Finally, back to my goddaughter's sweater. Since we missed them at Christmas, I have another chance to finish this up as a gift. We have plans to see her and her parents on Saturday, so I am trying, again, to complete this sweater. Nothing like making another deadline for yourself!
Even though all the knitting is done, there is still quite a bit of work to do to finish it up. Today, I cut it open to make a cardigan. As promised, the process is shown here in pictures.
First, the before picture. The underarms have been woven closed and the ends are worked in. It is a perfectly good, though plain, sweater. Well, except that the neck is way too small to go over a child's head as a pullover. Kids and babies have heads that are much larger in proportion to their bodies than adults. Note that the back neck is higher than the front neck. This helps keep the back hem from creeping up and makes for a much more comfortable garment.
First, using the decreases at the neck edge as a starting point, find the center stitch and mark it with contrasting yarn basted down the length of the stitch. This is the cutting line, so be accurate!
Next, using a sewing machine set to a wide width and medium length zig zag stitch, sew the stitches on either side of the center stitch. I used red thread because it was what was in my machine and it would show up in the photos. Ultimately, it won't show in the finished sweater, but using matching thread is a good idea.
Here is a closer view of the stitching showing how the two side stitches are enclosed by the zig zag stitch. Some people like to sew each stitch twice for security. I've never had a problem with just one row of stitching and the extra stitching adds bulk to the edge that I really don't like.
Time to cut! Using regular scissors, cut carefully along the center of the marked stitch. Be sure to only cut the top layer of the sweater or you will really have a mess.
That's it! Now you have an uneven, wobbly and slightly stretched out edge, just what we wanted.
Don't worry, the unevenness and lenghtwise stretch will be taken care of when the borders are worked. The sewing thread and that ragged front will also be hidden by the stitches worked over the edge. The fronts will be finished with crochet bands of some sort.
Now, it's time to work out the details for the crochet front borders, hem bands and sleeve cuffs. Also, I need to start giving some serious thought to the buttons and other finishing details- like the flowers that I promised her. Thinking about it, I'm not sure if this will be done by Saturday, but let's see what happens.