Raw Steek


A Pictorial Essay on Finishing

Containing, in twelve easy Steps, a compleat and Superior method of Cardigan  finishing, where the aforesaid Cardigan has been knitted round-wise, presented, for the Delectation of our Readers, whose loyalty, kindness and Interest, despite long absences and sporadic fripperiness on behalf of the authoress, deserve praise and Reward, notwithstanding a most understandable lack of expressions of enthusiasm, on part of the aforesaid Readers, to be delectated in any such way as set forth herewith:

(Am I the only one who encounters e-books on Gutenberg  which offer ‘Hints on Deportment to Young Ladies’, ‘Compleat and Economical Receipts’, and other arcane topics? Oh for old books, with their endlessly nested commas and incomprehensible logic of word captalisation in the middle of sentences! However, I digress. Here’s how to transform a raw and gawky young cardigan into an elegantly finished garment. )

1. Steek!

2. Sew! I left a 2 stitch margin between my sewing lines because I wasn’t confident of my ability to maneuver the knit fabric straight through my sewing machine.

3. Cut!  This is the best part! Stick a book between the layers. Please.

4. Wash and block.

5. Cover buttons with coordinating fabric.

6. Knit up stitches in the columns outside the steek. I picked up 2 sts every 3 rows with 3mm needles, and it worked out well.

7. Knit the button bands, and finish them with an i-cord BO in the contrast colour, making buttonholes where necessary. See how their fat roundness echoes the loops of the cables? Admire, please!

8. The previous step will make the steek fold neatly to the inside of the garment. Trim the raw edges of steek close to the stitching line. Add another line of stitches (even if in an unmatching colour!) to secure the edge further. This step is only necessary if you’re paranoid about having used non-feltable yarn.

9. Turn under and sew down the steek edges lightly and invisibly. The thread I used is barely visible… see it at the folded edge?  This step isn’t strictly necessary, but I wanted to hide the lines of stitching for a neater looking inside of the garment.

10. Sew backing fabric behind each button-band. I couldn’t find ribbons to match, so used strips of the same fabric used for covering the buttons. Thank God for i-cord buttonholes, otherwise I’d have to cut and finish buttonholes in the backing fabric too!

11. Sew buttons, aligning them with the buttonholes on the other side.  You need to sew it to the fabric backing, so that the stronger woven fabric takes the brunt of strain on the button. I could have sewn the buttons to the yarn layer only, using the backing to hide button sewing lines,  but this is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool and I didn’t want to risk the weight and tugging at the buttons stretching the knit.

12. Some fierce puffs of steam…

And we’re done! Step back and admire!


7 thoughts on “Raw Steek

  1. Great tutorial! I am getting ready to make my first cardigan with buttonholes – perfect timing on this post. Thank you so much 🙂

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