[Warning: this post is full of frowny, sucky pictures!]

There are a lot of things I love about knitting. It’s portable and can be done almost anywhere. Wool yarn is lovely to smoosh and fondle. Handmade wool socks are the best. And so on. But if there’s one thing that I absolutely hate about knitting, it’s spending three months knitting a sweater that doesn’t fit.

Exhibit A: The Sweetheart Sweater from DomiKNITrix (aka Jennifer Stafford). This was going to be a masterpiece. The cleverly constructed pattern with waist darts, short row bust shaping, an intarsia bow, and a sweetheart neckline was going to produce a cute-but-sexy fitted sweater. I carefully checked my gauge. Commenters on Ravelry warned that the sleeves were very tight, so I erred on the side of knitting small sleeves instead of extra small. But what I seem to have finished up with overall is a size Large.


It fits well from the hips to the waist but gets inexplicably much larger after that, moving up towards the shoulders that could accommodate a set of football pads. This is a disaster on par with my I Thought I Was Sewing a Dress But It Turned Out to Be a Bathrobe with Storage Compartments for Groceries dress.

Sweetheart sweater before

And this was no easy knit! This is the first time I’ve tried the intarsia technique, which is a way of knitting more than one colour by using small bobbins of yarn for each area of different colour in any given row. I found this quite tricky and very slow going. And weaving in all those ends! The horror, the horror.

I have no idea what's going on here, either.
Knitting intarsia: I have no idea what’s going on here, either.

So I’ve decided to take the advice of Jennifer Stafford, author of the book from which this pattern came, and Whip My Knits Into Shape. I will not be dominated by this “sweetheart”. SHE WILL SUBMIT TO ME!

I plan to give her a close-up tour of my serger where she’ll get a close shave along the sides, around the armholes, and down the sleeves. That’s right; I’m going to CUT my knitting. It’s my only hope. Pray for me, and for Sweetheart. We both hope there will be no reason for Sewzilla to come visiting.


Have you ever altered a hand knit with a sewing machine or serger before? Any advice is welcome!

And in the meantime, I think I’ll knit a few more of these to cheer me up because they’re just so damn cute.

Baby Socks! From the free pattern by Kate Atherly. Click to go to the pattern.
Baby Socks for my neighbours’ new baby! From the free pattern by Kate Atherly. Click to go to the pattern.


  1. I feel for you, but your a giggle through any deliema aren’t you!
    I have serged a sweater befour…be careful not to stretch as you sew is my only suggestion there, but why don’t you try a thin black elastic , hand woven through the back of the neck and see it is draws in enough. That should also bring up the shoulders.
    Wow, you have some wonderful knitting skills, that looks very complicated. I can only knit purl. Such a cute design.
    Those baby socks are cute cute cute!
    Good luck with you nip and tuck…fingers crossed!


    1. Good tips, Joyce–thanks. I’ll definitely try to cinch up the neckline with a black elastic thread. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


  2. I feel your pain, intarsia handknitting is so much work …! I have taken in a hand-knit before. My advice is to do a narrow zigzag with your sewing machine first, then overlock. It will cut down on the chances of any unravelling happening when the overlocker blade starts cutting. Best of luck 🙂


  3. I’d be doing lots of pinning to see what works best before cutting. Maybe a centre pleat down the back would help and/or elastic thread through the neckline just to draw it up enough. Then finally taking out some fullness at the side under the arms and on the underside of the sleeves.
    Nice to see you back. Sorry for the disappointment. Nice knitting though.
    Any chance of reblocking to a smaller size?


    1. Hi Barbara! All good ideas. I’m gonna stew over this for a while before deciding on my plan of attack. Elastic thread in the neckline for sure…


  4. I feel for you. I put bad knits in the naughty corner, and then frog them a year later. Basically I tackle the undoing when I’m over the anger. Sometimes I’m tempted to send them to charity just to get them out of my sight.


  5. Sums up my sentiment about knitting perfectly! I’ve had a similar experience & had to resort to sewing to salvage my Michelin Man sweater. Mine was mohair tho, so cut edges didn’t unravel at all. But other sweater knit fabric I’ve sewn also generally don’t fray/unravel much. So I think you should be ok. I think I might knit up my baskets of yarns over-enthusiastically acquired as fabric yardage & sewn up rather knitted into I Feel Lucky garments.


    1. I’m really tempted to try that, too…just knit up fabric and cut, pin and sew it together. It would be so. much. more. accurate. I love that you call them “I Feel Lucky garments”….someone should start a knitting blog called I Feel Lucky!


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