Crochet Articles & Tips

Ring My Bell
The Daily Knitter Staff

While I hadn't meant for my first sweater to be a Halloween costume, I could have easily passed for the Liberty Bell when wearing it. The top half of the sweater was sublime in the green wool yarn I had selected. The turtleneck and shoulders were perfectly shaped; the sleeves were exactly the right length. But the sweater's bottom portion became generously wider as you moved downwards, yielding the dreaded bell shape. I was determined to fix the sweater, not sentence it to life at the bottom of my sweater drawer.

I studied my options and concluded I had to move forward. Even if this meant putting the entire sweater at risk. My choices were:

  • Add a crochet chain to the bottom of the sweater (easiest)
  • Add an i-cord to the bottom of the sweater (easier)
  • Pick up stitches at the bottom of the sweater and add ribbing (easy)
  • Unravel, pick up stitches, and add ribbing (scary!)

After much deliberation, I decided on the unraveling. I would not be satisfied with anything less than a perfect sweater.

I happily began frogging the bottom twenty rows of my sweater, but became increasingly anxious as the rows dropped off. Picking up all of the loops was not going to be an easy task. What if I missed one or inserted the needle into the wrong side of the loop?

Then the idea hit me and I ran to my knitting needle stash. After selecting needles a few sizes smaller than what the sweater was knit on, I identified the row of knit stitches where I wanted the unraveling to stop. Working from right to left, I inserted the needle into the right hand loop of each stitch in the row and took the needle over the left hand loop. Around the body of the sweater I went and finished with all of the stitches perfectly placed on my needle.

Once I had unraveled to the new needle, I simply began my two by two ribbing. Twenty rows of ribbing and a bind-off later, my perfect sweater was complete.

The first sweater you knit will always have special place in your heart. My green sweater continues to be one of my favorites and is a great conversation starter. When I wear it I am reminded how much I love a sweater with a ribbed bottom... a ribbed bottom knit the first time around.
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