Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Adventures in Steeking--part 1

Barb, my intrepid knitter friend, accompanied me to the Knitter's Fair last year. Where she fell in love with a Philosopher's Wool sweater kit. Silly me--I thought she knew that Philosopher's Wool always steeked their sweaters. Unfortunately, she was not aware of this. Bravely, she soldiered on.

The sweater was a gift for her mom's birthday. She started knitting in January, hoping that she'd be done in time. Gauge was spot on so the sleeves went off without a hitch. The body of the sweater, being a trifle larger than the sleeves, took longer. Being fair isle, it was also heavier than a "normal" sweater, which Barb found to be a pain in her arms and elbows. The birthday came and went, but Barb persevered.

This past week, she achieved completion of the knitting. NOW, it was time to steek. Being the brave person she is, Barb brought the sweater in for an afternoon knitting group to demonstrate. Here you see her explaining the process.
At this point, the machine stitching for the bands, neckline and sleeves has been done and the button and buttonhole bands are attached and knitted. Barb measured twice, took a deep breath and started.

At this point in the process, her hands are rock steady. Her voice hasn't really cracked once. She gives the appearance of being totally cool, calm and collected. Unlike the audience.
Once the sleeve holes are steeked, the shoulder seams can be inserted. Barb has chosen to use a 3-needle-bind-off technique to give the shoulders extra stability. Then she picks up the stitches for the collar and knits away merrily.
Doesn't she look pleased? And relieved? Stay tuned--we'll have photos of the finishing touches--cutting out the neckline area, separating the two fronts and the sleeves fully inserted. And the finished sweater on the model! Yippee!

Barb's only comment at the end of Wednesday? "I'm so not doing this again!"

One thing I've learned in life is "Never say never." We'll see if Barb holds to this statement.

1 comment:

deirdre said...

I LOVE the expression of the gal watching! The first (and so far, only) time I cut steeks, I actually had a glass of wine ahead of time... worked wonders!