When Bad Things Happen to Good Sweaters

See, I have this sweater I made for myself about a year ago. It’s made of organic undyed wool and I love it to pieces.

Then yesterday it met a cup of coffee. :noway:

The good news is, only the ribbing at the bottom is stained.

The bad news is, that’s the cast on edge.

I WILL NOT dye the whole sweater in coffee. That’s out of the question. I look horrible in brown.

So my question is, is there a way (even if it’s a big pain) to unravel the ribbing and put on a new one? I remember reading an offhand reference to something like that somewhere in Elizabeth Zimmerman, but I can’t find it now…

Ok, first can you try to get the stain out?

I found this here:

Remove Coffee Stains From:
Burlap, Silk, Wool

Blot up excess. Sponge the stain with water. Apply a wet spotter and a few drops of white vinegar. Cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the wet spotter. Let it stand as long as any stain is being lifted. Change the pad as it picks up the stain. Keep the stain and pad moist with the wet spotter and vinegar. Flush with water. Repeat until no more stain is being removed. If any stain remains, apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with alcohol. Let it stand as long as it is picking up stain, changing the pad as it does. Keep the stain and pad moist with alcohol. Flush with water. For a stubborn or old stain, try using an enzyme presoak (follow directions on label). Cover with a clean pad dipped in the solution and squeezed almost dry. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes. Add more solution as needed to keep the area warm and moist, but do not allow the wet area to spread. When the stain is lifted, flush thoroughly with water. (If coffee contained cream and any greasy stain remains, follow procedures to Remove Milk and Cream.)

Wet spotter:
To prepare a wet spotter, mix 1 part glycerine, 1 part white dishwashing detergent, and 8 parts water. Shake well before each use. Store wet spotter in a plastic squeeze bottle.

Thanks! I’ll try that tonight…

If that doesn’t work I don’t know what I’ll do…

If it doesn’t come clean, its entirely possible to put on a new band… fiddly, but worthwhile. I remember reading a good thread about this only days ago but can’t find it. However, I did just find an earlier one which covers it -

Unpicking upwards from the bottom edge has to be done a stitch at a time. It doesn’t just unravel easily as it does when going from the top. You need to do it stitch by stitch. I’ve done it on a ribbed cuff and on garter stitch, and also on stockinette, and it was fiddly for all of them.

I fixed the sleeves of a baby cardigan just the other night… not as big a job as your’s but the same principle. I finished knitting them, only to find the garter stitch cuffs were 2 rows longer on one than the other. (The lesson learned was NEVER knit with a splitting headache!)

At first I tried just unpicking from the cast-on edge, stitch by stitch, but soon realised I’d be there forever. So I inserted a lifeline a few rows up - I used a finer knitting needle but on a longer row I think a yarn lifeline (in a contrasting colour so you can see it easily) is the way to go. Then cut off the knitting below the lifeline, and after that take a deep breath, make yourself comfortable (because you’ll be there for a while!) and unpick the stitches individually up to the lifeline. Then you can thread your needle into the stitches held on the lifeline, and reknit the ribbing. The knitting won’t look any different going in the opposite direction as it does going up.

Oh, one thing I’ve noticed each time I’ve done this is that somehow one stitch seems to disappear from the end of the row, so increase just one stitch.

Good luck!

Here’s a good picture tutorial on how to insert a needle into your work so you can just cut that part out and re-knit it.
But, hopefully you get the stain out so don’t have to worry about redoing anything!

I’ve cut off portions and reworked a number of time. Run lifeline just about portion you’ll be removing. Snip a st about 1" in from selvage edge, unweave that row, working left and/or right, and everything below it will come off in one piece. AS YOU UNWEAVE, depending on how defined the sts are (if done a year ago they may withstand the picking process w/o being picked up immediately), you can pick up the live sts on a circ so you’re ready to go. This works easy enough on st st and ribbing. Haven’t done it on other st patterns.

Good luck!

Who’s wearing a sweater that once had sleeves that turned out too short but I removed the ribbing, reworked them. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise because by redoing them, I did a tubular BO which gave a much nicer edge than the orig CO.

I couldn’t get all of the stain out, so I did end up cutting off the bottom of the sweater and reknitting it. Looks good as new! Or better, seeing as my bindoff edges always look better than my caston edges…

Thanks everybody!