Saturday, February 9, 2013

Eeeek, it’s a steek!

 

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It snowed again yesterday (hence the dim lighting), and it was one of those apocalyptic storm events during which the TV weatherman takes off his jacket and rolls up his sleeves because he figures he’s going to be there all night in the Action WeatherCenter, reporting on the blizzard and keeping us informed, but then it ends up snowing about a foot or so, which is typical for my neighborhood this time of year, and this storm ended up being not that big a deal.  Anyway, it looked pretty, and while the snow was pouring down, I baked cookies, did the laundry, and finished the knitting on this sweater while watching a confusing but also interesting movie about the Shakespeare authorship debate.  These things always leave me with a lot of questions, and I always have trouble figuring out which Earl is which, so I just ate cookies and knitted and tried to pay attention. 

Then it was time to deal with the steek.  It was too early in the day for alcoholic courage, so I had to do this cold, and it is seriously intimidating.  For those just tuning in, a steek is a bunch of extra stitches the middle of which I am going to take my scissors and cut so as to open up the front and make this a cardigan.  The steek is that pixellated bit in the middle of the stranded colorwork section, which folds to the inside and doesn’t show in the finished garment.  The pink and red stripes were knit back and forth, so this time I only have to cut open the colorwork. 

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First, you reinforce.  There are a number of ways to do this, and I decided to use the crochet method.  I located the exact center of the steek and then worked a row of single crochet stitches underneath the column of knitted stitches directly beside the center. 

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Then I flipped the sweater around and did the same on the opposite side of the center.

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Those crochet stitches [are supposed to] hold everything together while you cut the knitting and then work the button bands.  They fold to the inside where you don’t see them. 

Deep breath.  Pick up scissors.  Double and triple check.  Deep breath.  Remind self it’s only yarn. Deep breath.  Cut.

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I’m not gonna lie to you; it’s a little unnerving.  I’m cutting my what?  With whaaat??

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Mercy.

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In my (limited) experience, a cutting a steek has never resulted in disaster.  Let us hope that is the case here.  Those fringy ends unsettle me. 

35 comments:

  1. Gosh, that feels scary just looking at pictures! This sweater is just so beautiful!

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  2. That took some serious bravery! Well done, it's going to be a real beauty xox Penelope

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    1. ps. I've just blogged about my charm bracelet I made yesterday, inspired by the lovely you! Great instructions, thanks you xox

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  3. Those little frayed ends would freak me out, too, but I have faith in your skill!! Glad you're faring well in the snow, and have cookies to keep you company :) Can't wait to see the finished results of the steek!

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  4. I was on the edge of my seat! That took some courage, lady. I'm really looking forward to the finished cardigan, it's looking beautiful so far.

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  5. Never heard of a steek but it looks way too scary for me. Is it so that you can make a continuous pattern around the bottom? Surely there must be a less nerve racking way? I love the colours and can't wait to see you model it. Good luck!

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  6. I have still never attempted to tackle a steek. You are so brave. :)

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  7. very very very nice :-)
    congrat!!

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  8. That is bravery right there. I have anxiety just reading this!

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  9. I know nothing of steeks and knitting...but I'd SO be sewing some ribbon on there (with multiple rows of stitches) to stabilize/bind the edge...or...something....eeks!!


    gorgeous sweater!

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  10. I have never heard about steek, but that cardigan looks really nice :)

    Have a great time!

    Lluisa x

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  11. Oh my goodness!!! You are braver than I. That would freak me right out. Love the red on red tones - mmm!

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  12. Whoa Kristen!!! I was holding my breath the entire time I was reading this....phew! It's a beauty! penny x

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  13. Wow that was terrifying. Before I read this I didn't know what a steek was, and now I am scared of them.

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  14. My heart is racing just going through the photo diary... I would need medical attention if I ever attempted it on my own!

