Saturday, July 14, 2007

Take sharp scissors and cut carefully between the two columns of knitted stitches

Which is how all steek intructions go.
So today - I prepare and cut that steek, and we have both photos and a video of the steek cutting.
Video here :

Steeking - enough to make many a knitters blood run cold. Gillian - if you are reading this, just skip the next few sentences - they might bring you some un-needed worry in your last trimester. The blanket is fine, and nearly ready for that baby. This is when I admit that this is only my 2nd ever steek, Well perhaps my third. The first may count as 2, there were two sleeves steeked into two armholes.

Oh, I've read lots about steeking, on line and in books, and I fully understand the principles, and it don't scare me (much), but I have not cut many steeks in my time. I do plan to steek more.

First I flipped the work inside out, and tugged each loose yarn tail, making sure all the knitted stitches were tight, and not pulled open. I had already undone all the knots I put in earlier as they were creating bulk and distortion.

Then I whipped the right leg of the centre steek stitch to the leg of the stitch next to it, and then did the same for the left leg of that centre stitch. Funny how it shows up more clearly at a distance than up close. This technique was described to me by Knitasha at KR, thus :"Make your steek 3 stitches wide -- no wider.
With a tapestry needle and yarn, whip-stitch the right leg of each center stitch to the left leg of the adjacent stitch. Do this all the way up the steek. Begin again, whipping the left leg of the center stitches to the right legs of the adjacent stitches.

When you are finished, there will be a one-stitch ladder running between two rows of whip-stitching. Cut the ladder.
I added a row of machine stitching - just to be on the safe side, as with two colours in most rows - well I wasn't sure of catching all the yarns tightly. I machine stitched a line of stitching down the outside edge of the steek stitches.
And using small surgical scissors, I cut neatly between the lines of whipped stitches. Trimmed away all the ends, and gave the work a quick gentle press.

So - this is the finished edge - pretty neat huh?

... and those yarn tails, well there is no weaving in with this technique, and so here they are, a little messy pile on the table before a last trip to the bin.

And finishing the blanket, last night I picked up un 100's (felt more like 1000's!) of stitches around the edge, and now am working a plain 3-4 row stocking stitch band. Then I plan to pick up a inside facing, and work the same lenth before knitting the pairs of stitches together and ---- oh, I was thinking ribbing, because it wont curl, but now I'm wondering about seed stitch, or moss stitch. I'll let you know soon. Or suggestions please?

[added 16th sept - I completed the blanket by adding a double facing to enclose the raw edges, then a wide moss stitch boarder finished with an i-cord bind off. the mother requested I line the back with a napped fleecy cotton lining. The baby arrived on time (no, not mine), a wee boy, Toby, so the blanket is keeping him warm and snug in another city. stella ]


Marina said...

The edges look great. Very neat! How about checkered garter stitch?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't watch the video, and I STILL threw up in my mouth a little. Congrats on the steeks. I'd have to be heavily medicated.

Windyridge said...

I am going to link to this post and write a blurb on it on my blog. Three of us are planning to try this and are very apprehensive. I really like your blog and I have a weakness for Fair Isle so I love that blanket.

Anonymous said...

thank you!!!

this is the clearest depiction of a steek I've seen yet.

I still dread the thought of taking scissors to knitting, but am planning a stranded cardi as my next project and am trying to mentally prepare for that dreaded event.

I will follow your technique.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.