Cardiganise

Treatment: cut open vertically or diagonally and add trim

Problem addressed: too-tight jumper or unsuitable style

Ideal fabric type: any

WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?

First, design your new opening, including the ratio of old rows to new stitches.

Cut the fabric vertically or diagonally, securing with a line of stitching if required. Pick up stitches parallel to the cut edge and knit a trim, enclosing the cut edge in the process. Repeat on the other side, including buttonholes if desired.

Thanks to Kate Davies for her excellent instructions on creating a sandwich trim for steeked knitwear, which informed this technique.

WHAT COULD IT LOOK LIKE?

Contrasting or tonal, with potential for stripes and stitch patterns within the button placket.

Consider alternatives to buttons, such as a zip or poppers.

Here are some finished projects (click images for more information):

    

HOW DO I DO IT?

Step 1: cut open

Step 2: pick up stitches through fabric

Step 3: sandwich trim

HOW DO I DESIGN IT?

Planning a cardiganise treatment involves getting the new trim to lay flat on the existing fabric.

First, count the rows per 10cm (r/10cm) in your existing garment to establish the gauge.

Then, knit a sample of the new fabric you will knit for your trim and count the stitches per 10cm (st/10cm).

Divide the st/10cm figure by the r/10cm figure to give the multiplier. 

Look up the multiplier option nearest to your multiplier in the table below and follow the diagram when picking up stitches through the fabric. See Step 2 video above for an example.

TOP TIPS

  • Practise the techniques on some scrap fabric first
  • Check the position of your opening by sewing a marker thread and trying the garment on
  • Sample your trim to try out stripes, buttonhole placement and so on
  • Treat your first attempt as a sample, too – unravel and reknit if you don’t like it
  • Do the button side of the opening first – you can use that to work out the positions of the buttonholes on the second side
  • Use the same approach to add a new trim to any opening, such as a new neckline

These instructions are in beta mode; feedback is most welcome! Email comments to amy@keepandshare.co.uk.