Have Ewe Any Wool?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eek! Steeks!

At our latest Purls of Distinction guild meeting, we tried our hand at steeks. Several of us brought small swatches to be "cut" as part of the learning process. Karen had forwarded two links to some fabulous instructions on doing steeks: Eunny Jang and Kidsknits. Both sets of instructions were fabulous and those of us that tried our hand at steeking we thoroughly "amazed and impressed" at the process. I still think my heart will skip a beat should I ever take the scissors to a Fair Isle sweater, but now I KNOW it works!

The first photo below shows the small swatch I knit up in a generic wool BEFORE cutting - the yarn I used was Cascade 220. The second photo shows the steeked swatch in process - I had completed picking up and knitting on one side and am ready to pick up and knit on the other.

You can see the completed "band" - the raw edge is nestled safely inside the band. Here's I've show both the front and back view. Some of my stitches were a bit off, but I think I've got the hang of it!

The "banding" method makes a very elegant finish. You basically pick up and knit a few rows on the front. Then, pick up the same number of stitches through the loops you just made on the reverse side. Finally, you do a 3-needle bind-off to complete the band. I love how it looks! (The instruction provided in the links above definitely do a better job of describing the process!) The only thing I would do differently is the bind off....I'd like the smooth side to be to the front of the swatch with the bumpy side facing the purl side.

One of our new members, Wanda, showed us the sweater she'd steeked - isn't it gorgeous?

It was the first sweater she'd ever made - and she didn't choose a basic pattern either. The pattern is the "Aquarius Trio" by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Wanda didn't use steeks for a design element - i.e. to convert a sweater that was knit in the round to a cardigan - but instead used it for a very practical reason. The sweater knitted up a bit too large. Instead of tossing it in a corner into "time out" or frogging the entire thing, this ingenious girl decided to steek it to remove the excess fabric! What a clever girl!


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