Sunday, 19 September 2010

Steeking #2

Last year I made my first steeked cardigan, made of Kauni. It is in my view the greatest thing I have ever knitted. Yesterday I steeked my second cardigan. For the uninitiated, steeking is where you knit something in the round and then cut it to create a front opening of a cardigan, or a neckline, or an armhole etc. To stop the knitting unravelling you can either perform some sort of crochet magic which I know nothing of, or use a sewing machine to sew a line of small straight stitch either side of your cut, or if you are using 'sticky' wool you don;t need to secure it at all as it basically instantly felts itself together. I'm a sewing machine gal myself.

Here it is pre cutting. 
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You add a band of extra stitching for you to cut through and then fold back, before picking up along the edge to add a button band. And here it is after cutting.
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I think I've done the neck too high so there may be some impromptu steeking where I cut a new neckline, but that will wait until it is fitted on my mater next weekend. I have a history of taking FOREVER to knit things for relatives so it will come as no surprise that I started this about a year ago. I'm almost there now though. 

The thing I have found with steeking though, is that it is easy to get taken in by the hype. You read a lot about people getting really nervous about it, but if you sew a line and then cut and then don't suddenly start yanking at it, there's not much that can really go wrong. And taking scissors to your knitting is strangely liberating. So if you have avoided steeking, give it a go. It is good and so much easier than trying to do fairisle with the wrong side facing you. 

After my course on machine embroidery and applique at the Make Lounge I wanted to have a go on my own machine. I got the quilting/free motion foot for my machine and yesterday I went for it. Here is what I ended up with. 
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Six rather odd looking xmas tree decorations! I tried out a few different designs. It is definitely the ones with the circles I like most though. Like do it yourself polka dots, and after sewing them you get to decide how many and where you want to cut them out. 
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They are a bit jobby but you can always rely on your mother to coo over this kind of thing so they are destined for her. 

Pooch has been away all this week and so to cheer myself up I introduced a new friend into the family. 
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They are possibly the best shoes I've ever had and arrived chez byrne via Office. They are one of those things that show me up to be terribly shallow and materialistic but I just don't care! Wearing them makes me fabulously happy!

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