Julia’s cardiganisation

This reknit project was created by Julia, one of the participants in my PhD research project in 2012-13.

Julia after

My choice of project was to ‘cardiganise’ a jumper I had in my wardrobe. It was knitted in lambswool and was bought from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop. It had not been worn for some time but I liked the colour and the warmth. However, it was a bit tight so I thought this idea would make it more wearable. I chose the colours from a scarf in my source book and bought lace weight merino wool and used three strands together.

ready to cut_0The first thing I had to do was count the rows per 4 inches in the garment and stitches per 4 inches for my sample. This was 60 in the original and 30 in the new which worked out nicely – picking up one stitch in the new wool for every two rows in the garment.

The next stage was to mark the centre line in the front of the garment. Doing this by measuring the centre point from side to side actually worked out with a line at an angle as the garment appeared to be made up ‘T’ shirt style. I therefore did the line by eye. The garment was then machined either side of this line and then I bravely cut down the line.

I then started to pick up the stitches for knitting the band. Unfortunately as I got higher up the garment the pick-up line started to work its way close to the securing machine line and this was clearly not going to work. I then marked a line quite wide of the machine line with a running stitch in a bright colour up a row of stitches which could be followed to pick-up to start the knitting.

I had 173 stitches and used a size 12 circular needle to knit 7 rows in green stocking stitch. The loops on the reverse side were then picked up with another 12 circular needle and 6 rows knitted. These two needles were then held together to join the stitches knitting one from each needle together. Before doing this I had to trim away part of the original to avoid the enclosed knitting being too bulky.

One row of light turquoise in a thicker yarn was then knitted followed by 8 rows of moss stitch in turquoise. This was the button side completed and the buttonhole side was worked in a similar manner, allowing 2 stitches for the holes and calculating the rows between each hole. I chose three colours of buttons; green, turquoise and purple.

stitch hack_0The next part was to insert a pocket. One line of horizontal row of 40 stitches was undone. I had originally intended to stitch hack a letter ‘J’ on the front part of the pocket but when I was about three-quarters of the way through I did not like the appearance as it seemed to be lost in the fine marl wool of the garment so I unhacked it!

The number of stitches for 4 inches in the original garment was 44 and 36 in the new yarn. This gave me a multiplier of 0.8 and a ratio of 5:4 so for every 5 old stitches I needed 4, therefore I knitted 2 together and then 3 singly and repeated this across the row to give 32 stitches. The pocket was knitted in stocking stitch from the top row down in the turquoise and the pocket flap knitted in the same way as the button plackets but reversing the colours and with one buttonhole for a purple button. Having tried a number of ways to secure the pocket to the garment I settled on a chain stitch in turquoise with a back stitch through in light turquoise.


This project took a lot of hours and I have certainly learnt techniques and tried ideas I would not previously have thought of and am very pleased with the result.

Want to have a go? Check out the cardiganise instructions page for detailed step-by-step guidance, or take a look at other cardiganise projects in the gallery.

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