I added a knotted steek to my Gigi Cardigan which is worked from the top-down. The knotted steek could be added to any sweater or cardigan pattern worked from either the top-down or the bottom up. So as you can see in the photo above I didn't add the knotted steek until right after I separated the sleeves. I could've added in the steek stitches right away but for this particular cardigan, the sleeve section is worked in reverse stockinette so I would be purling anyway. Often a steek is added so you don't have to purl and you can just knit, knit, knit in the round.
To add in a steek you are basically adding some extra stitches, then joining the cardigan to work in the round so you don't have to work back and forth. To add a steek when you are joining to work in the round (which can be done at any time) you simply cast on extra stitches using the backwards loop method at the end of the right side row and onto the right needle. Then join to work in the round by working the first stitch on the left needle.
For the Gigi Cardigan, on the round where I separated for the sleeves, meaning I placed the sleeve stitches on waste round, I cast on 10 stitches at the end of the round using the backwards loop method and then joined to work in the round.
Now I have to say that 10 extra stitches might have been too many. I could have had fewer. This was my first knotted steek and I wasn't sure how many extra to cast on. I would recommend more like 7 or 8 stitches for the steek. If you are worried about having enough yarn you could even cast on 6 stitches for the steek. Look ahead to see what's coming down the road before you decide. I am using worsted weight yarn so fewer might have been better, if you are using fingering weight yarn, 10 extra stitches would be about perfect.
In the photo above you can see that I worked back and forth until I separated the sleeves and then on that same row I added the 10 stitches and began working in the round. Then I just worked down to the desired length minus the ribbing.
Important note: Another modification I added for the Gigi Cardigan was to leave out the waist shaping. I almost always do this because I don't like a fitted sweater or cardigan. To leave out the waist shaping just keep working even without any decreases or increases on the sides of the cardigan. Work even.
I made more modifications on the bottom edging and I'll talk about those next time. If you are working along with me for the Gigi, just add in your knotted steek stitches and work even or straight down until you reach your desired length minus the ribbing.
I didn't include the steek stitches in the bottom edge ribbing so I placed the 10 stitches on waste yarn. I will talk about how I modified the bottom edging in the next post but if you are sticking to the pattern for the split hem go ahead and finish as directed in the pattern.
After I completed the bottom rib edging and completed the bind off, I removed the waste yarn and began unraveling the extra stitches. Don't worry about the fronts of the sweater unraveling, it won't. Only the extra stitches will unravel.
Begin pulling out the stitches row by row, making sure to unravel all of the steek stitches.
Your cardigan will look like this when you are done unraveling the extra steek stitches.
The next step is to cut down the center of the unraveled steek stitches. Again, don't worry about the fronts unraveling. This won't happen.
I did some short videos on my Instagram Stories to document the progress. I know these are vertical videos but that's how they are filmed for Instagram so bear with me.
The next step is to start at either end or side on one of the fronts and take two strands at a time held together and make an overhand knot.
Here is the overhand knot.
As you tighten the knot snug it up to the edge of the fabric. The knot will automatically turn under at the front edge.
Now after you have the strands knotted you will be weaving them in along the edge. I kind of went in sections, I knotted some strands, then wove in for a bit and then knotted the next section. You could knot all at once and then weave in or do it in sections like I did.
To weave in I place two ends through the yarn needle and pulled the end through several purl bumps along the same row. If your ends are too short to pull through, insert your needle through the purl bumps first and then thread the ends through the needle and pull through.
I trimmed the ends leaving about a quarter-inch tail. Wisconsin Woolen Spun or any 100% wool yarn will work great for this technique. As you wear it the ends will eventually felt into the fabric.
I love the look of the knotted steek. I am one who doesn't mind weaving in ends or any kind of detail work. The knotted steek technique is one that takes a bit of extra effort but I think it is worth it. The finished steek is nice and tidy and it eliminates much of the bulk of that comes with either a sewn or crocheted steek. I really enjoyed the process.
So you can see how clean and light the steeked side looks and feels and how nicely it picked up for the button bands. I will definitely be using the knotted steek again. One thing I really like about the knotted steek is that you don't have to introduce crochet or your sewing machine. You are just knitting on, as usual, using your yarn and needles to create your steek. It's pretty awesome.
I'll be back with my modifications for the bottom edging if you are following along with the Gigi Cardigan modifications. If you are just here for the knotted steek tutorial I hope you find this helpful.
