Daytripper Cardigan: Steek and Button Band Tips

By Ann Shayne
April 27, 2021
Low-key thrills are what we all want. Field Guide No.. 17: Lopi will give you plenty of fun.

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  • Your cardigan is lovely, Ann! You give me courage!! I especially appreciate all the details of the process AND that you talk about doing the width of the steek all wrong. It is wonderful (and a relief) to have such good company in knitting mistakes!!

  • I’m a few rows into the bottom chart of my Daytripper, and looking at these photos I realize that I messed up the colors! I continued with the main color instead of changing to a contrast. It would look fine the way I’ve done it, but since my goal is to use All The Colors, I think I’ll rip back a few rows and redo. (I’m also pondering whether to use the same colors on the ends of the sleeves as on the hem, or maybe swap the placement of the colors. Or a different color on each sleeve? It could be pretty epic!)

    Steeking question: do all these ends in the middle of the steek need to be woven in? It seems like the sewing and/or felting will secure the yarn sufficiently, and I don’t want to take the time if it’s not necessary.

    • No need to do anything at all with those ends! Just leave them.
      After you cut along the middle of the steek, you can just trim the ends to line up with the cut edge.

  • i also have a 3 stitch steak panel – it may be something that could use a clarifying note in the pattern!

    I’m ready for the steek and am also going to do the needle felting.

    thanks for the tips!

  • This looks amazing! I cannot wait to start mine because I borrowed heavily from your color palette. Unfortunately, my yarn is in NC and I am in LA but the yarn and I will be together again in late June and it will be a joyous reunion.

  • Great save! Thanks for letting us in on the details-very tricky that felting idea!

  • Its beautiful – great job! I’m stuck, stuck I tell you, on the idea of 8 buttons. One of my superstitions (because I don’t know where I made up this rule from) is that cardigans need an odd number of buttons. Am I the only one?

    • I am in that camp too. A button at the middle, the rest divided by two to either side?

    • Designer sweaters usually (not always) have an odd # of buttons. Not so much a superstition as a design guideline. Burberry cardigans:

    • My button thinking is just how many buttons are needed to close the front without gaps–it’s all about the proportion for me. (She said, walking under a ladder with a black cat in the path and a broken mirror on the floor!)

      • The ‘centering’ one being at the ‘bustpoint’

  • Any suggestions on where to buy a needle felter? I didn’t see it in the shop.

  • So you blocked it after you steeked and did the button bands. I’m right behind you—have a third of the second sleeve to go. Was planning to block before steeking. What would be an argument against that?

    • Mary Jane would applaud your plan–she thinks blocking before steeking gets stitches to fluff up and start to hang together. Makes sense. I don’t think either method is wrong–I did want to block the button bands, for fluffitude and uniform texture, so that’s why I waited to block it until after I steeked.

  • I needle felted my last couple of cardigans before cutting the steaks open. What a game changer! I’ll never look back!

    • If you needle felt do you still need to do steek reinforcement? Like the back stitch sewing Anne did, or the crochet as in pattern?

      • Hi Marilyn! After doing my belt-and-suspenders reinforcement plan of backstitching PLUS needle felting, I think it would be fine simply to needle felt it. It’s a sturdy flap after all that stabby business with the needle felting tool.

  • Thank you, thank you. This is what I’ve been looking for – pictures and all.

  • Love your color palette!

  • I love it! Thanks for sharing all of your details – I’m still afraid to cut a sweater, but would rather learn to do that than NOT knit in the round. One question – is this yarn itchy?

    • Since cardigans are usually worn over something else, I don’t think of it as an issue, plus it’s such a personal thing. It does fluff up and soften somewhat after wet blocking, but it’s not merino. I’m guessing you might not be happy with it worn right next to your skin, but everyone’s different when it comes to itchiness.

  • I am still awaiting a future episode of outrage to fuel my needle-felting stabbing session with tools bought from you guys. Never let a bit of outrage go to waste when knitting creativity can benefit! Love that buttons are your favorite part, Ann. I hear of so many cardigans lying fallow for lack of button enthusiasm. Can’t wait to see the ones you choose.

  • Thanks for your always helpful information. I’m in the middle of a button and, it no steeling involved. What I really wanted to tell you is that I used my needle felting thingie to mend some moth holes in my 40 year plus Pendleton wool blanket. It worked great and now I have coin sized clouds resting on the top. I don’t mind at all that they show up a little!

  • Needle felting the steek before cutting: Brilliant!

  • Ann,
    What are your colors that you used in your daytripper?
    Mary Ann