Monday, December 26, 2016

Short Raglan

Thank you so much for your comments on the Sheepy, I took all of them to my heart. 
Now... I will proceed with humble steps for the next upcycling adventure, with the hope of not goofing around quite as much as with the Sheepy cardigan. My wardrobe was giving and I found another sweater in need of attention. (Truthfully, maybe little sadly, it was one of the many.)

Can you see what needs attention and updating?

First; too short! Way too short!!! Needs a new and long skirt, that would push the lovely knots around the hem to the foreground, but … what would be the right yarn and the right color? I am counting on my stash and try to avoid buying new yarn for these upcycling projects. (Although for a while I was tempted to start something totally new, new yarn and new pattern, possibly trying to come up with a new design. However, since I have had so much “fun” lately with remaking old clothes, I am making at least this one.)
(I am not good in keeping New Year’s resolutions, but I am having nonetheless another goal for the next year. I am giving myself a yarn budget, a small one for the coming year. I am not sure of the sum yet, but I want to limit my purchase(s) to something that I really need and love. I don’t want to stop getting new yarn completely, because if I made that promise, I would most likely break it the next day. This way I just want to use the yarn I already have and get new carefully and thoughtfully.)
Second; the seams! Can you spot the raglan seam? The sweater was knitted in pieces and seamed. The raglan seams are not symmetrical, so I assume I made a mistake there. I will try to fix that. And again, the seams do not have any give, they are too tight.
Third; the collar. I don’t like it, I am trying to come up with a good solution for that and since I am going to take the sweater into pieces, I will need to rip it out anyway.
Fourth; the sleeves. I think they need something, I just don’t know what.
The pattern is from a book “The ultimate knitter’s guide” by Kate Buller, published in 2000; Rowan owns the pattern copyrights. It is a collection of patterns by various designers. Short Raglan (my sweater here) was designed by Amanda Griffiths. I think that this pattern Short Raglan was and is still beautiful, I would not have knitted it, if I did not think that. The book has patterns also from Kaffe Fassett, Louisa Harding, Kim Hargreaves, Brandon Mably to name just a few. It was one of the very first knitting books I bought and I remember how much I loved it. It has inventive techniques (then) and I remember reading it through. If I were to pick out ten books that changed my knitting life, this book would most likely make the list.
The book has a clever construction. The pages are split; and this allows you to knit from the pattern and at the same time you can turn the bottom pages to find the special techniques needed for the pattern without having to go back and forth thus losing the pattern page. I don’t think that I have seen this construction anywhere else.
I know the pieces are not fashionable anymore but I can still see some great value in them. There is something I can take use of. By adjusting the patterns to suit today’s taste, I could still knit few of the designs.
I really like this Clara by Erika Knight. The color of course is perfect for this season, but then look at the collar. It is knitted with Chenille and then decorated with embroidery, so very lovely!

Having this Short Raglan pattern here at my fingertips will somehow make the redoing easier, it is as if the pattern is somehow easy to analyze. The yarn I used was Lett-Lopi by Istex. I remember having a knitting notebook at the time I was making this pattern and I might just take time to try to find it. Would be interesting and somehow sweet to read the notes from almost 20 years ago, as I remember that I started to keep a notebook back then to get better in various knitting techniques. Let’s see if I can find it…
I did find the book, and it has some notes about the knitting procedure. I started the sweater September 1st, 2001 and completed it 17th of November. All in all, it was not a quick knit. I don’t remember if I had any problems with it, except for the fact that when it was ready, I was little bit surprised how wide and short it came out and how tight the sleeves were around the wrists, those being the main reasons why I never really used the sweater. It looked odd when I was wearing it, yet beautiful on the model. If I would have taken the time to find something to wear with it, that is, if the styling had been right, most likely the sweater would have been used more. Today, after all these years of building a wardrobe, after all kinds of silly purchases, I know what I will wear and it makes life so much easier... although, occasionally,  I still might get something unwearable.

I have started the work on it and my first step was to take the sweater into pieces after ripping out the collar. The collar came out without any problems and I saved the yarn, washed it to even out all the wrinkles and plan to use the bits to seam the sweater back together.
Here is a sketch of my plan, a sweater-dress. Of course, it might change along the making, but this is my starting point.
Before seaming the pieces back together with hopefully seams with more stretch, I will think about the sleeves first. I want to get rid of the pattern around the wrists and lengthen the sleeves somehow. These are the yarns I am going to use. I made a swatch, as I have not knitted with this yarn before and although it felt quite hard on the needles, it softened after blocking. The fiber content is good; linen and wool. Unfortunately, not available any more.

Christmas holidays so far have been lovely, there has been enough of good food, not too much, movie watching and for the balance, long walks with the dogs. New year is just around the corner. If we don’t see on this side again, I wish you all the best for the coming year. Thank you to each one of you for this past year. Thank you for coming to read, thank you for your comments and e-mails. xx

And as always,
Wool with you in 2017,


  1. YOu would have enough yarn to add lots of length if you unpulled the knots at the bottom.

  2. Loving seeing what you are doing to upcycle your sweaters. Inspiration!
    Happy New Year to you too.

  3. I am fascinated to see how you transform this one. I love the idea of the dress and hope it works. I wonder about the bulk of those decorative knots and whether they will annoy you, but if you were to remove them you might almost just frog the whole sweater and make something entirely new.
    I need to have a look in my cedar chest at what I wear, what I don't, and why. Maybe I could start to make some smarter choices about what to knit/buy, etc.

  4. This looks like it will be another fun project! Can't wait to see progress pictures. Best wishes for a Happy and Peaceful New Year!

  5. It is so much fun following your transformation of old sweaters into new and more useable ones! Happy new year to you and the dogs!

  6. I have the Kate Buller book, too - and have always loved this short raglan, though I have not knit it. I am short so the short sweaters make my legs look longer. My stash contains almost no worsted weight yarns (except in single balls for hats, etc.). I think I would like to make it in a much finer gauge. I simply love the knot edging. Can't wait to see how your remake works out!

  7. I really love how you change your projects. One can learn a lot from you and its a sheer pleasure to follow your steps.
    All the best and good health for 2017. Greetings from Switzerland, Christa

  8. You really inspire me, Lene, in all that you do. You see and imagine many creative possibilities that would never occur to me, so I continue to follow your blog faithfully (checking for new entries every few days...), hoping that some of your talent and persistence will rub off!
    Wool with you, too, and peace and health (for your daughter especially) in the new year.

  9. I suspect the reason we have problems finishing a project is because we know there is something wrong with it, but we can't yet figure out what that is. This reminds me of my own problem child. It's a fitted raglan, with 3/4 sleeves and a large round collar. It still doesn't fit right and I hate the collar. I've reworked it already, so I'm not doing that again.

    Looks like you might be able to put a collar on it, like the one with the embroidery. You'd probably have to make the top of the raglan taller for that to work.

  10. Your creativity is so inspiring, and these upcycling efforts are teaching me a lot. I remember that book! Borrowed it from my local library and had meant to knit Clara at some point. Thank you for making these adventures public.

  11. Happy New Year to you and all your family ,Lene! funny, when I saw the sweater worn by your dummy I immediatly thought about cutting it in half (a bit below the bust line) and inserting a big stripe of something... colour, embroidering... but the dress will surely suit you better. :-)

  12. OMG I love those edges!!!!!!!!

  13. I think there is just too much fabric in those sleeves for today's silhouettes. I say start over!