I've had a long and successful past with the Etsy shop Wooly Moss Roots. Jeff Wilson, the button maker, and Taryn Wilson, his accomplice, make the most beautifully finished wooden buttons I have ever seen. They reside in Mapleton, Oregon, USA. I originally discovered their shop through the Soulemama blog many years ago. Since stitching the first set of Wooly Moss Roots buttons onto my own handknit sweaters I rarely use any other buttons. The quality and craftsmanship is unparalleled.
So when I started pulling the Gigi Cardigan Kit together I knew exactly where to turn for custom wooden buttons to include in the kits. I contacted Taryn and described what we were looking for to go with the Gigi Cardigan Kits. And the process was started and I am thrilled with the results. We decided on Black Walnut buttons that measure about 1 1/4-inches each and will compliment any colorway of yarn. Since these buttons are truly handmade they are not identical and this adds to their unique beauty.
The craftsmanship that goes into the making of the Wooly Moss Roots buttons is impressive, to say the least. I asked Jeff Wilson if I could share a message he wrote to me about his process and he agreed. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.
"Hi Susan, this is Jeff, the Button Maker.
It's kind of a long process that I'd like to tell you about so you know exactly what you are getting.
Each of these buttons takes about a half an hour to make, and I've gotten pretty fast.
First, we find the best woods, then I slice them to a thickness on a band saw, then each one is drawn on the wood slab and the holes marked. Then they are cut out, the holes drilled and then I round them on a Circular sander.
Next, I sand them on 3 or 4 grits (depending on how new my sandpaper is. ) I generally start with 80 to shape it, then 220, (which is where most button makers quit), then I do 600, then 1200. This is super fine. It takes quite some time because of the rounded edges. With most flat buttons you just sand 2 sides, with square buttons you sand 6...but with the rounded edge buttons it's like 70 sides, it takes at least 10 times as long, (probably a lot more than that) than just a flat button. I do the sanding under water, this allows me to use the fine grits without burning the wood. People ask me how I can work under water so long, but it's actually just the wood that's under water, hehe...I have an 8-inch lapidary sander. So once I've sanded them down to the finest grit they have to dry for at least a couple of days, then I hand rub a shellac/walnut oil/carnauba wax into them, let it dry, buff it with steel wool and apply another coat. That dries a couple of days then I buff it on 2 different wheels, ending with a polishing compound made for polishing eyeglass lenses.
Then Taryn ties each one on a card (she loves doing that)....and they are on their way to their destiny in someone's creation.
These buttons are handmade start to finish, a lot of energy goes into each and I feel...... honored to have them going out to all these folks who will be putting them on beautiful creations, that they have put a lot of energy into.
China has made machines that can make 210 buttons in a minute.... and they are perfect and cheap.... and each identical. And there are a lot of flat buttons, sanded only slightly that are pretty cheap out there. Mine are not perfect, or cheap, or identical, or flat.... but they each contain the love and energy that goes into making them. And I thank you for doing business with our family.
This couple, Jeff and Taryn, are some of the sweetest people around and it is clear that they love what they are doing. They are sincere, hard working, and humble and I am proud to be working with artisans like them. Wooly Moss Roots buttons are kind of magical. There is something indescribable about these buttons and I can't wait for you to try them. You will see what I mean.
Part of Barrett Wool Co. is that I want to introduce you to makers that I love and respect, some are newer to me and some I have known for a long time. Wooly Moss Roots is a great place to start.
I am planning on many more projects with Wooly Moss Roots and I hope you will join me in celebrating these wonderful local makers.
Click here to see the Gigi Cardigan Kits and the beautiful custom Black Walnut buttons!
Thanks for reading and enjoy these fantastic artisan buttons. I'll be back soon with more.
I'll be back soon with more.
Photo from Devin Ventre
Yarn in photo is Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted in Rainshower
I first saw the Little Gigi cardigan when it was nominated for the Mason Dixon Knitting March Mayhem bracket last spring. I fell in love with the simple and sweet design. Then Devin Ventre, the designer of the Little Gigi, happened to order some Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted and told me she was designing the adult-sized Gigi cardigan with our yarn. We emailed back and forth for a bit and I decided to ask if we could collaborate to make a cardigan kit using our yarn and her pattern. Devin was very excited about the idea of a Gigi Cardigan Kit and the feeling is mutual!
