Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

On hacking knitting patterns…

I keep trying to knit jumpers and I’ve been disappointed with every one I’ve made so far!

My latest one is a hacked version of the Freedom sweater which is a Wool and the Gang pattern (see my original one here) that I altered quite a bit. I used their chunky Heal the Wool yarn which is made from 100% recycled Peruvian wool fibres.

Changing knitting patterns is a weird business. It’s an odd combination of math and guesswork and unfortunately you don’t really know if it’s going to work until it’s finished and you can try it on… It doesn’t stop me from trying though!

So my original Freedom sweater came out really quite oversized so I knew I wanted to make it smaller both on the body and sleeve. I also wanted to add some more detail with a cable on the arms.

I decided to reduce the width of the body by two stitches on the front and back and shortened it by about 15cm. I shortened the arms by skipping out a couple of rows but I didn’t alter the width. I knew adding the cable would automatically narrow it so I thought I’d see what would happen if I left the number of stitches!

(By the way – if you’re new to adding in cables in random places, don’t forget to add in a purl stitch or two before your cable. I forgot to and about half way up a sleeve I was wondering why it didn’t look quite right! 🤣)

So I had to fudge the neckline a bit as I had a weird number of stitches left at that point. It still kind of worked out though luckily!

So… I hate it.

I’m happy with how the hack turned out in that it kind of did what I wanted it too. HOWEVER I think this whole shape and style is not for me. The wool is way too chunky and just adds so much weight to my frame.

Annoying it looks absolutely perfect on my little sister so it looks like she’s going to be getting this one for Christmas!

I’ve got plans to attempt a couple more knitted sweaters – both in a much thinner yarn than this one here. I’m hoping it’ll drape more and generally look better! Fingers crossed!

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  1. I am also exploring knitting sweaters, and from a sewing perspective don’t like how knitting patterns don’t tend to have line drawings, have lovely `artsy’ photos of the pattern, but not the details! I do like how you can frog your item if you don’t like it, and make changes, though. And the bulky wool doesn’t take (relatively) long to knit! I love your sweater, will be a lovely gift!

  2. I would definitely go with a DK yarn, thinner that worsted, but not quite sport weight. I think that weight with a no. 4-6 needle makes a nice drape, whether its a cardigan or a pullover.

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