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  15. Your sweater is gorgeous - can't wait to see what comes next! I had never heard of a steek before your first post on this, I'm learning all the time! I would never be brave enough to take scissors to it even if, as you say, it is just yarn not a finger or toe you are severing! Have a great weekend :-) Helen x

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  16. I must have watched hundreds of steeking videos on youtube but they still terrify me. Your cardigan looks absolutely fabulous!

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  17. Yeah, could you just grab those frayed ends and CONNECT them to something ... like, NOW! Sheesh! You're scaring us all here ... listen to us!! Amazing how cutting through a bit of knitting can create such terror. I think we all need that drink now :)

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  18. This is super brave!I'm not really a knitter but the thought of cutting through your work which must have taken a while is very nerve racking
    Hope the rest of the process is going well
    http://ahandfulofhope.blogspot.co.uk/

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  19. OH MY HEAVENS: that was so scary!!! Even from the comfort of my home and only in pictures!!!
    You are so brave and without alcohol, but oh wait: You had cookies LOL
    Can not wait to see the TaDa moment!!!
    We had 2 Feet of snow... which under old time conditions would be normal - but not in recent years.... The wind never got fierce during the storm, and when morning broke - and we found ourselves under 2 feet on snow in our little court - we also had no winds clear blue skies and unpaved roads..... our town had 29+ inches in some areas and the Town SUperintendent declared a snow emergency and we were told only Town and Emergency vehicles would be allowed out on the roads.... I was content to listen to the sounds of the 23+kids who live in our court as they played on the 12" mountain of snow that was semi plowed into along the sidewalk by Courts center! No cookie baking here but it was aGRAND day just the same :)

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  20. love the colors on the sweater are they paton its a great yarn...what two colors are the pinks and red? So glad to hear you didn't get hit full force by the blizzard. Take care, stay warm.

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  21. Curious to know what you do with those fringey ends? Great work though and your colourwork is very enviable. Looking forward to seeing the end product. Keep safe and warm in all that snow.

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  22. oh my, you were really! really! brave and the result is
    wow, amazing.
    xo, martina♥

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  23. You are so brave, I have never done a steek, it looks terrifying. Let us know how it all worked out :)

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  24. At the moment I'm knitting a sweater for my son with a number of steeks. I'm immensly glad to have found your blog on how to do this correctly. While I was knitting it, the overwhelming feeling of I-will-never-dare-to-cut-this caught up on me, more than once. But now, I feel confident. However, my cutting might result in disaster. I'll put in on my blog. You'll soon see. (I hope...)
    Knuf, (hug)
    Inneken
    www.inneken.blogspot.be

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  25. OMG how uncanny, I've just been reading about steeking. I don't think I could be so brave as to tackle it. Well done on your success, now to show us the finished item, x

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  26. your sweater is looking truly beautiful. and well done on the steek! i have done it only with 100% fine wool and it almost felts itself. but you are brave, i don't think i've ever done it without a whisky at hand!

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  27. well..I held my breath before looking at the last picture. can't say whether those ends are going to create a trouble or not, as I never knitted anything as big and beautiful as your cardigan..I hope it'll turn out fine.
    Have a nice day and keep warm!
    Anna

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  28. Here I am just learning how to increase and purl and you are cutting into your finished (beautiful) garment. I needed a drink just reading about it.
    Can't wait to see it all finished : )

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  29. I found the coffee plunger cosy! After searching everywhere I could remember, the pattern is from someone in my knitting group! Here it is: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/coffee-plunger-cozy
    I knew I had seen it somewhere!

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  30. You give me courage to try this one day. Your cardigan is just beautiful!

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  31. Nádherné věci děláte, krásná inspirace!

    == Wonderful things you are doing a beautiful inspiration for me!
    Dana

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  32. Those fringey ends unsettle me too - waiting impatiently for the next instalment. It's better than TV. :)

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  33. Absolutely gorgeous cardigan - I love the colours. Not sure I could ever be this good at knitting but you make me want to try!

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