Steeking Stranded Knitting
Topic: stranded knitting
I am having way too much fun experimenting.
I finished the gawdawful January task of bookkeeping/inventory/taxes and I get up in the morning now READY TO KNIT. Each day is brighter as I leave behind the columns of numbers and misguided receipts. IS THERE ANYTHING FUNNER THAN KNITTING?
I have tried for an hour to get good pictures of what I am doing. I give up. I need a better camera or better lighting or a steadier hand. So, forgive these less than clear shots.
My steek experiment will not be over until I have cut and sewn and finished off the front of this cardigan. As much as I have been experimenting with steek creation, I have narrowed down the finish I want to use. Mary Ann Stephens has provided a WONDERFUL on-line tutorial on the whys and ways of steeking. I have read and re-read her words, as well as examples and instructions in Alice Starmore books, books from Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swanson, and patterns from Dale of Norway. Hers' looks to be the best for the finished look I want. We'll see.
I added 5 stitches to the beginning of the cast-on round in which to create the steek, which will be cut into and turned down once the sweater is ready for adding the cardigan bands for the front closure.
I started off with a purled steek, with unused yarns carried in the front of the work (lowest portion picture):
This ended up being in the already-turned-under-and-sewn-down hem. Notice how clearly we can see the columns of charcoal knit stitches on either side of the steek. These are the stitches I will be picking up to work the edging. I hated making this steek and it looks sloppy, which bothers me ALOT.
Then I sailed into the normal knitted steek, choosing to make the color changes in vertical lines for clarity:
This one makes me very happy while doing it and also looking at it waiting for the next step. At this point I am almost thinking about using the gray stitch OF the steek at either side as my pick up row, which then turns the real steek into just 3 stitches wide. Hmm.
Then I decided to make a purled steek that looks neat, carrying the yarns on the inside:
This one looks MUCH better, and I still see the vertical lines I need for cutting. If the final finish is remarkably better than the knit steek, then I may opt for this style another time.
And finally, for today at least, is the twisted knit steek:
This one is supposed to grab better after cutting. I like making it and we'll see how the twisted knits affect the final flatness of the finish.
The only other steek left to experiment with is the wrapped steek, which I intend to make at the neck. I resented the bulk of a cut edge when I last reworked a finished regular steek on this pullover version of the Faroe Vine sweater, FLAWLESSLY knit by Carol Slauson:
So, stay tuned for the last steek sometime in the next 2 weeks. I have to get to the top of my cardigan before I can play more.
Posted by countrywool
at 9:32 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 4 February 2007 9:45 AM EST