Archive for the ‘Steeks’ Category

Not the type of bunny I’m chasing however. Well, actually I bet my grandmother Bunny, being quite an extrordinary knitter, was as susceptible to casting-on as the rest of us. But I digress.

I keep missing WOYNW, so I’m not going to bother showing you the next BSJ on the pins, or little Thumbelina the Ballet Fairy, or the sock that will. not. get. done. I’m going to show you what is bringing me joy today.

First: The February Baby Sweater. It is February after all and though I’ve made a bastard FBS I’ve never actually followed the pattern:


Folks, that is only 5 hours of dedicated knitting time. I can’t believe how fast it’s going! And I can’t believe how poorly acrylic yarn photographs. Ugh.

A friend called me up this morning, and asked if the boys and I wanted to come over to play. It sounded like a low-key morning so I brought my knitting. And I knew said friend is interested in my projects so I brought some wool and needles for her as well. While the kids played we sat down and I taught her to knit.

This EZ quote from Knitter’s Almanac was brought to mind: “Sit and knit with your child; while it perfects its potholder you can knit it a fine reward – a pair of longies.”

Actually it was my friend, not my child, and she’s not getting longies, but her baby is getting a sweater. I’m thinking pink buttons and a pink crochet trim on all the edges?

The other thing that is bringing me joy lately is the Swedish Cardi. The bands came out exactly as I had pictured them. And, I have enough gold wool to finish up the colorwork on the sleeves. Yea!
Here I am trying not to get impaled on the DPNs in the sleeve. Yes, that’s a Ravelry shirt. Yes, I’m a dork. Yes, it’s really time to clean the bathroom mirror, or make the kids stop using that sink. Digressing again…


The shoulder and back. It comes down to a nice length I think, these pants are quite saggy so I don’t think the pictures really give an accurate idea of the fit.

Everything is a bit tight, but I planned for some stretch in the washing/blocking process. I didn’t put in any buttonholes as I planning on getting some nice pewter clasps for this one.

OK, I’m off to knit the FBS. It’s so cute!


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…or, how not to knit a sweater…

I’ve been knitting away on the blue and gold cardi. I knit down to the bottom edge and tried it on before deciding on the next step. There turned out to be many next-steps.

Before slicing open the front I took out a chunk of neck to get a square neckline.


I put in a reverse life-line – the royal blue yarn – and 2 little crochet secured steeks – the black yarn. Then I snipped down the center and ravelled across to the crochet lines.


Like so.


I actually went back and made the neck a bit wider but you get the general idea. Then crochet secured the fronts before slicing it open.


By crocheting through one leg of each color stitch both colors are secured.

Currently I’m adding a bottom border in garter stitch before I begin the considerable neck and front treatment.  Oi.

I will never stek a sweater like this again.  I was way too gung-ho to start this project and I didn’t plan it too well.  I planned on making a square neck so I wouldn’t have to incorporate short-row shaping into the colorwork. Obviously it can be done the way I did it, but there must be better ways!

The best way to have done this would have been to cast on the steek sts only and then cast on the fronts in big balloons at the desired neck depth.  Or it could have been done back and forth to the desired neck depth, but I’m not sure I can do colorwork from the wrong side.  Hmm.


For now, it looks like arse, but I think it will all work out.  And if it doesn’t, well then, it doesn’t.  I’m not sure there’s enough gold yarn to the sleeves anyway. Guess I shoulda checked that before slicing up all my yarn.

Now incorporating my favorite technique…  Knit and pray!

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Firstly, thank you all for all the wonderful comments you left about the “Amazing Tri-Cable Sweater.” Thank you for the new name Peggy.

Several of you commented on the fit, so if you’re curious- I blocked the chest to 34 inches. My bust measurement over undergarments and a thin t-shirt is 31 inches. So 3 inches of positive ease. I’ve noticed with the Knitting Daily Sweater Galleries how many people like seeing the ways sweaters look of different sized folks and using it for a reference point, so I think I’ll start doing that here too.