I started dreaming of my own Gigi right away but I had to wait patiently for the pattern to be completed. It was released in June 2017 (click here to see Gigi on Ravelry) and I started knitting mine right away. At this time I have knitted a Gigi in the Sherwood colorway and Devin has knitted two Gigi cardigans, one in Rainshower and one in Penny.
Photo by Devin Ventre
Yarn in photo is Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted in Rainshower
I love this little cardigan! I am telling you that this is a fast, fun and very simple knit that is perfect for first-time sweater knitters (no sleeves!), or for experienced knitters wanting to relax a bit. No matter what your skill level, you will end up with a super versatile cardigan that can be worn year-round in most climates. The short sleeves make it perfect for layering, dressing up or down. And the open front makes it great for warmer climates. For the cold weather people, we can never pile on enough wool items so we are good to go for all seasons with this one.
In fact, I don't like wearing big sweaters under my winter coat because the sleeves get all bunched up. The Gigi will be perfect under my parka for that added bit of warmth without the extra bulk. Can't wait! I'm thinking about wearing Gigi with cute dresses, jeans, t-shirts both long and short sleeved and my usual skirts that I love. I can't wait to wear it for teaching, too.
Photo by Devin Ventre
Yarn in photo is Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted in Rainshower
There are little details in the Gigi design that I just love. The shoulders and short-sleeves are done in reverse stockinette stitch as are the pockets. The collar is so fun. It is picked up and worked horizontally across the neckline in a k1, p1 rib and picking up the collar stitches as you go to attach.
For our Gigi Cardigan Kit I contacted my favorite button-maker in the world, Wooly Moss Roots. They make the best wooden buttons around. Ever. I have used their buttons on so many sweaters at this point I've lost track. You will love these buttons, I swear they are magic. So I commissioned Wooly Moss Roots to make us the most gorgeous Black Walnut buttons to go with our Gigi kits. These buttons are truly a work of art and are the perfect size for the cardigan. I hope you love them as much as I do.
My plan for this new cardigan kit is to lay out and share my own knitting of the Gigi Cardigan with you. I made some fun modifications along the way but you wouldn't need to do any mods at all. It is great looking just the way it is written!
This photo shows a pretty close to accurate color for Sherwood.
Here is a list of the tutorials and tips I will be sharing, again, you don't need to make any modifications, I just did it for fun:
~ Adding short-rows at the back collar
~ Adding a Knotted Steek
~ Making the sleeves fit
~ Figuring out where to place the buttons/buttonholes
And so much more! I'm going to keep it coming. The blog will be jam-packed next week with so much Gigi information.
If you do order a Gigi Cardigan Kit I know you will love knitting it as much as I did! And I know you will love wearing yours, too.
Photo by Devin Ventre
Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted in Penny
I'll be back with so much more on the knitting of this cardigan. By the way, if you haven't tried our Wisconsin Woolen Spun you really should give it a whirl. It is so incredibly special and unique. The finished garment is light as air.
My Gigi Cardigan is knit in the 38-inch bust size. I normally would knit a 36-inch size but Devin suggests 3 to 4 inches of positive ease. I didn't want mine to be too big so I went with the size 38 and it is a perfectly relaxed fit. I used US size 8 needles for the body and US size 7 needles for the edgings.
We have 5 color options for the Gigi Cardigan Kit, and button options, too. It's all very exciting.
I am proud to present another free pattern for you right here on the Barrett Wool Co. Journal! Today I have a lovely textured hat for you called Clover. It is a fun hat to knit with an interesting stitch pattern that uses a unique technique to get the little leaves to appear. Once you get the stitch down you'll look forward to this round. The hat is made out of one skein of Home Worsted Weight which is enough to make one of each of the adult size and the baby size hats. It's kind of perfect!
Have fun and enjoy this Journal free pattern! The pattern for Clover is only available on this Journal post.
Please share any finished Clover hats with me on Instagram. I'd love to see what you create.
Susan B. Anderson
©Barrett Wool Co. 2017 This pattern is intended for personal use only. Charity knitting using this pattern is always welcome.
Finished measurement: 13 (19) inches (33 (48)cm) in circumference
Baby size (instructions listed first): To fit 0-6 months, or to fit a 13 to 15-inch (33–38 cm) head circumference.
Adult size (instructions in parentheses): To fit an adult, teen or large child, or to fit a 19 to 22-inch (48–56 cm) head circumference.
Yarn: Barrett Wool Co. Home Worsted (100% American Wool; 230 yards or 210 meters/100 grams), 1 skein.
