Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the Winner Is...a Thrift-store Cardigan!

You may have seen me in my Fair-Isle cardigan on my blog and during the Speed-knitting KAL. People have asked me if I knitted it myself. No, it was a thrift-store find for $5.
I was looking for a stranded knit to felt and make a bag out of, when I was attracted by the colors in this cardigan. When I took it off the rack, I realized that it would probably fit me (it did). Then I saw the sheep! And the dog! Well, the little shepherd was kind of cute, too, and the apple trees and the horses. The only thing I didn't like was: no pocket! Where I do keep my MP3 player or my iPod? Where do all the used Kleenex accumulate? I own (lucky me) the DVD of EZ's Knitting Workshop. I had watched her reach for the scissors and cut one st (she was wearing it at the time!) to make an afterthought pocket, so I decided to have a go. I bought some yarn that went with the yarns in the sweater. Here's how I made the pocket:
First Cut
Above you can see how I cut one st about the middle of the intended pocket and pulled out the yarn on each side. Below you can see that the yarn has been pulled out, leaving live sts above and below the opening of the pocket.
Ready to Pick Up
Next, I picked up the live sts with two circs. I had to be sure the sts were all headed in the right direction, so they wouldn't be twisted. Here you can see the sts on the needles.
Picked Up
Next, I knitted a 1X1 rib for about 11 rows and then bound off. Here you can see it right after binding off.
Pocket Ribbing
Then I made a pocket lining out of the same yarn. Below you can see the ribbing for the front of the pocket and the lining, knit in stockinette st, sticking out in front. It needs to be tucked through the opening and sewn down.
From the outside
I sewed the ribbing down to the front, and the lining to the back, below the ribbing. Here's what it looks like now:
Finished Pocket2
The finished cardigan looks like this:
Finished Pocket
If you're thinking of making an afterthought pocket, but are afraid of "cutting" your knitting, get a thrift shop sweater and practice--a really nice one, if you're brave, like me--or you can do the sampler in The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee. If you can't bring yourself to cut because you think the edges will ravel, you can always run a piece of waste yarn through all the sts above and below the sts to be removed before you cut (sissy!). Happy knitting! --Peggy

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