Sheep Carousel

7 Jan

After my knitting inspiration blog post back in October I have made good progress on my list of intentions, though the jumper has been hibernating for a month or so, partly as I was preoccupied knitting a few Christmas gifts in the form of a small cat and some cabled boot toppers.

Christmas Knits - Nettynot Blog Post
The main thing on the list that I can’t wait to get started on is the Kate Davies Bláithín cardigan, for which I needed some steeking experience and some confidence. That’s where the Sheep Carousel comes into play, a smaller more achievable tea cosy that has steeked holes for the spout and handle.

I bought my yarn a little while ago and saved it to knit over Christmas as a treat to myself and a break from the jumper. I started on Christmas Eve and blocked it last night, so altogether it took 2 weeks, probably quite a long time by some knitters standards but for me that’s pretty good (plus I was back at work in between Christmas & New Year).

Overall I think knitting the tea cosy was a valuable experience, not only for the much needed steeking practice but I really enjoyed learning how to knit a vikkel braid – a new favourite technique and far simpler than it looks.

corrugated rib and vikkel braid - nettynot blog
I do like an I-cord cast off too, something I previously learnt to do on another of Kate’s patterns, Paper Dolls. I love the sheep on the tea cosy design, although I have to be honest I won’t be using it as a tea cosy, it’s hard work to get on and off a tea pot as there’s very little stretch in it all, as much as an i-cord cast off looks great a bit of ribbing would have been much more practical at the bottom. That said I really wasn’t knitting this pattern because I wanted a tea cosy, I was knitting it for experience of the various techniques involved. So my tea cosy will live permanently on a tea pot looking pretty on a shelf and that’s absolutely fine by me!

Finished Sheep Carousel - Nettynot Blog
Steeking  (the Wikipedia definition can be found here).
I remember not so long ago mentioning at knit group that I wanted to have a go at steeking, the response being a sharp intake of breath  from most knitters, and the look of sheer horror on the face of a relatively new knitter when I explained what steeking was.  The very talented Eleanor from Knit Nottingham had done it before and told me it’ll be fine, and to get on with it, in the way only a very experience slightly mad knitter could.

I’m not going to lie I was apprehensive and I procrastinated for a day or so before actually doing the steeking part of this project, but then last Sunday I got on with it. I read and re-read Kate Davies very useful tutorial on her blog and then set to work. Creating the crochet reinforcements was quite straight forward and everything made sense as I was doing it.
Crochet reinforcement for steeking - Nettynot Blog
Before I cut the knitting I couldn’t quite get my head around how it was going to work, I could understand the actual stitches I was about to cut would sort of shrink back into the crocheted bit, but what about the stranding yarn at the back that I’d also have to cut….I decided to take a deep breath and just do it. I filmed it as promised for some of knit group, I posted it on my facebook page on Sunday and got few comments commending my bravery   – thanks for that 😛
Here is the video.

I was very cautious handling my knitting after cutting it in case it all fell apart. But by the time I stitched the facing down on the inside I figured it can’t really go too wrong even though a few odd bit of wool managed to escape. The Bláithín requires a slightly different kind of steek, a sandwich steek, which I already feel a litter more confident about as the raw edges will be entirely trapped between two layers of knitting.

Now that it’s blocked and looking a little more relaxed on my teapot I’m quite pleased with the end result. I particularly love the top and the clever colour work, I will definitely be introducing vikkel braids where ever I can from now on. If you want to know more about the yarn I’ve added details to my ravelry project.
Sheep Carousel montage - nettynot Blog

What’s next….I must finish my grey and cream jumper before I do any other knitting… although I did just get a new phone which would definitely benefit from a new phone cover….and then it’s on to Bláithín.

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One Response to “Sheep Carousel”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bláithín Cardigan | Nettynot Craft - March 12, 2016

    […] years later once I’d got my head around the idea of steeking (& after a practice with the  Sheep Carousel tea cosy), I got the yarn for Christmas 2014 and started knitting Bláithín in February 2015. I made quick […]

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