Monday, May 20, 2013

Cutting Through and Grafting

Seems I spoke too soon when I set my goals for May - two finished knitted projects and a wearable self-sewn garment. I'm still struggling with my first project - Gardenia from Verena 01 2013, which I began almost a month ago. I had my doubts from the start - beginning with the need for and the wearability of a new cotton cardigan/blouse and finishing with the choice of colors. Mine are coral (which looks tomato red on the photos, but it's coral, trust me) and off-white - a lovely combination, which made me pick this pattern in the first place, but I don't think these colors look good on me.
Working slowly on 2.5 mm and 3 mm needles, mostly for lack of enthusiasm, I still got to finishing the body and picking up the stitches for the neckband. I even found the perfect buttons and having attached three of them, I decided to try the cardigan again properly on me. And I found that it was too short.
Here's what happened - the stripes after the white band at the waist were planned to be four before the next white band (as usual I'm following my own calculations and not the pattern). But having knitted three stripes I measured something and decided that I had enough length and the fourth stripe would not be necessary. Wrong!
So, sitting on it for two days, wondering if the best decision was not to frog it all and forget about it, I finally decided to fix it and finish it. I'll admit that it was my daughter's insistence that the pattern is lovely and the colors are nice that outweighed my doubts. Unravelling and reknitting the upper part was out of the question, so I settled for grafting. My first instinct was to do the grafting in one of the garter stitch white sections, as it would best hide the grafted row, but in the end decided to do it where the additional fourth stripe should have been, not to mess with the increases. Wrong decision again, I'm sure, but it's over now.
So, here's how I proceeded after unraveling the button bands (inevitable), if these steps could be of help to other people, facing similar length problems:

1. Run two circular needles through the rows, that will be grafted, leaving in between the row, that will be removed:

 2. Run the needles only through the right leg of each stitch:
 3. Cut the thread and carefully remove the medial row of stitches:
 4. The two parts are now separate:
 5. The fourth stripe has been knitted:
 6. Graft the two parts with a long enough thread and a needle. I calculated the length I would need in advance, added 15 cm to it and it worked just fine.
 7. To even things out I went back and regulated the size of the grafted stitches:
8. So here it is lengthened and ready to be submerged in wet blocking. I hope wetting the stitches will even the grafted row and make it less visible:

And a picture of the morning sky I took this morning, just because. 
Light at the end of the tunnel :)) ?

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Excellent save! I love this color and think it will look great on you!