Friday -- Remember when I said I wouldn't say anything more about steeks? I
Here's a photo of the front neck steek of my fair isle:
You knit over "x" number of stitches, then
put "x" number of center stitches on a length of yarn as a holder. You
cast on steek stitches (between the two markers in the photo) and work the
rest of the round.
On subsequent rounds, you do your neck
decreases on the two stitches outside the markers on both sides of the
steek -- doing k2tog one side and ssk the other side to make the decreases
I didn't get a great deal of
knitting done because I made these last night:
Brownies for this afternoon's party. I
schlepped those and the cookies in on the train this morning. Good thing I
Thursday -- I'll say one more thing about steeks and then I'll shut up.
Here's another argument for using steeks instead of knitting back and
forth for the armholes of your sweater. Picking up stitches for your
armhole. When you have a steek, you've got a selvedge edge of five
stitches or so when you pick up your armhole stitches. This folds itself
to the inside and makes a facing, You can trim it to a two stitch width,
or not, but either way, it adds some stability to your armhole seam. If
you knit back and forth, you are picking up stitches for your armhole
maybe one stitch in from the edge. It doesn't offer the same stability.
I didn't get a lot of knitting done last
night because I did this.
Chocolate chip cookies. (Those cookies in the sandwich bag sitting on top
of the toaster oven? Ian, those are for you!)
Tomorrow we're having an informal dessert
party for my boss, who is retiring. We had the "official" party on Monday,
but I thought it would be nice to do something on her last day. So I
braved the sweltering heat last night and baked cookies. Tonight I'll bake
brownies. Air conditioning, I love you.
But I did knit too. See here.
I've started the front neck steek.
And I posted a photo of my new
Wild, ain't it? Lorna's Laces "bee stripe."
Wednesday -- more about steeks.
A reader on my tag board asked what the big deal is with purling back on a
fair isle? Why do you want to bother with steeks? Good question!
As another reader pointed out, usually
your purl stitches differ slightly from your knit stitches. I find this
true particularly for colorwork. You might purl a little looser when using
Another reason: I purl slower than I knit,
so knitting every round makes the whole thing go alot faster.
And yet another reason, it's difficult to
see the fair isle pattern on the purl side of your work. That'll slow you
Now for arans, I always knit in
pieces. There's really no reason you can't knit them in the round, but I
can think of some good reasons why you wouldn't want to.
First of all, it's easier to keep track of
your cable pattern if you're purling back on alternate rounds. 99% of the
time there's no patterning done on the purl side of arans (except maybe
for twisting some stitches). So you just knit the knit stitches and purl
the purl stitches/
Reason number two is that if I'm making an
aran out of worsted or heavier wool, that's a heck of a lot of weight to
be dragging around on your circular needle. Puts a lot of strain on your
needle, not to mention on your hands.
And the last reason, I think a heavily
cabled sweater benefits from having side seams. It adds stability to the
My two cents worth. :-)
I finished a pair of socks yesterday. Look
Tuesday -- let's talk about steeks.
Okay, I'm working on the body of the Fearless
Fair Isle and am steeking away. One of the steeks is visible in the new
photo to the left.
I love steeks. Why? Because they allow you to
do colorwork in the round and not have to stop at the armholes and work
back and forth to make the armholes. Because when you cut a shetland wool
steek and pick up stitches around the edge stitches, the steeks obediently
fold to the inside of your work, as if by magic, and lay there quietly,
never to move again. And because once you get to the armhole steeks in
your sweater, you no longer have to weave in the ends of your wool when
you change color. The color changes at the beginning of the round are in
the middle of your steek, where you are going to cut, so there's no need
to weave them in. cool, huh?
Check this out:
That's the steek where the round starts and
ends, and what it looks like from the inside. Not real attractive, but
once you cut it down the middle and trim off the ends, it'll look fine.
You can definitely see the edge stitch -- the background color stitch that
runs down the length of the steek. After you've cut your steek, you pick
up the stitches in between that edge stitch and the first stitch of the
pattern. It makes a great guide! Below is a photo of the other armhole
steek, the one that's midway through your round.
So be ye not afraid of steeks -- they are
Once again. welcome to Monday bloggers!
And a lovely hot Monday it is. Supposed to
reach 99 degrees today and it's already above 80. AND I have to go out at
lunchtime today for my boss's retirement luncheon.
I had a good weekend. Highlights? My cable
company changed all the channel numbers and I was awake at 2:00am Saturday
to see the switchover. Oooooh. And I started using
Why, Because I want
insanely white teeth, of course!
But enough of this silliness. I did some
knitting. See here.
P.S. to Margaret -- Yes! I love my ebony