chain across the back neck, and apply the neckband over the chain. The chain helps keep the back neck from stretching.

A couple of days later, I was still thinking about that pretty sweater, and I thought that perhaps adding a slipstitch row of elastic thread would help it. Then I had an a-ha moment. That was what Mr. Greejeans needed. Maybe that sweater could also be saved.

So today, I went digging in my sewing notions and found some black elastic thread. I slip stitch crocheted with the elastic through the row where I added the neckband on the inside of the sweater. I actually did two slip stitch rows on top of each other. Then the neckband seemed a little floppy, so I did the same thing about two rows down in the ribbing from the top. I put a stitch in each purl stitch and skipped the knit stitches. In the photo, you can see where I put the elastic. It does not show at all from the outside.

I tried the sweater on, and was delighted with the new fit. The neck is now stable and I think the growing problem is solved. Mr. Greenjeans has been saved.


Anonymous said...

Nice save! I took a sweater that kept growing in length one time and washed it, reblocked it, then stitched all the seams on the sewing machine!

Cindy said...

You machine knitters are so awesome. All the tricks and tips you keep tucked away, just to whip out at the appropriate time and save the day!!

Good on you!