Sunday, January 20, 2013

The long and the steek of it

Yesterday I learned to steek.  It was probably the most terrifying thing I've ever done in knitting and I have to say, not that bad.  I did have my fairy knitting Godmother there telling me what to do and it was a little scary but just fine in the end.

So I started with a pullover (see last post for more details).  First things first: find the very center (or where you'd like to cut) and run a length of yarn up and down so you don't lose your place.  I used some multi colored dishcloth cotton because I happened to have some in my purse at the time.
Once I made my line, I took out the sewing machine and did loose but small stitches a stitch and a half away from the cotton line in plain old sewing thread.  Do this on both sides.  It's easiest to do this in a different color so you don't lose it in the yarn.  See it? (Picture of the wrong side)
Now you're ready to cut!  *Tip* You might want to stick something between the bottom of the sweater and the bit you're cutting.  Peg had made that mistake before and was kind enough to have me stick a quilting ruler in there before I started snipping.
That's the scary part.  It goes against everything I've ever known about how to treat handmade things.  The whole time I was telling myself that I've reinforced the stitches, and knitting unravels up and down, not side to side.  After I caught my breath, I picked up for the button bands.  I lucked out and still had most of a hank of the original dye lot from 2008.
Each side took about an hour to put the button band on, and on the inside it looks like this (the raw edges aren't very obvious in the picture but trust me, there are some serious raw edges that are still making me a little nervous).
So to hide the raw edges I'm knitting (in a different color because I'm a  hipster like that) a little shield for the raw edges.  I just picked up the other side of the button band in a smaller yarn (it's bulky enough, you don't want to add more than necessary by adding another layer of worsted weight wool).  I have one of the sides knitted up and I need to tack it down and move on to the other side.  This goes by pretty quickly.  The green yarn is Good For Ewe Sultry Steps in my favorite color, Juniper.
And when it's good and tacked down, it will look like this!  See- no more raw edges! And I think the little pop of color is super cute.  I bound off in pink so it will be less obvious when I do the tacking in pink since I don't want the Juniper showing up through the front side.  (My blog thinks this picture is centered and I can't seem to convince it otherwise)
And that's my progress so far!  I still need to knit the little shield for the other side, block it and sew the buttons on.  But hopefully I'll be wearing it in a few days!  And before I go...I have one more picture I want to share...
It's Emery Claire and her new quilt!  Isn't she adorable?!  It always amazes me how tiny humans are when we're 3 days old.


Bonnie said...

Steeking is on my goal list for this year. I have a sweater kit that requires it, and I'm working hard to convince myself to stop being scared and start knitting. Instead, I just cast one for a pair of stranded mittens...

Paige Darling said...

I believe in you Bonnie! And if you need some encouragement (not that I'm an expert by any means) I'll be happy to meet up sometime and guide you through it!

MC said...

Very brave. I still haven't steeked. At best I might be able to convince myself to cut a felted item, but a sweater. All that work.


Meghann said...

That is awesome!! You've been talking about steeking basically since I met you, and I'm excited that you took the plunge. Maybe that will give the rest of us some courage to try it too.

Also, and I didn't realize this when I was making it, but the hat I gave you is the exact same yarn and color as this sweater. It's like I'm psychic.