Friday, March 15, 2013

DIY sweater refashion with knit

take an ugly sweatshirt and knit a little: 

recipe for perfection! 

That gave me the extra push to go through my pile of "to be refashioned" clothes and to my stash of cotton yarn and few days later all I had to do was putting together the pieces.

I mixed navy blue (which was already a 2 ply yarn), two thin baby blue, and one thin ivory.
I used 6mm (US 10) knitting needles, and 6mm (US 10) circular needles but it all depends on the thickness of the yarn.
The knit turned out nice and thick, which works perfectly with this heavy fabric sweatshirt.

the how-to / tutorial:

// the knit //

The knitted parts are: the front, the wrists, the collar and the ribbed bottom part on the back.

I made the front in a semi-raglan sleeved shape, with two three strands cables (or braids) mirroring each other divided by a central panel of garter stitch.
The collar is a wide boat-neck.

I casted on 81 stitches (to match the width of the sweatshirt), worked on 1:1 ribs for 2-1/2" and then started with:
row 1 : 20K - 1P - 9K - 1P - 19K - 1P - 9K - 1P - 20K
row 2 : 20P - 1K - 9P - 1K - 19K - 1K - 9P - 1K - 20P
The braids / three strands cables are cabled at row 3 - 7 - 11 etc.

I knitted the lower bottom ribbed part casting on 81 stitches worked in 1:1 rib for 3-3/4".
I decided I wanted the back slightly longer.

The collar and wrists were made after the front and the re-shaped sleeves were put back together, in order to measure the finished fabric parts and match the knits accordingly.

// re-shaping boxy into semi-raglan //

Rip off all the seams of your sweatshirt, including collar and cuffs, keep just the back and the sleeves. 

Place the front over the back and trace with a water erasable marker the shape of the armhole. 
The front will look much shorter than the back, this because part of the sleeves will be re-shaped as well and the top of the sleeves will be partly on the front and back.
Fold the back in half and cut the armholes leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.

Place a piece of paper underneath the new armholes and trace the armhole - leave 1-1/2" at the top as the raglan insert / shoulder

pin the two sleeves together and trace a middle line with a water erasable marker

Take the paper pattern of the armhole and place it onto the middle line on the top of the sleeves
(raglan insert / shoulder placed onto the middle line of the sleeves)

Trace the pattern on both sides and cut the new re-shaped sleeves leaving a 1/2" seam allowance

Bast together the sides on front and back first,
then the sleeves

Now is the time to take measurements of the collar and wrists and figure out how many stitches are needed: in my case I casted on 134 stitches for the collar and worked on 1:1 rib on a circular needle, up to a 1-3/4", then bind off.
For the wrists, I casted on 41 stitches and worked on 1:1 rib for the same amount of rows that I did for the bottom ribs on the back - 3-3/4".
The cuffs this high will give me the extra inches that were "stolen" from the fabric on the top to make the semi-raglan.
The sleeves are still not full length, but a good 7/8; which I like better than the 3/4 (fractions, ah!!), because I'm always cold (yes, even in the summer).

Once all the parts are knitted. pin in place and sew using 
the twin needles onto the bind off line.

Pin the collar on and sew with the twin needles all around.

The twin needles is a great tool for sewing knits: the top stitching will look pretty neat, and on the wrong side the bobbin thread will look like a zig-zag stitch which will give the seams an extra stretch.

And here how it looks in detail!!

I know which will be my "it" piece for the cool nights in New England this coming summer!!

xox, d.

keep in touch! 
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