Project for lockdown - reknitting a Yak wool jumper

The raglan jumper I knitted from undyed handspan yak wool which I had bought on a trip to Nepal was too big and got even bigger on wearing - so much so that it became seriously unflattering, mainly because of the way it was hanging at the back (I have a somewhat stooped posture).

With plenty of time on my hands I have decided on a complete unravel and re-knit; drastic I know but a good opportunity to learn how to bespoke a knitted garment.

I have started by unravelling one of the raglan sleeves, keeping the other as a reference. The unraveling was a bit nightmarish because the yarn, being a bit hairy and variable in thickness, has both weak points and a tendency to ahdere to the next row so I ended up with about 30 separate lengths which I have now laboriously rejoined with Russian knots.

On starting re-knitting to a revised pattern (see below) the yarn feels different: firmer and less hairy than before. This is allowing me to up my tension which I think will be a good thing. My new 1x1 rib for example is nice and springy whereas the old version was rather limp. Whether the yarn will stay like this I will have to wait to find out.

Having attended tailoring courses I am now finding knitting patterns rather simplistic by comparison in that adjustments one would expect to have to make in a tailored garment are not often mentioned. Knitted fabric has spring in it so will adjust much more to the wearer’s shape so I guess fine fitting adjustments are not needed, but I am going to attempt one. Having what tailors refer to as a stooped posture, my back is relatively longer than my front yet jumper knitting patterns always show them to be the same length other than for the dip or vee in the front neckline. If the back is longer (or front shorter)
the difference needs to be adjusted for in the sleeve seam because the side seam where front and back join have to be the same length. A raglan sleeve tapers towards the neck so the only way I can think of making the front and back seams of different length is to have a steeper slope at the front than at the back. Once the sleeve is knitted I can measure the difference in seam lengths before adjusting the front and back patterns to match. Does this sound like a good plan, given that I have no shortage of time nor any deadline?

This is a pic of the old sleeve and the start of the new one. The new one was a bit too narrow when I tried it on so am redoing it about an inch wider.

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You’ve picked a good time to take on this project and lovely, soft yarn. It’ll be gratifying to you, I’m sure to see it re-knit into a well-fitting sweater. Please let us see a photo when you finish.

Have you thought about putting some short rows in the back part of the sweater?