Baby sample is worked in the Grassland colorway. The pom-pom is in the Priscilla colorway.
Adult sample is worked in the Bluff colorway.
Yarn note: 1 skein of Home Worsted Weight is enough to make one adult hat and one baby hat. The baby hat sample weighs 27 grams. The adult hat sample weighs 57 grams.
Needles: US size 7 (4.5mm) 16-inch circular needles and a set of four double-pointed needles, or size to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 5 sts and 7 rows per 1”/2.54cm in stockinette stitch
Ktbl Knit the stitch through the back loop
Sl1 Slip one stitch as if to purl
Psso Pass slipped stitch over and off the needle
N Needle; referring to double-pointed needles 1, 2 or 3 as in N1, N2 or N3
K2tog Knit two stitches together
K1long: Insert the right needle two rounds below and into the space in between the K2tog and the (K1, Sl1, psso) in that round. Knit a stitch and draw up the long loop onto the right needle.
Note: When working the stitch pattern as instructed, the second K1long is worked into the same spot (hole) as the first K1long.
BrimWith the circular needles, cast on 64 (96) stitches using the long-tail cast-on method. Join to work in the round being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker to denote the beginning of the round.
Rnd 1: (K1tbl, p1) repeat to the end of the round.
Repeat Round 1 an additional 6 (8) times.
Body of Hat
Knit 1 round.
Note: As you are working the Clover Hat Stitch Pattern the stitch count will vary but will become the same again by the end of the round repeat.
Begin the Clover Hat Stitch Pattern repeat:
Rnd 1: Knit.
Rnd 2: (K4, k2tog, sl1, k1, psso) repeat to the end of the round.
Rnd 3: Knit.
Rnd 4: (K4, k1long, k2, k1long) repeat to the end of the round.
Rnds 5-7: Knit.
Rnd 8: (K2tog, sl1, k1, psso, k4) repeat to the end of the round.
Rnd 9: Knit.
Rnd 10: (K1long, k2, k1long, k4) repeat to the end of the round.
Rnds 11 and 12: Knit.
Repeat Rounds 1-12 an additional 1 (2) more times (2 (3) times total), and then repeat Rounds 1-5 one more time.
Pattern Note: The Decrease Rounds for the adult size and the baby size are different so be sure to follow the instructions for the correct size.
Baby Size Decrease Rounds:
Work onto double-pointed needles as follows:
N1 and N2: (K6, k2tog) three times. 21 sts.
N3: (K6, k2tog) two times. 14 sts.
56 sts total.
Rnd 2: (K5, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round. 48 sts.
Rnd 3: (K2tog, sl1, k1, psso, k2) repeat to the end of the round. 32 sts.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rnd 5: (K1long, k2, k1long, k2) repeat to the end of the round. 48 sts.
Rnd 6: Knit.
Rnd 7: (K4, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round. 40 sts.
Rnd 8: (K3, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round. 32 sts.
Rnd 9: (K2tog, k2tog, sl1, k1, psso) repeat to the last 2 stitches, k2tog. 16 sts.
Rnd 10: Knit.
Rnd 11: (K1, k1long, k2, k1long) repeat to the last stitch, k1. 26 sts.
N1 and N2: 10 sts each; N3: 6 sts. 26 sts total.
Rnd 12: Knit.
Rnd 13: (K2tog) repeat to the end of the round.
N1 and N2: 5 sts each; N3: 3 sts. 13 sts total.
N1 and N2: K1, k2tog twice. 3 sts per needle.
N3: Knit. 3 sts.
9 sts total.
Proceed to Finishing.
Adult Size Decrease Rounds:
Rnd 1: (K10, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round. 88 sts.
Rnd 2: (K9, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round. 80 sts.
Rnd 3: (K2tog, sl1, k1, psso, k10, k2tog, sl1, k1, psso, k2) repeat to the end of the round.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rnd 5: (K1long, k2, k1long, k10, k1long, k2, k1long, k2) repeat to the end of the round.
Rnd 6: (K6, k2tog three times, k8), repeat to the end of the round. 68 sts.
Rnd 7: Knit.
Rnd 8: Work onto 3 double-pointed needles as follows:
N1 and N2: (K2, k2tog) repeat 6 times. 18 sts per needle.
N3: (K2, k2tog) repeat 5 times. 15 sts.
51 sts total.
Rnd 9: (K1, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round.
N1 and N2: 12 sts.
N3: 10 sts.
34 sts total.
