After knitting each of my boys a stranded sweater last year (here and here), I wanted to complete the sequel by making my little girl one too. She prefers cardigans over sweaters, so I decided to face one of my biggest fears and try a steek for the first time. Putting in many hours to knit a sweater and then cutting it open to create a cardigan... it really made me shiver.
I started off with the Nancy cardigan pattern and let the girl pick the colours. After years of endless pink, she chose mustard yellow to my big surprise! This pattern is quite brief, so if you're a bit unfamiliar with knitting colourwork, I'd recommend to check out some extra information sources like this excellent video on stranded colourwork. For good and extensive background information on how to make a steek, I looked here.
Knitting the cardigan in superwash wool turned out to be a real beginners mistake. This kind of wool is not very well suited for a steek, as it unravels easily. I managed to secure it and it all ended well, but I will pick a different yarn next time.
Because yes, there will be a next time! The steek itself was not at all scary, and being able to knit the sweater seamlessly in the round first makes any project so much faster.
The sizing on this pattern seems a bit of an issue. The gauge of my test swatches was correct, and I chose the right size according to her measurements. However the finished garment looks more like a dress than a cardigan to me... The upside of it is that she will get several years of wear out of it, but I would recommend anyone to size down!
With the leftover yarn I knit her a little Alma bonnet. I tested the English version of this pattern and I have nothing but praise for it. The sizes range from 9 months up to 8 years, making it one of the few bonnet patterns for bigger girls. The pattern is extremely detailed with lots of pictures, so if you can knit and purl you can make this. And the fit around the head, especially the back, is so good. I already knit four of them, and am afraid I'm getting addicted...
Nancy Cardigan by SandnesGarn
Alma bonnet by Goldnuss Babyknits