Saturday, December 13, 2008

13 December: Eek - steeks!

This is an entirely knitting-orientated posting, so if you're not interested, look away now.

The next jersey is in the planning stage, and this one is going to be my first one with steeks. Yes, knitting in the round to the shoulders, then cutting the knitting to make armholes, and probably a front placket too.

So, instead of knitting a whole jersey, then experimenting with that, I picked up an idea online, and made a sample.

The sample is worked in the round (trying out a few stitch patterns at the same time) and I closed the top with a 3 needle bind off to replicate a jersey shoulder. Most of the instructions on steeking tell you to machine stitch on each side of the proposed cut, but I really didn't want to do that, as the machine stitching would be a completely different tension and feel from the knitting. I reckoned that if I cut each pair of threads, and then knotted them together, that would prevent any unravelling - logical, but would it be practical?

Yes, it worked fine. There are an awful lot of ends to tidy up, but it's a possible solution. Actually, I have a striped cardigan with an awful lot of ends (2 row stripes in many different colours), and I just cut them and left them as fringes down the insides of the seams , and that's fine, so I could just leave the ends to felt slowly together.

But then I stumbled on a paragraph in "The Best of Interweave Knits, Our Favorite Designs from the First Ten Years", in a jersey design by Ron Schweitzer. It suggests casting on 10 extra stitches to make the steek, then cutting down between the 5th and 6th stitches, picking up the stitches for the sleeve/neckband from the first and last extra stitches, then finishing the steek by folding back the cut edges, trimming if you want, and sewing them down on the inside with cross stitches. This is very easy, very tidy, and very secure. And as it's all done with the knitting yarn, there is no tension or materials conflict.

I picked up and knitted a few rows of stocking stitch.

And this is the inside - the right hand side was cross-stitched in black, so then I did the left side with white, so that in future I can see how I did it. You will observe that the stitching is not as neat as it might be, but hey! it's only a working sample!

Now I feel confident I can do the steeks. I shall go and cast on.


Granny J said...

That's a most useful technique -- my stitches are so much more even when I work in the round -- and this enables all to be done in the round without having to go the raglan route.

stitchwort said...

Yes, and stranded knitting is so much easier when it's all knit stitches.

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!