Rearrange stitches as follows:
N1: 15 sts; N2: 9 sts; N3: 10 sts
N1: K2, k2tog, sl1, k1, psso, k4, k2tog, sl1, k1, psso, k1. 11 sts
N2: K3, k2tog, sl1, k1, psso, k2. 7 sts.
N3: K3, k2tog, sl1, k1, psso, k3. 8 sts.
26 sts total.
Rnd 11: Knit.
N1: K2, k1long, k2, k1long, k4, k1long, k2, k1long, k1. 15 sts.
N2: K3, k1long, k2, k1long, k2. 9 sts.
N3: K3, k1long, k2, k1long, k3. 10 sts.
34 sts total.
N1: K2tog, k4, k2tog twice, k5. 12 sts.
N2: K1, k2tog, k6. 8 sts.
N3: K2tog, k6, k2tog. 8 sts.
28 sts total.
Rnd 14: Knit.
Rnd 15: (K2, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round. 21 sts.
Rnd 16: (K1, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round. 14 sts.
Rnd 17: (K2tog) repeat to the end of the round. 7 sts.
Cut the yarn leaving a 6-inch end. Place the end on a yarn needle and pull through the remaining stitches. Pull up tight to close the hole. Pull the end to the inside, weave in and trim.
Weave in any remaining ends to the inside of the hat.
Block as desired.
The baby size sample has a 2-inch pom-pom in Home Worsted Weight in the Priscilla colorway.
The adult size sample has a faux-fur pom-pom. There are some faux-fur pom-poms available for purchase in the Mercantile. And more will be in stock very soon!
Ahhhhh! Finally, I get to introduce you to the squishiest, coziest hat around. It's called Entwined due to the interlocking cables. The cables appear to be complicated but let me tell you they really aren't. That's the best kind of knitting. I think you are going to love this hat, both the knitting and the wearing.
By the way, it has kind of turned into the Summer of Hats around here. First, we had Vidar, then Strata (which we have fun plans for coming up!), and now Entwined. One month into summer and we already have three new hats.
Entwined is knit up in our squishy, light as air, Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted. It is such a hearty and warm hat but it weighs nothing due to the woolen spun yarn. And it blocks like a dream, really opening up and softening. I was recently asked if I could wear the Wisconsin Woolen Spun next to my skin and the answer is an easy yes! It doesn't bother me at all. This, of course, can vary but I can definitely wear this yarn and the Home line next to my skin without any issues.
Well, the other exciting news is that we have a brand new kit option to go along with Entwined. You could just purchase the pattern separately and any one skein of our worsted weight yarn, either the Home Worsted or the Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted and you will be all set. But if you want that fantastic faux-fur pom-pom in your color of choice you will want to get a kit.
We contacted a wonderful pom-pom maker to make and send us a gigantic box filled with handmade faux fur poms! We selected 5 different colors/furs from which to choose. You will love these pom-poms to top off your Entwined.
We have the Entwined Kit set up so you can select your Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted color and then select your pom-pom color! It's all mix and match. The kit comes with our signature stitch marker tin filled with colorful markers and our hand-stamped project bags. You can choose whether or not to include the pattern.
You can choose from gray, pink, white, black or faux fox! They are all spectacular, well-made and super soft. These are the perfect topper for your cozy, super-squishy Entwined Hat!
Click here for the Entwined Hat pattern on Ravelry! The pattern is on sale for only $3.50 through the weekend. Then the price will be set at $5.00.
Into the weekend we go! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead and that you are all enjoying some good old-fashioned hat knitting this summer like I am. It really is the perfect summertime project.
I'll see you next week with more! We have some good things in store.
Today's share is from @gaylecolorado on Instagram. She made a Wonderful Wallaby out of our Home Worsted Weight in the Bluff colorway for her handsome son. As I said in my comment, I really love this sweater so much. Evan wants to knit one for himself!
I'll be back tomorrow with more.
I have a brand new Craftsy class that was released yesterday. It is called Startup Library Knitting and it is part of a series of beginner-oriented classes being developed through Craftsy.com. I filmed the class last May in Denver and I am so excited about how it turned out.
I know many of you may not need a beginning knitting class but I'm sure you might get asked to teach people how to knit all of the time. The Startup Library Knitting is the perfect resource for anyone interested in learning to knit from scratch. I think it is good for adults, teens and even older children.
Click play on the video above to find out more.
I have a 50% off link for you, too. This is an affiliate link.
I'll be back with more tomorrow.