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When "that'll block out!" doesn't block out

You’ve just finished your sweater, and there’s something that’s not quite right about it. What can you do, now that it’s done?

Some things don't turn out the way we expect

Once a sweater is done, you’re limited in what you can change. Or at least, you’re limited by your willingness to rip out and/or do sweater surgery. But there are some things you can do.

What are we looking at here? A supremely ill-fitting sweater I made with my first 'sweater quantity' of handspun yarn. It is totally unsuitable for garments.

Save a neckline with basic crochet

This is a sweater I knit shortly before I decided it was time to start designing. I knit it with the recommended ease, trusting the designer's recommendation to make sense for human bodies. It did not. The first day I wore it to work, I had a whole day of near-wardrobe malfunctions. To keep it in rotation, I was able to go in and apply a row of single chain crochet in the back neck. The other crimes this sweater commits I couldn't do anything about - namely that it's enormous everywhere, but also that I used a heavy, slick yarn (alpaca), and that I regretted not omitting the lace that shows the floats.

To save a stretchy neckline, put in a line of single crochet across the back. Pick up at a rate that gathers it just the tiniest bit, and then apply steam to get it to behave itself. Tip - this can be particularly helpful if your pattern for a bottom-up garment instructed you to work the collar without binding off and picking back up, or if your pattern for a top-down garment instructed you to cast on for the collar and then transitioned you to working the body. Bonus tip - if your top-down sweater has you cast on the collar and then begin working the body, skip the collar and cast on the number of stitches you’re supposed to have after any transition row. Knit the sweater, then come back and pick up and knit the collar. This will give you a more structured garment that keeps its shape and stays put. It will also allow you to hide crimes with your collar, if necessary, such as changing the pickup rate, adding shaping, or working a deeper collar.

Perform surgery