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Sommarkoftan 2024: Part 3

Sommarkoftan 2024: Part 3

Posted: 27 June, 2024
Writer: Maja Karlsson

A warm welcome to the third and last part of Sommarkoftan 2024. This week, we’ll turn our attention to the fun aspects of finishing: Button bands, buttons, and blocking!



Before the cardigan can be cut open, the front bands will be added. This makes the cutting easier because the band edges lock in the stitches along the sides and the center stitch becomes especially obvious when it is framed by the edges.

Here’s how you pick up and knit stitches along the edges - video

So that the front bands won’t be too tight or too loose, pick up and knit 3 stitches for every 4 rows. In other words, skip about every 4th row when picking up stitches. At the beginning or end of the row (when you pick up stitches in the ribbed lower edge), you can pick up and knit 1 stitch in every row so that the ends of the band won’t be too tight.

Now make the button/buttonhole bands as instructed in the pattern. Don’t forget the buttonhole row on the right band!

NOTE Maja’s cardigan is knitted in size Medium and Maja picked up and knitted 122 stitches. This should give you an approximate number of stitches to pick up. Keep in mind that the total number should be a multiple of 4 + 2 stitches.  Each buttonhole uses 2 stitches.



Once the front and neck bands are finished, it is time to cut the steek. Begin by reinforcing the steek: machine-stitch a line on each side of the center steek stitch.

Reinforcing the Steek

I always sew my reinforcing lines by hand with a regular sewing needle and thread. That gives me good control over the knitting and helps keep the structure from pulling out or ruffling in some way.  When I sew by hand, I can make a flexible and correctly placed seam easily and neatly.

Here’s how you sew the reinforcing lines using BACK STITCH - video

Cutting the Steek:

Once you’ve sewn the reinforcing lines, you can cut the steek open.

Proceed as follows:

Lay the cardigan on a flat surface where you have plenty of space to move around.

Use good sharp sewing scissors when you cut.

Work slowly and methodically as you cut so you have control over what you are doing.

Let your left hand (or right hand if you are left handed) follow and support the fabric as you cut so you can make sure throughout that the front and back pieces stay separated. You don’t want to risk cutting the back! Cut the steek following the center steek stitch between the two reinforcing lines.


Tip: If you want to separate the front and back from each other as you cut, you can lay the cardigan on an ironing board. (Draw the bottom edge on first so the lower edge is in about the middle of the ironing board and the neck is out on the narrow end of the board.)

This also gives you a naturally flat surface to work on.

Watch this video to see how to cut a steek open:


Weave in all ends neatly on the wrong side. Block/dampen cardigan and pat out to finished measurements.

Finally, sew on the buttons spaced as for the buttonholes.

If you want to add a ribbon to face the front edges, it is important that both edges are equally as long, so that the one edge doen’t stick out more than the other when the ribbon is sewn on. So, begin by cutting the ribbon into two equal lengths. Measure the length of one of the steek edges when slighly stretched. Add ¾ in / 2 cm seam allowance on each end (a total of 1½ in / 4 cm).

Pin the ribbon on the inside of the front band so it covers the cut edges; fold ribbon doubled at each end. Securely sew on the ribbon with needle and thread, using small discrete stitches all the way up/down.

A huge thank you for participating in this summer’s KAL with Järbo! Please share your work by posting a photo of your finished cardigan on social media and tag it with #sommarkoftan2024. We are very curious to see just how your cardigan came out!

Warm summer greetings from Maja and Järbo!


Psst! Join our Facebook group Sommarkoftan 2024 – where we’ll share photos, tips, and inspiration. Please show your work on Facebook and Instagram (@jarbogarn). Don‘t forget the hashtag #sommarkoftan2024