Delft - Fair Isle & Lace cardigan by Judy Furlong

Delft - Fair Isle & Lace cardigan

no longer available from 1 source show
February 2013
DK (11 wpi) ?
23 stitches and 26.5 rows = 4 inches
in Fair Isle
US 6 - 4.0 mm
76 to 137 cm (30 to 54 in)
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This cardigan is knitted in the round with only a few rows at the shoulders knitted flat – a great chance to indulge in some steeking. However, unusually for a steeked garment, the armhole is shaped and the sleeves are fitted and set in.
Steeking is a useful technique that allows you to knit garments, like this cardigan, in the round without having to interrupt your rows to allow for the front opening or sleeves – which makes the whole job much easier and quicker to do. Said to have been first developed by Shetland knitters (the word ‘steek’ being Scots for to stitch or stick) steeking is traditionally associated with Fair Isle, but it is now being used more and more across a whole range of styles to convert patterns originally written in flat knitting for knitting in the round. It involves using a column of extra stitches (typically 8 – 10) cast on to temporarily close the gap, which is then cut down the middle to open it up again, and often stabilised in some way – in this case, by sewing and enclosing the cut edge. In this pattern I have joined in the sleeves at the armhole, and the whole thing is then worked rather like you would a Raglan until the sleeves are finished and the rest of the armhole is completed with a new steek. Opinions vary as to whether it is better to use an even number and cut between two stitches or an odd number and cut up the middle of the central stitch; in this example I’ve used an odd number, but like the rest of knitting, half the fun is experimenting to find out which techniques suits you best. Here the steeks are worked in the “Salt & Pepper” a traditional Sanquhar stitch where the colours are alternated in a checkered pattern, but use whichever pattern you prefer as the entire steek is cut out in the finishing. Finally, the front edge is enclosed and a lace trim added.
Neither stitch pattern presents a particular technical challenge but the finishing is a little different. It is a good idea especially in this case, to read right through the pattern to get a clear idea of the way it develops. This design does require a knowledge of working with steeks and would probably appeal to the more experienced knitter.
The waist is shaped but if you prefer to have more room in this area, cast on the sts given for the waist plus an extra 28sts (two repeats of Chart A), then work straight apart from Front shaping, ignoring side shaping instructions.