Eight Steps to Obliterating the Past

I know you all are biting your nails, waiting in breathless anticipation for the next post about the Blob, so I decided to oblige!

seamless swatch

I had originally planned a chevron pattern for the body of the Seamless Hybrid. But doing two inches of 1×1 ribbing just about killed me with boredom and I realized I’d need a quick pattern for the body. Moving yarn back and forth for knits and purls would interrupt the blazing speed of stockinette in the round. So I alternated the chevrons with a plain stockinette round. This made the pattern much more subtle, but not very appealing – more like it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be.

01 purls

Luckily, the recipient then conveniently said he didn’t want any pattern, so stockinette it was! But after completing the sweater I was still left with one repeat of chevrons at the bottom. I tried to ignore them, but they were irritatingly always there, albeit diffused. I would have to obliterate them!

Here’s how:

1. Snip a stitch along the topmost offending row.

02 snip

2. Unravel the line of stitches, one by one, along the snipped row in one direction only. As you can see, the stitches aren’t particularly eager to escape… they just sit there waiting to be picked up.

03 unravel

3. So oblige them, picking up stitches from the top only, using a smaller needle.

04 top needle

4. Unravel the offending rows. Remember to pin out the unravelled rows in order, so you can pick them up in the correct order.

05 rows

5. Knit these up with the correct size needle. Remember to always work in the same direction of the original knitting. Since I worked this in the round, I slid my needle back after each row to knit in the same direction.

07 knit

6. Use the snipped yarn to graft the rows back together towards the snipping point. I found it easiest to graft together about ten stitches and then go back and fix the tension, rather than aiming to graft with perfect tension. You will need to stop a little before the snipping point, since you need to keep a bit of yarn tail free to weave in. Once your grafting yarn is about 4 inches long, stop and continue grafting with a new strand of yarn.

08 graft

7. Remember in the second step you had unravelled the snipped yarn in one direction only? Now start unravelling in the opposite direction, one by one. Once you’ve opened up about 20 to 30 stitches, repeat the rest of the steps: pick up the top row, unravel the bottom rows, knit them up correctly, graft them with the snipped end, complete the grafting with the new strand of yarn from Step 6.

09 middle

8. Continue this way across the row. I got the best results by working in chunks of 20 to 30 stitches at a time. Any more, and I would end up with too much or too little yarn at the end when knitting up the bottom rows. It looks a little bit wonky with all the re-working, but a good blocking will cure all that!

And the best part? No remaining purls — all pure stockinette!

092 end


6 thoughts on “Eight Steps to Obliterating the Past

  1. I hadn’t realized i was holding my breath till i reached the end of your post. I think it happened at the snip pic. Very nicely done, honestly!

  2. Learning how to rip back just a chunk at a time, with the trick of pinning out the running threads to keep them in order, changed my lace knitting life, and I’ve also done the thing where you snip a stitch and re-knit in the opposite direction — but I had not thought of combining those fixes this way! Filing this away in the bag of tricks…

    Btw, I love that you did this (and posted about it), because it’s the sort of thing I do and get teased about endlessly for my knitting perfectionism. I get that these post-production edits aren’t for everyone, but in my own work, I see no reason to live with a nagging annoyance when I can fix it with a bit of skill — and a lot of determination! And not all crafts are as amenable to such fixes as knitting is, so I get a certain (perverse??) satisfaction from taking full advantage of knitting’s undoableness.

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