Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Steeking Made Easy: the Front Bands

Seemingly endless closeups of cardigan front bands might not turn your crank as a knitter, but I happen to know a lot of knitters out there looking for a bit of courage guidance in this whole area of cutting into knitted fabric. If you're one of them, here's the next step after the BIG CUT.
After knitting up and finishing the neck border, I knitted up stitches for the Left Front border. Why the left first? Because that's the button border. It's easier to do the buttonhole border second. While I usually pick up front borders at a ratio of 3 stitches for every 4 rows, for this particular cardigan I found that a ratio of 2 stitches for 3 rows worked better. The picot border has more stretch than a typical border, so fewer stitches are better. For more details on how I knit up stitches, go here. In this case, I am knitting into the half of the "border stitch" closest to the body of the cardi, the "border stitch" being the outermost stitch of my steek. (A steek has two border stitches, one at each end.)

Above, you can see the machine stitching from yesterday's post just above the knitted up buttonband stitches. The steek naturally folds itself to the inside, as you can see below.

You can also see the extent to which the machine stitching (at the top of the folded over steek, below) melts into the stocking stitch side of the work. It's pretty much invisible here. That's why in yesterday's post I used contrasting thread and cut from the wrong side.

Another shot of the folded over steek, looking a bit scraggly in the colourwork section. No problem--this will get tidied up after blocking.

Now it's time to tackle the Right Front. I use locking stitch markers to show where my buttonholes will be. They get placed BETWEEN 2 stitches, because I plan to make this buttonhole.

So simple, so effective.

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