Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Did Not Knit This Sweater

The facts:
  • Winter in Maine is cold.
  • I do not like to feel cold.
  • I do not like to wear bulky clothing.

The solution:
  • Knit a slim-fitting, long, warm, wool sweater.

More facts:
  • I am a slow knitter.
  • I need a slim-fitting, long, warm, wool sweater, now.

The new solution:
  • Find a large men's wool sweater at a thrift store, and refashion it.


This idea struck me while at work one day. I popped into the nearest Goodwill on my way home that evening and was delighted to find a men's L.L. Bean wool sweater (size: Large-Tall) for $4.99 (plus tax, but minus 10% because I have the "discount card") in fantastic condition. I love the color, and the knit is bulky enough to be very warm, but not too bulky.

I began by placing the sweater on my table, matching up the seams, and smoothing it out. I then centered a well-fitting t-shirt on top of the sweater.

I pinned around the t-shirt where I intended to stitch, extending to the full length of the sweater and the full length of the sleeves. It is very long, and I end up folding the sleeves nearly up to my elbow, but when I really need to warm up, it is nice to have all that extra length. After stitching, I cut about a half inch away from the seam. I know that might seem like a hefty seam allowance, but this is a knit sweater, and I think a half inch will prevent anything from unravelling. In truth, I could probably trim away more and it would still be fine.

The result? A slim-fitting, long, warm, wool sweater! I love it. I love how the original shoulder seems are now halfway down my upper arms so the knitting changes direction there. I love the wide and open neck. I love the extremely long sleeves. I love that I can wear it with jeans, leggings, or maybe even tights and a belt. I love that it's the only thing I want to put on when I get home from work. I love how warm I am when I wear it.

I love it so much that I do not feel too guilty about not knitting it.



  1. ok... attempt #2 at leaving a comment ;)

    I saw these pics on flickr the other day and was wondering if you'd knit the sweater :) I'll have to chat with you about how you did this sometime... I have some old large men's boxy t-shirts that I wanted to sew into something more fitted and wearable and it seems it would be a similar process.

    You looks fabulous in that sweater!!! Gorgeous and stylish! :)

  2. Mmm, looks so nice and warm! I will have to try this out some day.. I keep thinking I will and then chickening out.

  3. Great idea and a great job!  The color is gorgeous on you.  I will definitely give this a try once I find a good Goodwill sweater to use. :)

  4. Thank you! I hope you will share photos of your when you give it a try!