How to revamp old knitwear

Two AMAZING things I’ve learned this week about knitwear that have blown my mind and made me think of a million new projects I want to instantly start.

1. You can cut knitting without it unravelling

By some sort of wizardry or dark art, knitting does not instantly fall to threads if you cut it. Do you know what this MEANS?! We can crop vintage knitwear. That gorgeous Aran wool jumper that fits a bit unflatteringly? Nip a few inches off it!

As not-a-knitter, it had never occurred to me that of course you must be able to cut larger knitted fabrics into pattern pieces to put some garments together.

Apparently, the safest way to cut knit is to do two or three parallel lines of sewing machine stitching down the knit to secure it, then cut outside of those lines.

HOWEVER, I have had a little try on an old knitted jumper and everything stays where it should be even without stitching first, so I would probably just cut and hem it like any other fabric and call it good.

A little trick I saw on Insta recently was making a fabulous collar for a knitted cardigan out of mittens. You cut the cuff off the mitten and open it out, then stitch the cut edge (probably secured with machine stitching as I said) face-down to the INSIDE of the neck and turn it out. The mitten’s existing finished cuff is then on the outside as the bottom of the collar, and you could do some blanket stitch to finish the cut edge where the mitten’s seam was.

2. You can fake fancy knitting

You just need some colourful fat wool and a piece of knitwear with a nice but monochrome pattern. Embroidering with the wool into the pattern of the knitting then looks like part of the original knit – just fancier!

My first victim is this cardigan:

Those leafy things are going to become beautiful shells

I’ve seen an example where someone was making very simple concentric teardrops in the contained circles of the knitting, which looked piss-easy to do and so effective.

My intention at some point is to do roses. That’s also fairly easy – check this tutorial on rose embroidery with bullion knots (my fave):

Now, imagine that with big, puffy wool. Chef’s kiss.


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