How to fix too long sweater?

Ok, I am a fairly new knitter, but have knitted a couple of sweaters so I am familiar with the bottom up method and seaming the pieces together.

So the question, I have this purchased sweater that I LOVE! The problem is, it is just about 3 inches too long for me…it hits me at the widest part of my body and isn’t flattering. Here is my thinking…If I run scrap yarn about 2 inches from where I want the sweater to end, and cut…then cut out the middle part leaving the 2" ribbing on scrap yarn and then do a 3 needle bind off to rejoin them, that would work, right? I know it would make the sweater shorter, but would it look stupid since it would have seam? I would much rather put the sweater on a needles and unravel and reknit, but I would be backwards since this was knitted bottom up, right? Is there a way around this? :shrug:

There may be a much easier way to do this that a more experienced knitter can help me with…I would appreciate the help!


Hi Karen! :waving:

What if you were to do this: cut off the unwanted length, pick up the stitches along the raw edge of the newly shortened sweater, and re-knit the ribbing using the yarn from the cutaway bottom segment?

The 3-needle bind-off and resulting ‘seam’ would be a visual distraction I think.

You could choose to remove the unwanted inches, saving the rib, and…assuming it’s in stockinette…graft at the place where you’re re-joining the two. It’s probably possible to join the two if the body is in some other st pattern as the transition from rib to body st pattern would hopefully hide the graft.

‘The Big Book of Knitting’ has good pics and info on joining two pieces horiz with grafting.

Had I the choice, and able to unravel the cut off portion, I’d pick up the live sts of the body and work back to the ribbing (again, assuming it’s st st…which looks the same up/down).


Remember if you do this to be careful about the side seams unravelling. You could cut there normally and resew with a spare bit of wool but if you are careful you could unravel the bottom part of the seam and use it to hold down the part you cut.

I agree with ArtLady that a 3 needle bind off would make a seam that wouldn’t look that attractive. Her idea of reknitting is a good one but bear in mind that most/many store bought sweaters are made in flat, non-shaped pieces and cut to shape and sewn together like woven fabric. If that is the case with your sweater, your yarn will be in a hundred short pieces and may drive you crazy to try to knit with. It may be possible though with a lot of grit.

THANKS for all your thoughts! My original thought was just to unsew the seams and unravel the pieces and then knit in the round, didn’t think about the cut side seam! Thanks…

I too thought the 3 needle bind off and the seam would be distracting and since the sweater is stockinette, you guys are saying I can just pick up the live stitches and knit? Cool!


Holy Cow!!! What a brave and daring person you are!!!:thumbsup: I would never have the guts to try that!!! Could you show a “before” and “after” pic when finished?