Fair Isle problem

I’ve just learned to do Fair Isle knitting and am working on a cotton sweater of my own design.

I’m using a variegated yarn for the ribbing at top and bottom and also as a border between panels (wide stripe with background of one color and foreground of another color).

I now know that the Fair Isle technique produces a fabric with less stretch and that large blocks done with a single thread are stretchier.

But I didn’t realize it when I made a rather wide border of reverse stockinette in the variegated yarn. The Fair Isle portion above and below it is nice and flat. But the single-thread reverse stockinette makes a bulge instead of lying flat. It’s in the worst possible place, right above the waist. And I didn’t realize the problem until I’d got way past that.

There is NO WAY I’m going to rip out everything from the neck down to correct this, but correct it I must.

Here are some things I’ve considered:

  • Embroider something in duplicate stitch onto the reverse stockinette
  • Use some sort of smocking technique to gather up the looseness
  • Put in a lifeline at the top and bottom of this area, cut out most of the area between the lifelines and unravel the rest, then make a better border and graft the two sections together with Kitchener stitch. The sweater is long enough to allow this.


I am SO not a sewer, so I like the idea of the lifelines and taking it out. :thinking:

You’re more ambitions than I am in this, and I admire your willingness to fix rather than reknit. I think I would have torn down to the bottom of the band of rev st st, just because reknitting is easier for me. I’d love to see it when you’re done!

I’d have ripped it back if I’d realized there was a problem. By the time I did realize it, I had a good two weeks’ worth of hard knitting time in.

I don’t know if it’s feasible to remove a section of knitting from the middle, if you can stick in a couple of lifelines and treat the top one like a provisional cast-on and get live stitches to do a Kitchener graft on.

Has anyone ever tried something like this?

Alternatively, the only problem is that this section is just stretchier than the Fair Isle part. So if I can find some way to make it less stretchy so it will have the same stretchiness as the rest of it, the problem will be solved.

There’s got to be a way. Help! Help!