Sometimes after completing a sweater there comes a moment where you realize it does not fit the person for whom it was intended. All is not lost here are some possible alternatives to ripping out all the hard work that went into creating the garment.
Remember none of these suggestions should be tried after midnight or after your normal bedtime. Everything looks better in the morning especially in knitting.
If the sweater is too big it may be possible to treat it like fabric and cut it down to size. The sweater below was knit in the round then the steek in the center was cut through, it became obvious that the decreases had been made only on one side of the vest. Since it had been cut already and would be very difficult if not impossible to rip back there was only one thing to do because throwing it away was not an option, and that was to continue cutting it into a shape that matched the original instructions.
Step one - Figure out where the garment needs to be cut. Measure twice or even three or four times. Measuring is a pain free task and getting the size right is critical before you adjust the size of your knitting. Then hand baste a line to follow in a contrasting color yarn.
Step two - Use a sewing machine to sew a fine line of stitches by following your basting line, but donít sew over it, because you will pull the basting line out.
Step three - Sew another set of stitches parallel and very close to the first set of stitches as insurance. Pull out your basting line.
Step four - Measure the garment piece or pieces again to make sure they are the size and shape you are trying to achieve.
Step five - Cut away the excess knitting, just as you would a piece of fabric in sewing. You may have to sit down for this step and take deep breaths, but remember your sewed length of stitches will hold your knitting in place. The sewing is especially important if you are using slippery yarns, such as microfiber, cotton, rayon, silk, etc. Wool has a tendency to stick to itself, but sewing will prevent the stitches from unraveling.
Step six - is to assemble your garment, block it and wear it.
Cutting your knitting is a traditional method of knitting Fair Isle garments or Norwegian garments and it has been successfully performed for centuries. Donít throw away all of your hard work by refusing to try this. If you are uncertain and afraid to try this, go to your local yarn shop or fabric store and ask an experienced seamstress or knitter to help.
Of course, another alternative is finding someone who fits the original garment to be the recipient...