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How to Convert a Pullover to a Cardigan

The Original Sweater :
Banana Republic Chunky Knit Pullover
New Collar & Front Bands Yarn:
Gjestal "Naturgarn #1"
210 - Electric Blue
14sts/20 rows over 4"
#10 & #10.5

Prepare the Pullover for a New Opening

One year, at the end of the winter seaso, I picked up a chunky wool handknit funnel-neck shell from Banana Republic. It was in my favorite colors! It was wild and variegated! It was $9.99! :)

The Super Plan was to turn it into a Cardigan. That's right, add sleeves, a zipper and a new improved Crew Neck.

Here's what it looked like to begin with:


I've opened the neck seams to get ready to frog the funnel down to the primary neck edge. I'll use the yarn I harvest to finish off the bottom of the cardi with a few rows of ribbing.


Make the Steek

Now comes the FUN part - STEEKING!

This is where, after you mark the center of the piece you reinforce the area where you are going to open up the front of the Pullover to prepare it for some button band closures.

How to do this? I like to sew a couple of rows of stitches vertically down the *Ladders* between stitches or through the vertical center of stitches themselves, spaced a few stitches away from the marked center.

I used regular sewing thread and a machine to do this. After you've secured the center front like this, you CUT the piece open and VOILA - cardi galore!

here's the shell after stitching and cutting...

WHOOT! This is almost as fun as felting! In the same naughty way, you are doing something On Purpose that you usually avoid, in this case, actually using a sharp instrument to CUT the yarn!

Congratualtions: it's now a vest!

And NOW the FUN ramps up even more! One of ChicKnits Top Ten New Year's Resolutions of 2005 is the edict to Wear More Color! Back away from the Black - get back On Track with some Bright, Cheerful, MODERN TONES!

How about a little BLUE?

How to Make the Front Bands on a Steeked Edge

Before I bind off for the new Funnel Neck ribbed finish and progress to the button bands, I try it on to check for length.


Satisfied with my new neckline, I'm going to pick up some stitches for the first band.

Using a size C crochet hook and that beautiful Electric Blue yarn


I picked up stitches near the steeked opening, about two or three rows away from the cut to make the band.


Here's a close-up of the hook going into the front behind the stitching. Because this is such bulky yarn, I am only allowing 2 rows for the band facing. (The Band Facing is the part that will fold over and be on the wrong side of the garment after the band is knitted.) If it was a smaller gauge yarn, I would make the facing 3-4 stitches wide.


After all the stitches are picked up, I knit a few rows (garter stitch) then bound off the band (zipper to be added later as the closure).

Then I used regular sewing thread to tack the Band Facing down. Because this yarn is rather fuzzy, the fiber itself will *grab* its other fuzzy neighbor fibers and they'll *handshake* together forming a solid join...


Borrowing the instructions from a previous bulky pattern I designed, I knit new sleeves and sewed them into the armhole spaces.

VOILA: a new Cardigan!





one cheap end-of-season bulky wool shell
3 skeins of bulky NEON wool
in a Mock Turtleneck and Contrasting Sleeves
with a Zipper
the cheerful late-winter-bustin' COLOR!
of your new work Jacket!



┬ęBonne Marie Burns
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