Thursday, 18 December 2014

Edward Bear's Clothes -cutting a steek

Cutting a Steek

This is my latest Norwegian hand-spun, hand-knit for Edward Bear. I thought this time I would write about the construction of his sweater.

Edward is a lovely old straw filled mohair bear of unknown antiquity. I'm not a bear specialist, but I do know what I like, and I like Edward.  He has an expression of quiet observation. Maybe that's the tilt of his plastic nose, or maybe the absence of a stitched mouth. Or it could just be those melting eyes.
 
All my teddy-bear hand-spun wool has to be super-fine because it's knitted up on 2mm needles. With this sweater, I knit it exactly as the old Shetland and Norwegian sweaters used to be constructed. In the round. This is a really fiddly job on such a small scale, but it produces the best results of an even tension over all. 
 
Cast on and knit on either a circular needle, or set of double pointed needles, and knit a tube (which is the body of the sweater), using the intarsia method.  I then set in the sleeves by cutting down the steek stitches which were knitted for that purpose, binding the raw edge with a double row of machine stitching, then picking up and knitting the sleeves on double pointed needles from the top down. So the end result is a seamless garment. All raw edges are over-bound with knitted binding (on the sleeve holes) and knitted lining on the front edges.
 
Here's the sweater with a line of black thread up through the middle where I'm going to cut the steek stitches.










This next picture shows the 2 rows of machine knitting, picture taken on the reverse side of the sweater as it wasn't easily visible on the front. Be sure to machine either side of the basting stitches before cutting.
 
 
 
Scissors down the middle, and cut the 2 sides apart...







Then with my 2mm needles, I picked up and knit the front ribbing and button band.









After the button band was finished, I picked up and knitted the inside collar lining (with same yarn but larger needles to make a softer finish), and front linings, in one piece, so that the front linings would cover the raw edges of the front steek cut.  Also I picked up and knit binding around the inside sleeve edges. So there are no raw edges anywhere.
Back of sweater.






 
Now we are getting down to the nitty gritty! And it was a cold photo-shot this morning. Bears would normally be in hibernation!  His paws and pads are intact although worn, and Edward is in good shape considering his age which is likely to be over 50. 















If we had the key, we could find out what Edward had to say for himself.  Maybe someone out there has a key... Find Edward in Etsy.


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