Knitting: Refashioning a handknit stole into a jacket

I’ve been working off and on to turn my stole into a more wearable garment.  This is #15 on my list of unfinished objects.  So far, I have cut a centre front and neck hole as well as knit on a collar that extends into front bands.

2013-04-10 UFO 15 Final collar with bands

Here’s how I made my cuts and knit the collar.

I read quite a bit about how to safely cut knit fabric.  For the centre seam, I used Eunny Jang’s instructions for fixing a too short garment.  Rather than insert a knitting needle, I just basted yarn along the row I was going to rip back to on each side of the front.

2013-04-10 UFO 15 Basting for the centre front cut

Eunny cuts the yarn away with scissors but this is my handspun, so I unraveled it instead. There were a few places where I basted incorrectly and I just grabbed my needle and put some extra yarn where I determined the live stitches actually were.  As a result, no scary ladders developed as live stitches unraveled.

2013-04-10 UFO 15 Unravelling yarn and live stitches at centre front

Once the centre front was done, it was time to add a neck hole.  I considered just keeping a front slit like a poncho but I felt it hung a bit strange.  So back to finding a way to cut the knitting vertically. Eunny had a couple of ideas and I settled on crocheting the edges. The photo shows the inside of the garment with the edges protected with single crochet stitches.

2013-04-10 UFO 15 Making a neck hole

I followed Eunny’s directions for cutting between the rows of single crochet but I think I didn’t get it quite right as I did get a couple of loose ends escaping.  That was a heart-stopping moment.  I may have cut too far into the stole and perhaps should have stopped one stitch earlier.  I’m going to take a Jude Hill approach if this unravels at some point and just mend it rather than losing sleep over it!  For now, I simply knotted the loose bits to other ends.

In the photo, below, the yarn unraveled from the centre front can be seen hanging down in the centre.  I cut these, wove in the ends and used the yarn for the next step.  I used purple for one part because this would be part of the neckline and not visible when wearing the jacket.  However, the other cut side would be vertical and rising up from the shoulder.  As it is possible it could be visible at times, I used a grey yarn for the crochet.

2013-04-10 UFO 15 Neck hole cut

Once cut, I picked up stitches along the back edge and knit up to the height of the sides, catching the side in each row so as to make a continuous neckline.

2013-04-10 UFO 15 Back neck knit up to match side bands + live stitches

Then I picked up all the live stitches along the centre front and around the neck.  I knit garter stitch until I ran out of yarn and that forms the folded-back collar in the first photo. Altogether, I used about 150 meters (165 yds.) for the collar.

To use as close as possible to all my yarn for the collar, I figured out how much yarn each row required and put a marker at a point twice that from the end.  When I reached the marker, I knew the next row had to be my cast-off row or I’d run out of yarn.

I have spun my remaining fiber and am now working on knitting the sleeves.  This marks the end of the wool pencil roving bumps.  To avoid the problems I have had in the past with this stuff, I tore the roving apart and put it through the drum carder multiple times to get something that was easy and fast to spin.

I have about 230 meters (250 yds.) available and I’m still trying to decide whether or not I’ll add some small side panels to the jacket to help the sleeve fit better.  I’m knitting both sleeves at once so I can track how much yarn I’ll have left over.  I’m still using 5 mm (US 8) needles for this part.  The sleeves are going to be straight garter stitch.


About fibercrush

A long-time fiber lover working with a wide range of techniques including quilting, embroidery, knitting, spinning, dyeing and weaving.
This entry was posted in Clothing, Knitting, Refashioning, Stash-busting, Wool yarn and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Knitting: Refashioning a handknit stole into a jacket

  1. hoppinglark says:

    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster Award for awesome up-and-coming blogs. You can see the details on my blog at

  2. Pingback: Knitting: Decision point on sleeves for stole refashioned into a jacket | Fibercrush

  3. Curls & Q says:

    Q – Awesome! Love this. Another great tut.

  4. Pingback: Knitting: Finished refashioning a handknit stole into a jacket | Fibercrush

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s