Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Wee Carson

September 2015

My third attempt at steeking (working fairisle in the round and then cutting into it to create an opening) and the first time I did it all by myself without any help from my Mum. Ok, I didn't have much choice, as I was on holiday at the time, but even so, I was proud of myself.

There are two ways to reenforce the knitting to prevent it from fraying before you cut it, crochet or machine stitching. Last time (for Hedgerow) I used machine stitching but having not taken my sewing machine on holiday with me, I had to use crochet this time. I think it would have been strong enough to hold on its own, as Felted Tweed is wonderfully grippy, but when I got home I added a few rows of machine stitching just to be doubly sure.

Of all the steeking resources I've looked at the few times I've used the technique, Kate Davies' series of tutorials - starting with this one - are among the best. It is a subject one tends to read up on quite a bit before attempting even the second and third times, since to thought of cutting into knitting with scissors seems to terrifyingly wrong.

With the right preparation and the right yarn it's fine though. Honestly.

My gauge on 2.75mm needles was 27.5 stitches to 10 cm over stranded colour work, which was the closest I was likely to get to the recommended 28 stitches to 10 cm. This is possibly a bit tighter than Felted Tweed was intended to be knit, but I think it works great, and as this pattern called for something that would steek well, but at the same time I wanted it to be washable, the choices were limited.

I'd guess this will fit at about 3-6 months at my gauge. I felt like it was going to end up much bigger as I was working it up, but this cardigan has a series of rapid decreases near the underarm which give it the a-line shape and so the finished chest measurement is quite a bit smaller than the measurement around the bottom hem. I should have trusted Ysolda, she knows what she is doing.

The zip was installed by my Mum, a 10" chunky open zip in navy blue. It was really difficult to track down a zip so short which was also open ended, but there are some instructions about how to shorten a zip yourself included in the pattern for anyone who finds it impossible. You've got to love a pattern which anticipates your problems like that, and solves them for you.

Pattern: Wee Carson by Ysolda Teague
Size: 3 months
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed in Seafarer (dark blue), Scree (pale blue), Hedgerow (mid green), Watery (blue/green), Camel (beige), Carbon (dark grey), Maritime (mid blue), Avocado (light green)
Needle: 2.75mm
On ravelry: here

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