First let me thank you, Gentle Readers, for weighing in with your opinions on seeing or not seeing the blood-and-guts process of making the Frog Prince. It seems that most of you would like to see me break the eggs, in the hopes that I get an omelet. It is rare that I can show you all the steps it takes to get a finished design. Most of the time, my projects have been sold to a yarn company or a publisher before they are even born, and those people cleverly require me to keep my process under wraps until they are ready. This project, however, I have saved especially for you. Won't you join me on my Odyssey, and feel free to post questions as we go?
Here we rejoin the Frog Prince panel-tube in progress. You can see my cotton yarn markers for the steek stitching and cutting lines. These are to help me see exactly where to stitch, and then cut the steeks. Traditional construction would have only one vertical steek (in the center front of a cardigan), but since the Frog Prince is special (Weird?), it begins with a tube made of three conjoined panels, and three steeks.
Here I am machine-stitching the first of 4 vertical lines made on each of the three steeks. The machine-stitches go right down the valley between knitted stitch columns, securing the steek. Pure Magic. Steeks can be stitched in several different ways, each with advantages for various applications. I chose to machine these, since I will be handling the raw edges quite a bit before finishing them. A crocheted edge would be equally durable, but takes (me) a lot longer and adds more bulk than I need since it will ultimately be covered.
Warning: Yarn Carnage! Sensitive viewers may need to skip this shot. Braver souls will note that the 4 vertical stitching lines are clearly visible from the wrong side of the work. I usually cut steeks from the back for this reason. Any advantage you can get when scissoring a sweater, yes? I slice right between the middle two stitching lines with extremely sharp dressmakers shears. By the way, even though I have performed this maneuver many times, I still hold my breath.
Eggs broken, Omelet Begun. Here are the three Frog Prince panels, no longer conjoined. I wash and block them just as I would any other sweater parts.
For those who have asked, this yarn is Rauma Finullgarn (translation = Fine Wool Yarn) from Nordic Fiber Arts, where you will eventually be able to purchase the Frog Prince Kit. This yarn is the Real Deal, as far as Scandinavian knitting goes: Gorgeous, traditional colors, perfect stranding behavior, and just sticky enough to steek like a champ. And we wouldn't expect any less from the descendants of the geniuses who made up stranded colorwork, now would we?
This is two-ply yarn, working up at a guage of 7sts/in on a US size 3 needle, in case you are wondering.
Join me next time, in which I plan to slash a throat. Or shape a neckline. Whichever.