Second, On the topic of the Shawl Collar Sweater. Jeanne wondered whether I would publish the design? Well, I hdan’t really thought about it, is there much interest? I have been thinking of putting up a shaping/steeking/shawl collar overview with lots of progress and process pictures. Essentially I would be giving you the recipe EZ style so you can design something made for you. Is anyone interested in something like that? Please let me know what you’d find most helpful.

Third, I’ve started the Gathered Pullover from the Winter 2007 IK.


Yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. That’s a pretty accurate color. When I first started knitting this I thought I wanted it to be loose, like wearing a cloud, so I’m knitting on 8s and getting 4.25 sts/in. Later I went on Ravelry and noticed that the versions with negative ease looked the best (IMHO). So that’s why it’s off the needles in this picture.

I measured it and it came out only 30 inches around the cable pattern so this might work out. For now it’s back on the needles awaiting judgement. Perhaps size can be corrected with some aggressive washing, but I kinda want to just start over now. Opinions?

What number are we on? Spinning.


This is more fiber from Peggy. I noted on the back of the label “First bobbin sucked. Second one much better. Still a bit ropey, overspun.”

It’s a start. I’m still learning.


Currently on the wheel is more fiber from Peggy, this time some Wensleydale. When I first started spinning this stuff I was drafting a really fine strand, so I used the smaller whorl on the flyer. But as I went along I started making it thicker and the smaller whorl was too much. On the far left you can see the softer strand produced when I went up to the larger whorl with thicker drafting. Hopefully I can correct the overspinning problem.

Just random stuff today. If you’re only here for cute pictures of my boys here’s one of Gabriel and me sharing his ‘lovey.’

Have a great week everyone!

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Two FOs

What an original title.

I’ve got 2 things to show you today, first is a scarf for my grandmother in Seattle. She called Sunday night and asked for a scarf. I had some grandiose ideas about making Muir for her, but then reality set in. It’s winter, she needs a warm scarf now. I bought yarn Tuesday afternoon and after knitting exclusively for 2 days all the yarn is gone and Grandma has a nice new scarf going out in the mail tomorrow.


The yarn is Plymouth Boku (blatant Noro knock-off) and the pattern is my own. I’ve seen so many great K1P1 Noro striped scarves out there, I wanted to make one of my own. I saw these 3 related colorways at the LYS and decided to do a scarf of three stripes instead of the 2 stripe ones that seem so prevelant.

With 3 yarns you only work one row with each color before switching, which made to color repeats last longer. I was very pleased with the result. With 37 stitches on US sz. 8 / 5mm needles it ended up being 7 inches wide and about 70 inches long.

And then the other FO I mentioned several days ago…


Pattern: Umm… none. I thought this would be the High Neck Cable, but it is not.

It is the: Steeked Shawl Collar Seamless Saddle Shoulder Pullover with Cables  someone please give me a better name for this thing!
Yarn: Plymouth Galway Highland Heather. Color Light Green. Less than 5 skeins / 500gms

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 7 / 4.5 mm are you serious, I was supposed to check gauge?!


I don’t even know how to blog about this sweater! I didn’t take enough pictures to do justice to the processes this sweater went through. I knit the entire High Neck Cable up to the buttonbands, tried it on and hated it. So I ripped out most of the yoke and knit a modified Saddle Shoulder crewneck. I tried that on too and hated it. Then I ripped it all the way down to the sleeve join – including unKitchenering the armpits – and tried again.

I dropped down 2 purl stitches between each cable and hooked them back up in knit to create ribs. Then I used a somewhat modified Saddle Shoulder shaping for the yoke. At the spot that seemed appropriate I bound-off the 10 center stitches for the base of the shawl collar, cast on 5 for a steek and facing, and started a V-neck shaping.


I continued decreasing (no back and forth saddles) until the steek neck stitches met the shoulder stitches. I then cast off the steek stitches and placed the others on a piece of wool.

