Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Steeking Sunday

Today was all about the steek.

In preparation of going over to my sister's house for her much-needed assistance, I ran a line of orange yarn (you may recognize it as being left over from the Textured Blocks Throw knitted earlier this winter) right down the center stitch. It actually looks kind of cool. Sort of a "cut along the dotted line" approach.

The steek consists of this center stitch, plus two stitches to either side of it. Most of what I've read about steeks has been from the standpoint of stranded knitting, in which you alternate stitches in the steek area to make sure that all the strands are interwoven and interlocked with each other. So I planned a five-stitch steek, which I realize now wasn't necessary. I guess I either have a little two-stitch facing on either side of the cut, or I'll just live with four extra stitches. Maybe that will give me some wiggle room after large meals? I'll discuss it with whoever puts in the zipper.

My sister was so patient with me trying to explain what needed to be done. She was a real whiz with the machine. It was nice to sit around and chat about our mom's sewing, and our granny's sewing machine that just sews straight stitches and which my sister still has. All in all, it was a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

She basically sewed a straight line, using small stitches, straight down the middle of the gutter in the middle of the stitch to either side of the orange line, and then sewed another line in the gap between the row she'd just sewn and the next one over. And voila!

The next step was to head downstairs to the dining room table for the cutting of the steek. My niece and nephew were both curious about this step and asked a lot of good questions. I had started to pull the orange line out (for some crazy reason), but sanity prevailed. It made a great guide for figuring out where the middle of the cutting row was. It didn't take all that long. In the meantime, my niece Kathleen's cat, Hannah, had to help. It's a good thing I hadn't already woven in the ends and deprived her of all that fun.

This last picture shows the final product. Boy, this thing is easier to get on and off now that it is a cardigan! As you can see, I still haven't tacked the neck down. I need to do that, weave in the few ends, block the whole thing, and then take it to a tailor to put in the zipper. Thanks to my nephew Christopher for doing such a great job on the photography.


  1. You make it look so easy! I'm still pretty sure that anything I steeked would madly unravel.

  2. Thanks, y'all.

    I was worried about unravelling, too, but it seems pretty solid. It just semed weird with such large knitted stitches and such small sewed ones. When I hold it up to the light, you can see the flimsy little lines. but it has all held together so far...

  3. Sister didn't want to put in the zipper? It should be as simple as sewing a straight line... but then again, I haven't put in a zipper since that sewing class I took in junior high.

  4. Have you had success with tailors putting in your zippers before? I'm always scared they'll ruin it.