Damselfly Cardigan from Glamourie by Alice Starmore

Stranded Knitting in the Round with Steeks Tutorial

These stranded technique videos give a step-by-step tutorial of the all processes involved in knitting and finishing a stranded garment made in the round with steeks at all openings. I have used the Damselfly Cardigan as a demonstration piece because it is one of our more technically involved designs, and allows the opportunity to show extra elements such as how to knit two different pieces together, and how to pick up stitches over two pieces worked with different tension. You will find overviews of the construction of this particular garment, but these tutorials also cover all the techniques involved in making any stranded design in the round with steeks. The techniques covered are:

 

  • Preparing the main body for knitting on the yoke border.
  • Casting on the centre front steek and knitting on the yoke border.
  • Setting the yoke pattern in the round.
  • An overview of finished steeks.
  • Knitting in the round and changing colours at the centre front steek.
  • Casting on armhole steeks and shaping with ssk and k2tog decreases.
  • Casting off the centre front steek; casting on the front neck steek and shaping with ssk and k2tog decreases.
  • Grafting the shoulders together.
  • Cutting the front, front neck and back neck steeks.
  • Picking up stitches and knitting the neckband in two colours on right and wrong side rows.
  • Casting off the neckband.
  • Picking up stitches for the front bands.
  • Trimming and cross stitching the front steek.
  • Trimming and cross stitching the front and back neck steeks.
  • Cutting the armhole steek and setting in a cap sleeve.

 

Click here for the Damselfly yarn pack if you would like to knit along!

An Overview of a Finished Damselfly Cardigan

A look at the structure of a Damselfly cardigan and some of the knitting techniques we will be focusing on.

Preparing the Body for Joining the Yoke Border

A look at the finished lower body and how to transfer stitches from a piece of yarn onto a needle, and why you would use yarn for a holder in this case.

Casting on the Front Steek and Knitting the Body and Border Together

How to join the border and body together and cast on your first steek to work in the round.

An Overview of the Yoke Pattern Setting

A look at how this particular pattern is laid out and worked with shaping at the underarms.

Setting and Knitting the Pattern in the Round

This covers setting the pattern in the round and working your cast on steek stitches.

An Overview of Finished Steeks

Here you will see the finished steeks on a Damselfly cardigan.

Knitting in the Round

This section talks you through knitting in the round, why we use steeks, and what they should look like.

Beginning the Armhole Steeks

Here you will see casting off the armhole stitches and casting on the armhole steeks. Then you will see the first armhole round where shaping begins at each side of the steek with a k2tog and an ssk decrease.

Casting Off the Centre Front Steek and Beginning the Neck Shaping 

This section shows you how to cast off the centre front steek and edge stitches; placing the front neck stitches on a holder and casting on the front neck steek. I then begin to shape the neck with ssk and k2tog decreases.

Grafting the Shoulders Together

Here you will see how to use Kitchener Stitch to graft the shoulders together seamlessly.

Cutting the Front, Front Neck and Back Neck Steeks

Cutting steeks for the first time can seem daunting; this tutorial shows how easy it is.

Picking Up Stitches and How to Strand the Neckband on Wrong Side Rows

This shows how to pick up stitches from holders and along the knitted neck edge to make the neckband. Here I demonstrate my own method to make stranding in Garter Stitch easy on WS rows.

Casting Off the Neckband

Casting off is one of the most important aspects of knitting. It is very important to cast off evenly and to the correct tension in order to achieve the right finish.

Picking Up the Front Bands

The Damselfly is an unusual design in that it requires the front bands to be picked up over two different tensions (the upper stranded yoke and the lower textured Stocking Stitch based body). This section shows how to pick up evenly and accurately for the front bands. The Damselfly garment is more unusual in that you pick up into the first stitch of the chart pattern. Normally for a stranded garment you pick up into the loop of the edge stitch next to the chart pattern. Other than that the method is the same for all stranded garments.

Trimming and Finishing the Front Steek

Here you will see how I trim a steek and cross stitch it in position for a perfect finish.

Trimming and Finishing the Neck Steeks

Another demonstration of trimming and cross stitching, this time over the curve of the neckband.

Cutting the Armhole Steeks and Setting in the Cap Sleeve

You will see another example of cutting a steek, and then a demonstration of how to set the cap sleeve into the armhole.

Finished Damselfly Details

If you want to use the scraps from your steek to make buttons and beads to go with your Damselfly or other stranded garment click here for our Felting Tutorials. These give a step-by-step video guide to work alongside the Mountain Hare button instructions from Glamourie.

The Damsel Fly hand knitwear design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Damsel Fly hand knitwear design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Damsel Fly hand knitwear design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
Damselfly Cardigan from Glamourie by Alice Starmore