One thing I adore about knitting is that I am constantly learning new things.
I consider myself to be an advanced knitter. I love trying things that most people balk at – lace, twined knitting, steeks …
I remember learning about steeks eons ago. To me it seemed that no one knew what they were or that they existed. I had not heard of EZ at the time, and no one was writing anything about them. I stumbled across someones blog by accident and LOVED the idea. I tried to learn more about them, but alas, nothing was to be found. I scoured the bookstores and knitting stores – much like I did about Shaker Knitting and all I received was blank stares. Now of course there is a marvelous book on Brioch Stitch! Go figure. I had that idea to write a book that was not for beginners, a book that covered all these things I love about knitting, but could not find any reference to them in a more advanced form…
Anyway. I learned how to steek. I have been doing it for years. I remember the first baby sweater I made using steeks – and the addi turbo needle that was sacrificed to the sewing machine. Ouch, glad it was not my fnger.
I love some of the professional finishing techniques – but I hate sewing the pieces together. I am too much of a perfectionist. I hate seaming and then ripping it out because the stitches don’t line up just so. Steeks were the perfect resolution to my issue.
I learned the crochet chain method, the hand sewing and even the sewing machine method (like that baby sweater knit from cotton) and regardless of what I did, I always faced the area to better secure those threads and make them look nice.
But in most cases, I hated how thick the facing made the arms, or the button bands…
So this time I tried something new, and liked it. But I did something wrong – not really – and I learned from it.
I had read a few blog posts at http://www.eunnyjang.com
She has a wealth of valuable information presented in a way I never could have dreamed or had the time for.
Some time ago I decided to review her Steeking posts. Last night I tried to use her crochet method of securing the steeks. Only difference was that I had patterned my steeks in a checkerboard fashion. Not the vertical stripes she presents. I had seen both methods – stripes or checks – and that it was just a personal preference.
Not until I tried Eunny’s method. It makes a big difference. Thankfully for me, it wasn’t a SIGNIFICANT difference. Only a few of my floats didn’t make it into the crochet binding. It did look spectacular at first. However, my yarn being 100% alpaca, it wasn’t felting together quite as fast (or as nicely) as Shetland wool. I had figured that would happen, so I had used Palette for the crochet binding and then again for the inside of the facing. I didn’t want to be too fiddly with this sweater, so I picked up the cast on from the sleeve and knit a few rounds and then joined them with the stitches for the sleeve. Perfectly encasing those cut edges. I had used 4 stitches for my steeks (Eunny used 3 in her example) and I was glad of the extra length when pulling those lose stitches into the crocheted binding, and then trimming them a little to fit inside the facing.
It looks nice. AND it is thinner than my usual facing(ed) area. Next time I will have to try those vertical stripes for the steeks – that way there are no loose floats that I would have to worry about working their way loose of the sweater. I may even try to make something that is not faced. Someday… Maybe? So far the closest I have come is with grosgrain ribbon on last years winter vest…
I hope I can fit into that soon after the baby. It was snuggly!