Unravelling Backwards?

Hi, I’ve finished a sweater and it’s all sewn up. My big mistake - not checking that the sleeves were the right length as I measured for a set sleeve and the pattern is actually a drop sleeve so now they are too long. Is it possible to undo the sleeves from the bottom cuff upwards? I think I tried to unravel knitting from the cast on edge once before and it didn’t work - I got into a big snarl. So would like to check before i start undoing it and find myself in a worse mess. Worst case scenario is to ditch the project or find someone with really long arms to give it to :teehee:- just cant bring myself to undo the sleeves and redo the armholes all over again as I needed to make adjustments there too - just too much work. I’m a numpty to make the mistake in the first place, just hope someone can guide me in how to do a salvage job?! :knitting:

If there’s ribbing at the bottom, it won’t unravel easily without a lot of trouble. But you can cut the cuffs off and unravel the sleeve a few inches, then redo the cuffs. That’s supposing the sleeve is in stockinette.

Thank you Sue, it’s hard to think of putting scissors near knitting with malice aforethought (scary biscuits!) - I’m fainthearted and haven’t yet got my head around the idea of steeking, (who dreamed that one up?) so cutting the cuffs off just didn’t occur to me. The sleeves are indeed stocking stitch so I’m going to do just what you’ve suggested. I may yet wear this sweater thanks to you! :happydance:

If it’s the cast on edge you might have to pick out each one. A pain maybe, but you’ll enjoy your sweater more if you do it. :wink: If it’s the cast off edge it’ll just unravel.

I had to extend the sleeves on my last sweater and it was the cast off edge so it was easy to take out the bind off and continue ribbing.

Jan, when you say “pick out each one” are you meaning that each and every stitch of the stocking stitch will need to be picked out and the unravelled yarn pulled through each stitch. I seem to remember this was the fankle I got into when I tried this before. The unravel must be from the cast - ON edge which is the reason I asked because unravelling from the top is never a problem (everyone who makes a mistake has had to do the frogging!). If you have any further advice I’m all ears - haven’t touched the scissors yet :wink:

I think she may have meant picking out each stitch of the cast on. With ribbing you can sort of unravel backwards, but at the edges you need to pull the yarn out through the sts.

Thanks sue, yes, I think that was the messy part I was remembering - if its a lot of rows to come out you have to keep pulling the yarn thru the stitches at the edges and it can be quite tangly and laborious. However, it’s less hassle than undoing the whole sleeve so I’m going to go with it. I will still cut off the ribbing as you suggested -it’s not necessary to the sweater and I have lots of yarn left to finish it off with ribbing if I decide I do want it after all. Do find that you are always altering patterns? I find it a real pain that I am not a “model” size and always have to add width to the armholes and shorten the sleeve lengths. I wish I was more able with my arithmetic, but knitting is forcing me to take up my numbers phobia, face the challenge and work it out. I’m sure it must be good for me! Thanks again for the help here to keep the pins whizzing!

I don’t go much by patterns anymore, just use them as a basis for shaping. I do top down raglans because they’re seamless, you can try on as you go and adjust the size, knit sleeves and body to the correct length. You don’t really need a pattern for them, just CO for the neck and have a general idea how many sts to allot for sleeves, back and front. Top down yokes are a little trickier and I haven’t quite figured out where to put the incs and make adjustments for them.

You are well beyond me in skill I think, but you’ve reminded me of the top down method and I must give it a go sometime. I probably have a couple of hundred traditional patterns gleened from charity shops etc - they are all adaptable to today’s styles and at 10p a pop hard to say no to. But a good top down pattern for real money is something I should invest in. Who knows, I may never look back.

But a good top down pattern for real money is something I should invest in.

You don’t need to, there’s a few online where you plug in your gauge and finished measurements and it gives you a pattern:
http://www.knittingfool.com/pages/topdown.guest.cfm (this site has a couple for drop sleeve and set in sleeve though they’re not seamless)
http://www.knitlist.com/99gift/top-down-percentage-sweater.htm for a yoke sweater.
And the $5 in paris pattern, which is a simple raglan in stripes, but can be knit in a solid, tweed or heather without changing yarns.

This is fun, I get to press “thanks” again!
I’m going to bookmark these pages - I do like a custom fit that I can put my own guage into instead of spending ages trying to match a pattern’s guage. Thanks so much for these freebies - can you tell I’m a scot - just love a bargain (the free kind!)
Will definitely make use of these - I’ve gained so much through this question, and as always it’s a treat to be here.
thanks folks!