I have decided that as much as I love Helen just the way it is, I think I will wear it more if it is a cardigan. So, with this in mind, I am going to cast on for my Helen just a bit differently than the pattern calls for and give steeking a try for the first time. (AHHH!!!)
“Steeks are extra stitches used to bridge the gap where an opening is needed, allowing you to continue knitting in the round. When the knitting is complete, these extra stitches are cut down the center with sharp scissors, creating an opening where sleeves may be attached or a neckline or button band picked up. ”
The pattern calls for a cast on of 104 stitches, but I cast on 110 stitches, 6 more than the pattern called for, to create the steek. I placed a marker, (the yellow marker shown in the picture below) to join working in the round, k3 sts, placed another marker, then worked in the charted yoke pattern until the last three stitches of my round, placed another marker, and k3. The three stitches on either side of my center yellow marker are my steek. In the end I will be cutting the middle of the steek, where my rounds begin and end.
When my round uses two colors I use the chart sequence below.
If my round uses only one color, I just work the one color across my steek. I change my colors at the beginning of my rounds.
I only wanted to steek the color work portion of the sweater, just the yoke. I worked the color work portion of my sweater in the round. and then turned to the Ellen free pattern to help me establish my raglan markers for the fronts, sleeves, and back. Ellen and Helen are almost the same construction, so this works really well. At this point I have been following Ellen’s short rows and increases working my sweater back and forth as one piece.
When I finish the body of the cardigan I’ll demonstrate cutting the steek!
Stay tuned : )