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Old 11-20-2006, 05:44 PM   #1
Evelynne
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Cutting a Sweater Without Steeking - Alternative Techniques?
Hello Everyone!

I am almost finished knitting a sweater using sticks for my friend's son. However, he is unusually slender for his age; therefore, the sweater I have knit for him is too large width-wise. By the time he grows bigger width-wise to fit it, the sleeves and sweater length will be too short. I want him to wear it this winter; therefore, I would like to cut an inch or so from the sides before I finish it, tailoring it to fit him better.

My multi-layered question is for anyone who can advise me on this. The garment is essentially knitted in st st in one colour except for several rows of Quaker ridge patterning in different colours across the chest.

I have Googled steeking and I have practiced the sewing technique I found on the internet on another sweater (i.e. two rows of sewing machine stitching and then cutting the row inbetween). However, when I have thought about this more, I am considering mattress stitching my garment's sides together, using rows approximately 1 - 1 1/2 " from the side edges. This would give me too wide seams on the inside, but then I plan to cut them, as if I were sewing. I have not found this technique anywhere so I assuming that maybe this is not such a good idea ?!?! Perhaps the fear is that the threads left dangling will look too messy and eventually weave their way out of the mattress stiching?

I have also considered "triple mattress stitching" as in (a) take one side of the garment, measure 1 - 1 1/2" from the edge, and marking this row as the one I want to use for finishing the garment; (b) choose two rows to the right of this target row, and mattress stitching them together to "seal" them as my edge; (c) cut off the remaining extra knitted work to their right; (d) repeat on the remaining three sides of front and back knitted pieces; (e) finish my garment as normal with mattress stitching (only with all four edges extra stitched and looking neat).

I am sure this sounds like a lot of extra work, especially when I can just use the sewing machine. However, if I am going to invest so many hours into knitting a garment, I also want to finish it using knitting techniques. I am truly interested in a non-sewing method. Electric sewing machines did not always exist so what method was used before?

Thank you for any advice or thoughts on the above post that you can provide me with!

Evelynne
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:54 PM   #2
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This isn't so much an answer as an experience of my own - 2 weeks ago I started knitting my first ever full garment that wasn't a scarf or a blanket! I was following a pattern for a jumper for my nephew but knitting with my own choice of wool and needles (thick and large as I'm impatient) however I forgot this fact when reading the pattern and proceeded to knit a back that was almost twice as wide as needed.

I considered a sewing machine and discarded the idea as too easy, so I backstitched two parallel rows where I wanted the jumper back to end, and then braved it and cut off the excess! (Whilst praying). The knitting did not unravel past my backstitch rows (I had done it tightly) and I just finished the side seam in Mattress stitch as I would have done if it was the right size in the first place. It has since been worn and washed numerous times by my 10 mth nephew who is crawling and walking and pulling at it every time he wears it and it still hasn't come undone.

This is probably NOT the correct way to do this however it worked for me!
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:13 PM   #3
janelanespaintbrush
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The triple mattress stitch idea sounds good to me... it reminds me of what I think my Grandma called French seams in sewing (it was something like that -- a way to hide a raw edge, anyway). Maybe you could try it on a swatch first?
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There is no right way to knit; there is no wrong way to knit. So if anybody kindly tells you that what you are doing is "wrong," don't take umbrage; they mean well. Smile submissively, and listen, keeping your disagreement on an entirely mental level. They may be right, in this particular case, and even if not, they may drop off pieces of information which will come in very handy if you file them away carefully in your brain for future reference. ~Elizabeth Zimmerman
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:57 PM   #4
Evelynne
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[quote="jezzybear"]This isn't so much an answer as an experience of my own - 2 weeks ago I started knitting my first ever full garment that wasn't a scarf or a blanket!

Jezzybear!

You are extremely brave! Most of the posts I read on cutting or steeking are filled with <gasps!> at cutting, and here you are on your FIRST garment and you happily cut away the excess! Good on you! Thank you for responding to my post. I was hoping that someone who had done it before would share her experience and you did!

Evelynne
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:07 PM   #5
Evelynne
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Originally Posted by janelanespaintbrush
The triple mattress stitch idea sounds good to me... it reminds me of what I think my Grandma called French seams in sewing (it was something like that -- a way to hide a raw edge, anyway). Maybe you could try it on a swatch first?
THANK YOU! I will try Googling "French seams" to see if I can find anything on it (Thank goodness for grandmothers who knit!) And good suggestion about a swatch first - well worth the extra step to attempt this on something I have not spent countless hours on.

I will get back to you if I find anything on French seams. Thank you!

Evelynne
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