“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

The Gaping Maw, Or, Freaky Steeky

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Dear Kay,
It’s Steek-cutting Thursday! Come on and enjoy the thrill of chopping a hole in your knitting. It just never gets old to me.
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This is the left shoulder of the Donegal sweater. This sweater is knit in the round. Whenever there needs to be a hole in the sweater (neck opening, sleeve holes), you work a batch of checkerboard stitches that will not be visible in the finished sweater. Makes it easy to work Fair Isle when you don’t have to go back and forth, front side to back side.
You can’t add a sleeve until you cut a hole for it.
I’m so literal about this Alice Starmore pattern that when she says (circa 1994, before removable stitch markers had been invented, apparently) to mark the bottom of the sleeve with a safety pin, I use a safety pin . . .
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I worked this part of the sweater before I remembered that spit-splicing is the way to avoid a mess like this.
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I had to trim down the ends in order to see what the heck was going on in there. Note also the dark blue backstitching along what will soon be the raw edge of the sleeve hole. A little insurance policy against unraveling. Which is just not going to happen, but still. WHAT ALICE SAYS, WE DO.
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Ready, aim, chop!
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DONE AND DONE! Sleeve Number Two, here we come.
Love,
Ann
FULL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT: THIS 15-MINUTE BLOG ENTRY REQUIRED 23.5 MINUTES, PLUS 4 EXTRA MINUTES TO CALL THE SECURITY COMPANY BECAUSE THE ROOFERS SET OFF THE ALARM BY WHACKING ON MY ROOF EXTRA MUCH.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. The baby blanket I’m working on has a side with ends a lot like that from where I changed yarns for the stripes. I hope yours ends up more fun to deal with than mine does!

  2. Oh, you’re so brave to whack up your knitting. I don’t think I could ever do that, but your sweater is absolutely gorgeous.
    This must be the season of finishing UFOs. My task today is to sew up the rows of Mitered Crosses blocks (called the Bandwagon Afghan around here… because I jumped on the afghan/donation bandwagon) in preparation of embarking on my first big attached i-cord finish.

  3. Good to know thieves couldn’t break into your house thru the roof and steal that sweater! It’s beautiful!!!

  4. Good to know thieves couldn’t break into your house thru the roof and steal that sweater! It’s beautiful!!!
    Ps- loving the frequent posting!

  5. Good to know thieves couldn’t break into your house thru the roof and steal that sweater! It’s beautiful!!!
    Ps- loving the frequent posting!

  6. This jumper is going to be completely amazing when it’s finished! I can’t wait to see it. Happy knitting!

  7. Just wanted to say thanks for these awesome short blog entries. Your “voice” cheers me up, and I like “hearing” from you more often!!

  8. Masterpiece underway. You need to plan a special outing when it is done. I recommend reenacting the Alice Starmore sweaterbook photos where you hang out in bars with fishermen drinking ale in your new knit.

  9. Anyone who can cut a steek is my Hero. Seriously.

  10. Brave, still have not tried the steek-needing stuff.
    This really is quite lovely. Glad the roofers didnt come through your roof!

  11. THANK GAWD THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT A HONEY COWL.

  12. Are you saying you cut straight into your gorgeous knitting WHILE roofers were whacking at your roof? Nerves of steel, you have! Whew. I’m going to have to lay down for a minute.

  13. I once cut up a sweater without machine securing the steeks first. It was my first and only foray into crocheted steeks. It was horrifying. I will never do that again. The sewing machine saved my project and I have used it every time since then, to great success.

  14. oh phew, I’ve been holding my breath waiting for you to cut that thing ever since you showed a (recent) picture of that steek. Good job, it looks so fantastic!

  15. Beautiful! And I admire your bravery at cutting into knitting. I have only done that with felted knitting. (“Ha ha. You can’t unravel on me now, my pretty!” )
    Also, since I still sort of think of your house in the midst of its geothermal retrofit, the bit about roofers gave me a Winchester House vibe…

  16. le steek, c’est chic!

  17. le steek, c’est chic!

  18. le steek, c’est chic!

  19. You are a very brave woman, indeed! I have an unfinished sweater (we aren’t going to talk about how many years it’s been unfinished) because I’m afraid of the steek. Maybe your positive steek juju will rub off on me.

  20. I LOVE the 15 minute blogging! It’s so nice knowing I will get to read something new from you guys almost everyday!

  21. mercy
    i promise not to write just like a
    steek of lighting
    or raindrops just keep falling on my head
    tis a beauty

  22. Hope you got to give the roofers a few whacks upside the head (figuratively speaking, anyway) for setting off the alarm and disrupting your 15-minute blog post! Don’t they know they just might have cost you some Pulitzer-type prize????