Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Steeked!

I had finished all the knitting I could do on the Icelandic sweater before I left for the cruise last month. The next step was to cut the front open to 'cardiganize' it and then knit on the button bands.

The steek was designated by two purl stitches. I found it much easier to isolate them by turning the sweater inside out.
It made it much easier to see the two stitches that I sewed down with my sewing machine.There were a lot of strands across the steek in the yoke.
But on the body, it was a lot easier to see the stitches.  Here you can see the completed, machine-stitched line on the left stitch and the stitching going down the right stitch.
This is plenty to anchor all the yarns so the cutting can be done between the two stitches.
Here I go! I kept the sweater inside out as that made it very easy to see where I needed to cut.
Well underway.
That done, I picked up and knit every third stitch and skipped the fourth to do the buttton bands. This deviates from the traditional ribbed band that is knit as a long strip then sewn onto the front edges. I, instead, chose to knit my button bands on.
I had to do a little arithmetic to calculate where to place the button holes. I spaced them 12 stitches apart and created them by doing a k2tog then on the return row, did a yarnover to put back the stitch. These buttons will be fairly small 1 - 1.5cm or so and I'll need 10 of them. Because the ribbing on the bands matches, it will be very easy to place the buttons to align with the buttonholes.

Looking inside, the cut ends of the steek are visible. I may stitch a grosgrain ribbon to cover that. Normally with a knitted steek (as opposed to the steek with 2 purl stitches called for on this sweater), the edges just curl under and don't need any finishing at all.
Once the button bands were done, I then picked up the stitches at the top of them with a smaller needle, and did a decrease row (k2, k2tog) around the neck stitches that had been on a holder. This yielded me approximately the number of neck stitches called for in the pattern. I first tried a K1, k2tog decrease but that left way too few stitches. So I ripped it back (this 'sticky' yarn makes it very easy to pick up live stitches) and tried K2, k2tog and that made it much better.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I knit a few short rows between the armholes before starting the yoke. This added extra length to the back so it would sit higher than the front. I defy you to see where the ends of the short rows are. In fact, I added a total of 10 short rows, or 2 courses of the 'lice' pattern, before starting the yoke.
I think the tubular cast-on looks really nice.
I'm very close to finishing up and trimming or weaving in the ends. I still have one underarm to graft. I'm almost out of grey yarn in the last ball but am pretty sure there will be enough to finish the ribbed neck and underarm. Then it will need a good blocking to even everything out.

It's nice and warm and I think I'll get a lot of use out of it when the thermostat in the house goes down.


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