How to adapt a child’s sweater by enlarging the neck opening

Children’s heads are much larger in relation to their bodies than the heads of adults.  It is pointless to spend hours knitting a sweater for a child only to find that it is impossible or uncomfortable to get it on and off.

Three important tips for making sure a pullover will pull over are

  1. to cast off loosely, perhaps using a knitting needle/pin several sizes larger
  2. to sew the neckband down without pulling the yarn too tight
  3. to try the sweater over a head, even if it is your own.

I recently knitted a child’s jumper and decided to enlarge the neck opening just in case…

Shoulder opening

Shoulder opening

This is how I did it using Wendy Jubilee DK with 25% wool.

I knitted the jumper according to the pattern, except that I did not knit enough rows for the polo neck, but for a round neck.  Then I made up the garment leaving the left shoulder seam open.

On the front I crocheted one row treble crochet (UK terms) one row double crochet (d.c.) and finished off.

On the back I worked one row treble, then I made three button loops at regular intervals by replacing d.c. by 2 chain.



As there was now a considerable overlap, I attempted to add the buttons in a position, which meant that the shoulder seam on the fastened garment would be level on both sides.

I have learned that the other (larger) jumper I knitted from this pattern does go over the head of a thirty month old child with a large head, so my adaptation may have been unnecessary this time. The parents have the option of leaving the buttons fastened. They are the decorative ones I mentioned here.  They need to be fastened and unfastened head first, otherwise the feet tangle in the button-loops.