Helen N’s cardiganise project

Today’s addition to the reknitting project gallery is a fantastic project created by Helen, one of the participants in the reknitting workshops which preceded the Units of Possibility exhibition in 2017.


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before …
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… and after!

The original jumper came down to my knees. I didn’t like the neckline and wanted to make it into a cardigan.

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I took off a section from the bottom and also the turtle neck. It was quite slow going unravelling the wool.

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I then stitched 2 lines close together up the centre of the jumper, then cut between the lines. I then tacked in a contrasting colour the line I wanted to follow for the neck.

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I decided to do my collar and button bands in moss stitch after making samples to see which needle size would work best.

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After picking up the same number of stitches with the wrong side facing me I worked 4 rows in stocking stitch. Then holding the 2 needles parallel I knitted through both needles to seal the sandwich.

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To make the collar, I had chosen to grade up a collar that I had found on a child’s knitting pattern, using moss stitch to give texture. I used short rows to form the shaping. I then did exactly the same on the other side reversing the shaping. So then I needed to join the back neck seam.

After completing the collar, button and buttonhole band in moss stitch, I picked up stitches along the bottom edge and continued working in moss stitch for the bottom panel. I completed the collar and bands before the bottom edge because I didn’t know how far the retrieved wool would go. I think it blends in quite well.

I was quite pleased with the cardigan but, having cut the fabric of the jumper that it was, I found the structure of the garment to be more loose and floppy than I would like. So I decided to try to put some shaping in.

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On the inside of each front, using a crochet hook I crocheted chain stitch for 2 rows, the bottom row being slightly longer. This had the effect of gathering up some of the knitting.

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So, this is the (almost) end product. I want to put a button on the back neck to hold the collar in place as it rides up a bit. Also, I may put on an afterthought pocket if I have time. I am quite pleased with the end result and feel that I would now have the confidence to tackle another project. I also look at garments differently now, taking in their potential to be something different.

Want to have a go? Check out the cardiganise and replace cuff (used here to shorten the body) instructions for detailed step-by-step guidance, or take a look at other projects in the gallery for inspiration.

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