Altering a child’s jumper with a too loose neckline

Debbie Bliss’ s Two Colour Raglan Sweater (pattern No 13 in her pattern book Baby Cashmerino No 5) is one of my favourite patterns for little ones and I’ve made it many times. The too loose neck has, however, always bugged me, so a couple of years ago, I adapted the pattern slightly to make the neck a bit higher and tighter. Recently I decided to unpick some of the jumpers knitted for my grandson (before I rejigged the pattern) so my granddaughter could wear them.

Changing something already complete is a different thing from adapting a pattern before knitting and I had a few heart stopping moments as I decided to take scissors to the neckbands which had become a bit felted with age. I also found myself  looking long and hard as to which stitches I should be unpicking and which I should be putting on my needle. But, you learn from making mistakes, so on I forged. Small triumph, I managed it and the necks are now more snug and fit much better. The top picture shows the loose neck on the small person when he was aged 3. The next 2 photos show the neck before and then after alteration.

Jumper with Fair Isle bands (basic jumper without Fair Isle is from Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino Book 5)

Jumper with Fair Isle bands (basic jumper without Fair Isle is from Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino Book 5)

Amended neckline to Debbie Bliss Two Colour Raglan Sweater (Baby Cashmerino Book 5)

The smallest person wearing her brother’s cast off jumper

The difference lies in increasing those little diagonal stitches below the neckband and leading up to the raglan sleeve. (For details row by row see here .) The green jumper is size 4-5 years but I used exactly the same decreasing for the red and blue jumper  for age 3-4 below and it has worked perfectly. Again the first photo shows the original jumper, while the second and third photos show the  jumper with altered necklines. I also redid the neckband and cuffs in green instead of grey because the small person’s younger sister has a hint of Titian in her hair colouring and I thought the green might suit her more – though goodness knows that red may not be her colour at all. Still, there are times, when it’s cold outside and no other jumpers are clean, that you really don’t care what colour you’re putting on. (Though, of course, the smallest person may come to have an opinion about that.)

Debbie Bliss pattern for 2 colour raglan jumper

Debbie Bliss Two Colour Raglan Sweater for age 3-4 after altering the neckline

Debbie Bliss Two Colour Raglan Sweater for age 3-4 after altering the neckline

How clever  is it that I happened to find this  useful duck head clothes hanger, given to me when my eldest was a baby 40 years ago!

I now only have one more jumper whose neck needs altering but as that’s another red jumper I shall wait and see how well the one pictured above is received.

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  1. Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    They do look much neater, although I suppose the loose, slightly standing neckline was a fashion thing at the time?

    • Mary Addison
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      When on the neckline didn’t so much stand up as sag towards the shoulder – and I think it irritated the wearer too, especially when granny pulled it up!

  2. Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Ah, so pleasing to be able to take something you made and make it even better for the next wearer. And isn’t it great to conquer one’s fear of cutting knitting? (Maybe not fear…reluctance? hesitation?) It’s very handy at times. Although I’m starting to think that I should knit everything top down, so that I can just unpick the bind-off edge and knit another inch or four to elongate (ha) the lives of baby’s sweaters.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Yes, Austen,it is satisfying to make oneself just even try to make something fit better, and how much easier it is to practise on a small garment than one for an adult. I’m starting to think more about knitting top down after I unpicked the cuffs and knitted them the other way and realised I couldn’t tell I’d knitted them the other way. You’re right, it does make you think you could just keep making garments longer – as long as the width is ok, and you get the bonus of a nice new springy rib at the bottom.

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