As I hoped would be the case, things really picked back up once I got to the excitement of the colorwork section.
And finally getting to the point where I could try it on was something I’d been waiting for the whole time.
It fit! And almost perfectly at that! Looks like all my
bothering to follow the directions careful measuring paid off.
After finishing the neck, I turned the whole thing inside out to weave in my few ends, graft my underarms, and sew the pocket flaps shut.
And while we’re inside out, here’s a look at the backside of the completed yoke. There might be a few tight-looking spots, but I am confident that they will be fine once the whole thing is washed and blocked.
Some of the natural yarn floats are looking a little sloppy from behind because they’re held up in the center of seven stitch stretches. I don’t know why I was compelled to secure them and leave that bottom row as is, except that maybe it seemed like a good idea as I went along. And possibly there were some terrible flashbacks of when I used to wear rings and constantly get them caught in the back of stranded colorwork sweaters of all kinds. I’m not sure why I felt the need to share all of that, except that I am embarrassed by my lack of neatness I suppose. BUT ANYWAY. Steeking time!
As I am A) a first time steeker and B) this is a Kate Davies pattern, it seemed like a no-brainer to go with her steeking tutorial. Not only does it get rave reviews, I also assumed it would speak to me in a way I would feel comfortable with, since I really like the way Davies’ patterns are written. (All four parts of her steeking tutorial can be found here on her tutorial page.)
For my crochet needs, I went with a wool yarn that felt good and snaggy and also brags of its felting prowess. If that wouldn’t lock my stitches in place, what would? It might be hard to see what I’ve done because unlike the examples which use contrasting yarns to illustrate each step, I needed to use a matching yarn that will not show through my finished edging.
As suggested, I marked off the body with pins down the middle of the stitch that will be cut to keep me in a straight line. (Oh boy, it’s getting real now!)
Looking good so far…
Eventually, I made it all the way down and back up again (crooked from a few areas where I seem to have accidentally added a few extra stitches, oops!), and my steek bridge was complete.
I will not lie to you, the first cut was wince-worthy. But when nothing horrible happened (as promised), it went very smoothly. The “Cut Me!” ladder up the middle shows itself readily as you go,
and unless you’re using a pair of gigantic garden shears and snipping all willy-nilly, while blindfolded, there is not much of a chance of you cutting any bits you shouldn’t. Really! I encourage you to try it sometime. I am officially a steeking convert now.
See? Nothing out of place, and the edges feel as strong as can be. Yay! The next step in securing the cut edges in this pattern is the “steek sandwich,” as seen in the many pictures to follow.
These are the very first stitches I picked up for my left side sandwich. I did a really crappy job on that side and had to redo it after I did the other side and saw them together, but it went pretty smoothly the second time around.
As explained in the tutorial, you pick up and knit stitches on the front of the garment, and pick up on the back and knit a flap there as well. You can see here how the two sides come up and will eventually enclose the crochet reinforced edge.
Looking good so far.
Close that puppy up!
Mmmm, sandwich. Now on the other side, otherwise known as, “the one I did right the first time,” the next step after closing up my sandwich was marking off for buttonholes. Being who I am, I measured to keep it nice and even, and found that they could be spaced exactly four inches apart. How pleasing!
(And because Mr. Right Side is such a handsome fella, I’ll show you his backside too. Woo woo!)
(And up at the yoke section.)
The last steps in this Blaithin-y journey of mine are the i-cord bind offs and a little washing and blocking. I can’t wait until next time to show you my finished sweater, but I have to admit to feeling a little sad about what will be my final post in this series. I’ve enjoyed sharing my progress with you all so much! Until next time…
Amber resides in sporadically idyllic Berks County, PA with her husband and three children.
She can most often be found knitting, making soap, sewing, or puttering around in her garden. She should probably leave her house more often.