Like The Queen
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Tuesday, August 19, 2003  

A family emergency had me on the highway yesterday, so there’s nothing to report on the knitting front, but since the tagboard only allows teensy replies, I thought I’d answer Marg’s question here.

The Steek is 10 stitches wide. Here’s how I got that number.

A normal steek has an uneven number of stitches so that you get a central stitch to sew and cut. This leaves you 2-3 stitches on each side of the cut, plus 1/2 of the central stitch which has sewing machine stitches in it. The machine stitches keep your knitting from raveling and also flatten that 1/2 stitch a bit, making it easier to turn under.

In my steek I have the following:

Center stitch
2 stitches that will be up against the back armhole
2 stitches that will be up against the front armhole
4 stitches for the WrapNTurns
1 stitch that will be between the WrapNTurn and the center stitch.

I may not have needed that last stitch but it won’t actually be in the way either.

The wraps are only one stitch apart but they picked up neatly, disappearing when I finally finished the short rows and began knitting the entire circle once again.

My plan is to cut off all those extra steek stitches when I finally finish the vest body, leaving only 2 stitches up against the front and back armhole area. I may actually stitch down the third stitch from the front to prevent raveling. I don’t want a bulky facing on the front of my sweater.

I put this steek over 19 underarm stitches. And I’m using the cruder sounding “armhole” because I can neither spell nor pronounce the more correct “armesche/armische” and am too lazy to look it up.

There is a steek technique I intended to try on this vest but forgot. It’s called the crochet steek. And here's a bit more info from the same source. Rick Mondragon wrote it up in an issue of Knitters and Meg Swansen describes it in Sweaters from Camp. The idea is that you knit into the back of a stitch on either side of the central stitch. This twists that stitch, making it tighter. Then before you cut, you crochet a chain into each of those twisted stitches, making it even more secure so that when you cut the central stitch your knitting won’t unravel. I love that idea, because I really don't enjoy sewing on hand knit fabric - it tends to move around a bit and it’s hard to make the sewing nice looking. I know it doesn’t matter a hoot, if the stitching looks tidy and neat. I have sewn for too many decades to be accepting of messy looking stitches. Can’t be done. Period.

I intended, mind you, but I forgot. Eh. I will make another steeked sweater right away just to practice the technique - since I have never tried it.

There - a nice technical topic for a knitting blog.

posted by Bess | 7:25 AM