The steek: I didn’t take any pictures, but this is similar to what I did with the Adventure Sweater in July. I tightly crocheted 2 lines of slip stitches on each half of the neck. One line on the outside edge where I wanted to fabric to fold under, and one line close to the center to fold under the raw wool ends. This was the first time I have not machine reinforced a steek. It was rather exciting.

Shawl Collar: After cutting the steek I picked up stitches along the (nice, tidy) edge at the rate of 2:3, then all the back and shoulder stiches from the waste wool, and on down the other neck edge. I worked K2P2 ribbing for 4 rows then started adding a pair of shortrows every 2 rows of ribbing. When I had worked 16 rows (not including shortrows) I bound off.

Finishing. I sewed the edges of the collar one over the other and down to the 10 bound-off stitches. The steeks were already faced so I just had to sew down the crochet stitches to the inside of the sweater and everything was tidy and contained.

Did that make any sense at all? This will:


Noro. Sock. Does it get any better?

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The Adventure Sweater is done!!!!!  Thank Heavens because the birthday party is at 10am tomorrow!

It came out fantastic.  I’m sorry I can’t show you here, I still haven’t bought more WordPress upload space. But there are tons of pictures up on Flickr and a few on Ravelry as well.

The main thing about this sweater was integration. The pockets, zipper band and facings, hood, drawstring casing… all integrated into the design.  Along with knitting seamlessly a la Elizabeth Zimmermann, the integrations really minimized the finishing required. Yes, there was some sewing involved, but it was much less than I expected.

Project Specs:

Yarn- Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted in Cranberry and Oxford Grey  2 skeins each color

Needles- US sz. 6 / 4mm  dpns, 16″ and 24″ circulars

Gauge- I never checked but I assumed 5 sts/in

Size- 30″ chest if my gauge assumption was accurate, to fit a 5 year-old

Started- July 2nd  finished July 13th

Recipient- Andree  We met him and his family through Nikolai’s preschool.  He was adopted from the Ukraine in February and has become one of Nikolai’s favorite playmates.

So why do I call this the Adventure Sweater?  I wanted it to be a perfect utilitarian kid’s garment. Shortened sleeves so they don’t get dirty as easily.  Pockets for storing treasures.  Zipper for ease of dressing.  Hood with drawstring for windy days.  Loose fit for cozyness and growing room.    Name tag that doubles as a loop for hanging, because what little kid doesn’t like seeing their own name?

The sweater ended up being all of these things, but it was also an Adventure for me to make.  I’d never tried pockets before.  Never tried a zipper before.  Never tried a hood before.  And steeks are always an adventure!

Go check it out on Flickr! And maybe tomorrow on Zimmermania.

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You’ll excuse the fuzzy picture.  Slicing knitwear makes me a bit woozy.

But it all came together beautifully and we now have this:

OK, perhaps I won’t show you.  Evidentally that last picture was the end of my free upload quota for WordPress.  I finally paid for a FlickrPro account tonight, and now WordPress is having a go.  Hmph.

Anyway, I uploaded lots of lovely pictures on Flickr, documenting the steeking process.  It went very smoothly.  I’d planned the steek with lots of extra sts which became the front facings.  I didn’t even need to use bias tape.  I did 2 lines of crochet on each side, one to turn the raw edges under, and one to turn the facing under.

As I was doing the line of facing-turning-crochet I started wondering if one could use applied I-cord to do the same thing?  It would take longer, but it would look nicer, and it ought to turn the edge just as well.  But first I need to learn how to apply I-cord!   One thing at a time…

Other updates- Gabriel’s sockies are finished.  Sweet sweet little boy that he is, Gabriel wore the first sockie with his  regular sock the whole day I was working on #2.  How endearing is that?

MS3- Not much progress.  Row 58.  ooof.

Harry Potter-  does anyone else think that R. A. B. is Sirius’s brother?

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