Raglan Rescue Operation

If you know me, you know I am not terribly good at keeping secrets. I might intend not to tell you something, but usually it takes about 5 minutes for me to break down and spill my guts. If it’s something very important I can usually keep my trap shut, but sometimes I just leak out a hint or two. Or a picture on my blog. (Edit: I should qualify that I don’t go blabbing people’s personal info. It’s just silly things like the following that get me in trouble.)

I posted a picture of the “secret project,” thinking that the recipient probably doesn’t read this blog. Well it turns out he doesn’t, but one day I left my blog up in a browser window at home. And the recipient happens to use this computer sometimes, because, well, he lives with me.

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That’s right! The “secret project” is what I call the Fibonacci Saddle Shoulder, adapted from this pattern. Well, I used that pattern then added stripes with rows numbered according to the Fibonacci sequence, because the idea of doing that whole thing in one color was not to be borne. He received it, en pointe, when we celebrated our anniversary at home upon our return from Uganda. I finished it with a speed that surprised even me, despite the fact that I had to rip back half the yoke three times because I wasn’t paying attention to the [very finicky] pattern.

Yet when I finished it, I still had this problem:

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Don’t be distracted by the sportsmanlike, positive, encouraging face you see in this photo. See how the cuffs are nearly over his hands? See how he could be wearing only this sweater in the Columbia Mall and not get arrested for indecent exposure? While I might find that attractive, I do really want him to wear this sweater outside the house. So I was faced with a dilemma: rip back the entire yoke AGAIN…. or try a trick of daring do. After a bit of encouragement from my lovely new friend at Cloverhill Yarns [I think her name is Katie? I’m a crappy new friend], you can guess which which one I went for. So without further ado:

Removing 2 Inches from the Middle of an Object!
As figured out by Rebecca, since she’s too lazy to actually read a book on the subject.

Step 1: Mark out the area that you’d like to remove. (You can sort of see the glint of pins, right? See the laziness above to why I didn’t make a nice bold line for you.)

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Step 2: At the bottom edge of the area that you’d like to disappear, pick up stitches. This is done by inserting your needle into the right-hand side of every “V” in stockinette stitch; in purls you have to kind of look “through” the stitch to pick up from the V on the other side. (This trick totally stolen from Jolene at Cloverhill.)

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Step 3: Do the same at the top edge of the soon-to-be-nixed section.

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Step 4: Clench your butt, and cut right down the middle.

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Step 5: Pull out the stitches on the bottom side of the cut until you have a row neatly on the needles. (It is recommended that you do this with a trash can handy or on an easily-sweepable surface, as picking up all the messy bits from your in-laws’ carpet is a real pain.)

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Step 6: Do the same to the stitches on the top side.

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Step 6: Do your time in Kitchner Stitch purgatory. (If the piece is more complicated than straight stockinette, it may take some experimentation, or actually asking someone who knows, to navigate the areas of transition. I ended up screwing up the first sleeve royally and embroidering the correct ribbing overtop… our little secret.)

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Step 7: Tie a knot, weave in your ends, and display the seamless product to the cat, who woke up just to be impressed.

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Step 8: Take a deep breath, and do it again.

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It went so smoothly (aside from screwing up the ribbing on one side) that I decided to go ahead and do it on the body, even though it didn’t matter quite as much. Here I confuse my father-in-law when I’m half-way through the grafting:

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And in the end, it was totally worth it.

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Slick in every way. And that is the last time I surprise anyone with a sweater for a while.

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