Scary Knit Fix

You all remember Madeleine, don't you?  If you don't, I'm refering to the fabulous, hot-of-the-needles tank that I showed you last week.

Well, there was a slight problem.  Within a couple of wearings, it became obvious that Madeleine's armholes were stretching badly.  I was no longer 100 percent happy with the garment.  Something had to be done.  I would show you a picture, but it would be too revealing.  Imagine my bra peaking out from under my arm.  Yuck!

A quick measure revealed that the armholes had stretched by two inches.  Two inches!  No wonder I thought that they had become too loose--they were too loose.

Now, this was a scary prospect.  The pictures below make everything look as if this fix was a walk in the park.  While it was not extremely difficult, I could have ruined the entire thing right then and there.  That was scary.  Plus, no matter what, it's a little bit disappointing to return to a finished project.  I did it because this knit is too nice to be anything less than 100 percent perfect.

To minimize any risk, I spent a long time planning.  I knew that I had to shorten the armhole by two inches.  At the same time, I had to accomodate both the collar and neck shaping in any reduction.  That meant that I needed to rip back two inches PLUS the height of the collar and neck shaping.

To detemine the actual neck and collar heights I studied the pattern.  Next, I planned my fix with pencil and paper.  Then, I went to bed.  If I still agreed with my plan the next morning, I would go for it.  Over morning coffee I studied what I had writted the previous evening.  It still made sense.  So, on a sunny Saturday morning, I parked myself in a chair.  The mission?  To restore Madeleine to wearability.

One rule: no scissors.  I didn't want a dropped blade slicing through my hard work.  I picked and unraveled.  First I removed the collar edging.  Then, I undid the shoulder seams.  Finally, I unraveled the front armholes.


This was half planning and half fudging.  To make the front easier, I unraveled down to the collar bindoff row.  I discovered that I could eliminate two inches by changing the collar decreases to every row (instead of every other) and beginning the shoulder shaping immediately after the collar decrease rows.  On the back, I simply unraveled down to the same height as the front, then began the neck and shoulder shaping.  Here is the front, with one side done:


I repeated the fix on the back.  Once the knitting was finished, I seamed one side, picked up stitches and knit the collar band.  By this point, the fix was all manual labor.  Four hours after I started, I was done.  The results: not too shabby, I don't think.


And here's all the extra yarn I pulled out.



That story is like a knitter's Halloween story...SCARY!!!

I was flinching the whole time I was reading. All you needed was the omnious music and I would've changed the channel.

But will it stretch again? Is it too tight now and you're allowing for stretch? Man, this stuff is complicated.

Glad you're happy with it again - it really is a phenomenal knit!

Wow... I think I would have just tossed a camisole under it and said "oh well"... but,then again,I am a wimp. :) Well, a knitting wimp. So, how are you enjoying the soy? is it fun to work with?

Wow. You are a braver woman than I. ;)
The finished armline (is that a word?) looks great...I hope it doesn't stretch anymore!

Wow, but didn't it make the whole thing shorter? I am really impressed by your courage. But I guess now you understand why I ripped my blue top because it didn't really fit. I know the pain but the reward is worth it.

Incredibly brave - but you are right - this knit it worth it, because it is such a fabulous one.

Wowzers! Good job going in for the fix. It definitely needed it, but I'm not sure that fact alone would have been enough to get me to do it! Luv your Knits!

Nice work!! I wouldn't have been able to breathe for the entire four hours.

Whew! Good fix! You're right, she's too beautiful a work not to fix so you could wear it more frequently without peekaboo appearances by undergarments. Good job!

nice job! does it seem too short now or did the whole thing stretch enough that it worked out fine?

Very brave, very bold, very, very well done.

Looks terrific. Did the reshaping affect the fit of the neckline as well?

Your relentless pursuit of perfection (or as close to it as you can get) and your doggedness in doing whatever you need to to make it right is truly impressive! Go, Colleen!

That looks terrific! And I love the neckline, really wonderful. Great job!

Ack! That IS scary! Looks like you did a great job though--well worth the terror . . . that adrenalin high is something, huh? Like riding a roller coaster, but with yarn.

Great fix! Came out very nice, and I'm happy it wasn't too stressful ;).

Man, just THINKING about ripping that out makes me cringe!

You brave, brave woman!

It looks great. As if nothing ever happened.

Man, just THINKING about ripping that out makes me cringe!

You brave, brave woman!

It looks great. As if nothing ever happened.

Wow! I am really not sure if I would do that! Most probably I'll let it sit in the closet ... and sigh every time I see it there!

I literally could not have done that. I don't have the skill, I don't have the patience. I'm sending you all my fixes, so watch out! :-)

So scary! It looks great.

An idea I thought could help (for future reference, of course) is to sew invisible elastic thread around the arm holes and even the neck to keep its shape. Here is a link to the type I mean.

You gave me a heart attack! It was worth it in the end...good job!!

well done colleen...i was feeling very anxious for you while reading this. but youe plan was very well thought out...congratulations.

Heavens to murgatroyd, 2 inches. That's alot to grow, well done for doing the deed though, you showed the knitting who's boss!

Wow - I'm very impressed. I don't often have the resolve to return to a finished item but it just shows what can be done. I hope it's just as you want it now.

I was biting my nails getting through that post. I had to be brave once and felt a sweater that grew out of control during blocking. It looks like a boiled wool cardigan - very nice,

I can't resist the obvious comment to your dilemma of the stretching armholes ... "Lord, that's the pits."

Okay, now that the wincing at my pun is over -- brava to you for your frogging bravery! The result is really lovely.

Best wishes -- Carolyn B.

Very scary, but well done. Congratulations on a good fit once more.

You are very brave. There is no way I could have done that.

Such bravery to rip back such a beautiful knit! You did a great job. I don't have that much courage :-)

What a great fix!! Congrats to you. I think the smartest thing in your whole fix was to sleep on it! How many times have I plowed into something only to regret it later? Very smart (and patient) you!!


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