Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Finishing a Steek: The Wimp’s Method

donegalneckflaps2.jpg
Dear Kay,
Time to deal with those pesky steek flaps at the neckline of this thing.
Alice Starmore says to cut the neck steeks, then knit the neckband, THEN finish off the steeks. This means that I was manhandling this thing, knitting the neckband in the round, steeks unfettered, yet nothing unraveled.
The fact is, shetland wool is not likely to unravel at all. It likes itself! (Kate Davies writes about all this in her usual fascinating way here. WARNING: rabbit hole alert.)
Some Fair Islers don’t even finish off the steeks, because they know the yarn will gently felt in time. But I am not willing to let this project go without going all the way. So, here’s what I did. (These pix are from the shoulder steek, just to be clear.)
The steek flap gets a haircut, to make it about 1/4″ wide:
donegalshouldertrimsteek.jpg
See how the newly cut stitches just sit there? They do not care. And remember: a while back, I backstitched through the row of stitches closest to the seam, in dark blue yarn. So there’s an insurance policy already built into this.
donegalshouldersteektrim.jpg
I worked a cross stitch across the steek, nothing fancy but sort of comforting. Remember cross stitch? That sampler? Everybody had a sampler, right?
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Here’s how the neckline looks, steeks battened down.
donegalfinishednecksteeks.jpg
The gaping maw to eternity.
Time’s up!
Love,
Ann

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. I wish I had done my first steek with a grippy wool. I made Oranje a year or two ago and I did it in sock yarn (like the sample), and, well, I think even after sewing the steek I am nervous to wear it. I still have grosgrain to sew over the steeked bits to make them feel a little more sturdy, but I haven’t done it yet.

  2. I am so glad to see the steeks under control. Cutting through knitting just seems so – dangerous. Thanks for the step by step photos.

  3. this is turning out to be one awesome sweater and a fantastic knitting lesson along the way!!!
    beautiful Ann

  4. ‘Rabbit Holes’ and ‘gaping maws’ …
    …sounds like someone needs to climb out of this wonderful thing.
    Soon!

  5. Are you wearing it right NOW!?

  6. Loving the tutorial. Thanks!

  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now – you are a brave woman! Thanks for showing us your progress on your beautiful sweater. Will we see a picture of you wearing it soon?

  8. Scissors: xtreme close proximity to knitted fabric. Frightens me. It’s like a horror movie, but with a surprise happy ending! Thanks for that.

  9. Lovely sweaters all (Alice Starmore & Kate Davies & Icelandic wool twins). You two are inspiring me to finish something – anything – some weekend soon. Also, still loving the 15-minute posts – makes me want to wave at my computer so you both know we’re all here. (Wave comes with a big smile.)

  10. I am recalling that book, “Sweater Quest,” where that woman spends a year making an Alice Starmore sweater….THAT DOESN’T FREAKING FIT at the end. And she says it was all about the process, yada yada. That’s not going to happen to you, right? You’re going to love it and it’s going to make you look fabulous and want to move to North Dakota, where you can wear it nine months out of the year. Right???!!!

  11. “WARNING: rabbit hole alert.” :)

  12. “Time’s up” !! Whadda ya mean “time’s up?” Continue FPS!! You’re killing me here.

  13. “Time’s up” !! Whadda ya mean “time’s up?” Continue FPS!! You’re killing me here.

  14. Whoa…it’s, like, freaking me OUT. I mean, it’s all Charybdis, but, like, Fair Island [sick] is, like, nowhere near the Strait of Messina.

  15. That is such a work of art. I kind of want to knit something that is designed just to steek cut and leave unfinished, so it’ll felt itself to a neck & sleeve edge. (Mine won’t be art but I just like the theory of it all).

  16. Steeking should always be classed as derring do.

  17. Steeking should always be classed as derring do.

  18. Monica, that book KILLED me. Must be the reason I’ve never tried fair isle, or steaking!

  19. My sampler was “To a friend’s house the way is never long.” Maybe so, maybe so…but that cross-stitched horse and carriage went on forever.
    This sweater is a wild ride, Ann, and that’s just for us spectators!

  20. Thanks for the great tip using an “overlock” stitch
    I love Kate Davies.

  21. Inspiration! My donegal is still in a drawer Hmmm