Also: Finish it Friday!
I am goal-busting like a fiend over here! My goal to finish or frog *most* of my WIPs this year is off to a BANNER start. I’ve finished 3 old WIPs this year, and its ONLY JANUARY. The dubbed Frankentop was started 2012, the Estes Park Shawl started 2013/2014, and the (stained-glass) Sally Cardigan was from JULY of 2011. Seriously.
I fell in love with the Sally Cardigan the first time I saw the pattern. But it had a STEEK. Yeah, the idea of taking the scissors to dozens of hours of work was intimidating. I THOUGHT I was up for the challenge. I knit the yoke, separated the arms, and finished the body within the same month. When I started the sleeves, I hit trouble. The upper arm was SOOO small. I ripped out the too small sleeve and put the project down until I decided how to fix the issue.
Fast forward to December 2019. I decided to get some WIPs done as part of 2020 Challange, I’ve been calling it the Lost Knits File. It still contains 1 sweater, 1 tank, 3 shawls, a pair of socks, and a pair of mittens; all dating back from before 2015. I also have a handful of other hibernating WIPs from after 2015 that will be managed once my Lost Knits have been taken care of.
But I digress, in December I decided to scrap the sleeves completely. I picked-up my on hold sleeve stitches and did 10 rounds of 1×1 ribbing. Maryland never gets THAT cold. Many of my long-sleeve sweaters are too warm to wear anyway. The short sleeves are useful for me, and easy to FINISH FAST. I waited weeks to block the top in preparation for steeking. Mostly because I was still intimidated after all these years. I did hours of “research” (procrastination) regarding the BEST way to stabilize the garment.
First Attempt: Machine Sew: my feed dogs are too high. The fabric remained stationary and no stitches were made.
Second Attempt: Crochet: my tension was awful and the whole process was awkward. no.
Third Attempt: Hand Sew. I couldn’t see where I was stitching. I got annoyed with the running stitch. Pulled it out.
Fourth Attempt: Machine Sew: Decided to sew without dropping the foot. Awkward, because the sweater is a tube. I kept stopping to readjust the sweater. My lines are awful, but it was pretty fast.
Take away for next time: Lower the feed dogs (feed by hand), use the presser foot to keep it from moving about, use a lower tension/longer stitch.
Everywhere suggests small sharp scissors. I have small. I have sharp. But not a pair that is both. I opted to use my SHARP fabric shears. I just used the tip to cut 1-3 stitches at a time. The whole cutting process took 5 minutes. It was the least painful part of the process.
Picking up the stitches for the placket felt like forever. I decided that I didn’t want to to buttons, but will be opting for snaps or tiny hook and eye closures. Buttons never lay right on my sweaters, so I’m going to try something new. YAY. I didn’t follow the pattern for the placket completely. Mine are a bit wider. I did use the purl bump for a fold line, and I did sew the live stitch row to the pick up column.
I love the sweater. You can make your own with this free pattern from Make. The Sally Cardigan is a good place to start with steeked colorwork. I will not shy away from steeks in the future, now that I have conquered my first. I feel like a REAL knitting expert after finishing this project. I’m going PRO!!
What technique are you nervous to try??