How to enlarge a knitted garment without frogging

Experienced knitters know how important it is to check the tension and the finished measurements before beginning to knit.  Even so, there are times when hours of work have resulted in a garment, which is too small for the wearer.

This happened to me recently.  I knew the cardigan would be too small for me, but the person, to whom I intended to give it, is a size smaller than me.  I joined the raglan seams, finished the collar, added buttons, but left the side and sleeve seams unstitched.

Unfinished cardigan

Unfinished cardigan

When she tried it on, we decided that panels eight stitches wide were required at each side.

Detail of sleeve and side seams

Cardigan showing inserted panels

Inserting an extra strip in the sleeve seam (that is having two sleeve seams) does not show, when the garment is being worn.  Similarly the extra strip in the sides is hardly noticeable as the arms mostly hide it.  The garment I had knitted was particularly suitable for this sort of alteration as double moss stitch is highly textured.  I made flat seams using over-sewing, apart from the cuffs, where I stitched carefully to make the twisted rib look continuous – at least from a distance.  I used backstitch to join the strips under the arms.

Another problem, which I had not anticipated, was that the buttonholes were too large (in the stretchy wool) for the buttons I had chosen.  I stitched the edges of them neatly, so that they did not come undone by accident.

The pattern I used was Stroll around jacket from The Aran Look No 161 by Patons, which I bought nearly forty years ago.  The original yarn was Patons Capstan, but I substituted Texere Yarns Airedale Aran.

My posting schedule for this blog is changing for the next few weeks.  On Monday there will be an extra post for the Theme Reveal for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge.  Then in April there will be posts six days a week.  Preparing them has been a Lent project for me.

I am also grateful to a blogger, The Artistic Christian, whom I met online through last year’s A to Z Challenge for featuring me yesterday here.

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