Why not change a jumper into a cardigan? If you have spent months knitting a jumper, the thought of taking a pair of scissors and cutting it from hem to neckband can be daunting. Fear not. With a little preparation, it will turn out fine.

I made a jumper. I used Paton and Daughter Aran “Earth Australia” wool yarn.

Then I decided I wanted a cardigan, not a jumper.

Two Necessary Considerations Before Starting

The jumper that you wish to alter must be knitted with wool yarn

You must have enough of that yarn to knit a button band or a contrasting coloured yarn might be an idea!

If you can say “Yes”, to the above… on.

Let’s Begin

This is just one way of steeking but there are others which may suit you better. I have just found that this way works well for me.

  1. Find the centre stitch in the hem at the FRONT of your jumper. Starting at the cast on edge of the hem, sew running stitches using a contrasting yarn (finer than you used for your jumper) and work all the way to the neckband carefully keeping to that centre stitch.
  2. Now, back to where you started the running stitches at the hem, count 3-5 knitted stitches to the left of the sewn running stitches. Now either crochet (using the same yarn used to knit the jumper) single crochet stitches from the hem to the neckband, or sew running stitches along this line of knitted stitches. These stitches will run parallel with the first line of running stitches in the centre. You now have 2 lines of running stitches. Next, back to where you started at the centre of the hem sewn running stitches, now count 3-5 knitted stitches to the right of the centre sewn running stitches. Begin as before, sewing or crocheting all the way up to the neckband for the 3rd time. You should now have 3 lines of stitches.
  3. At this point I knitted the button bands but you may prefer to jump to No. 4 and work No. 3 after No.5. Using knitting needles, the size that you used for the hem and with right side facing, begin at neck edge of left front and pick up and knit stitches evenly along left front. Knit enough rows to accommodate the button size. I knitted 10 rows for this Aran weight jumper. Ending with a right side row, cast off all stitches loosely. Buttonhole band, with right side facing begin at lower edge of right front, pick up the same amount of stitches as for the button band evenly along right front. Knit half of the required rows. I knitted 4 rows ending with a right side row. Now the buttonhole row, wrong side. As a guide, mark where you would like the buttons to be on the button band and use as a template to remind you when to do the following: Yo, K2tog, K to next placement and repeat to end of row, knit last few stitches. Next, knit the same amount of rows as before the buttonhole row ending with a right side row. Cast off all stitches loosely.
  4. Lay your garment flat and place a piece of cardboard inside your jumper between the front and back. This will make sure that you only cut the front of your jumper.
  5. Using a pair of medium size scissors, cut along the MIDDLE line of sewn running stitches from cast on hem to cast off neckband.
  6. Sew a similar or contrasting coloured, ribbon, braid or binding to the front of what was the front of the jumper but has now become a facing. Stitch the binding to the inside of the front which will cover the cut edge of knitting.
  7. Voila! Well done. Now the most difficult part, choosing buttons!
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