Sunday, July 11, 2010

Steeking isn't so bad after all!

Well, I gained some calm from the other projects, and decided how bad could it be to cut the steek? It really wasn't bad at all. In fact, there is actually a certain beauty to it. I did find it to be a bit fiddly, but I don't mind that at all.

First, I crocheted a chain on both sides of the steek. I did look at the Interweave Knits Winter 2006 which had an article about steeking. I did not follow all their directions, but it had a lot of good information for me to follow and feel confident about. It was simply confidence that I was lacking!

I carefully picked up stitches along the edge of my knitting.

See the edge of the crochet stitches on the steek as I picked up the stitches on the edge of the knitting?

Here the stitches have been picked up all along the edge.

This is the underside of the first row of the picked up stitches. See how close to the crochet stitches it is.

Now I have knitted several rows, and have formed a facing of sorts to go over the raw edge and crocheted stitches.

Now the facing has been whip stitched down. I must say it looks so tidy. The facing makes for 3 thicknesses, so the edge is a bit firm, but looks wonderful and firms up the shape of this jacket.  I do still have to do the sleeves, but am taking a break from the fiddly stuff here.

This is called The Beaded Diamond Shawl by Catherine Devine. The construction is quite clever, but the pattern itself could benefit from more words. Like, a better description of the instructions. You knit a border, and then pick up stitches along one of the sides and continue the border on both sides of the shawl. Sounds odd, but it does work. And, yes, there are beads! The beads are placed in the center of each square, every 6 rows... so not too often. They are placed on using a crochet hook, so you have to put your needles down each time. Well, I do anyway.

I used a silk yarn, Andrea by the Shaefer yarn company in the Pearl Buck colorway.

To steek or not to steek!

I have been trying to get to steeking... but instead, I have been knitting other small projects:

This one is called the Sinful Ribbed Scarf by Classic Elite Yarns.

Here is a small scarf knitted with a reversible pattern stitch.

 I used yarn that was made by the seller (unknown) by putting 3 different type strands together, different colors also: angora, mohair and wool; white, light blue and blue.

Another project is for Christmas:
It is called the Birthday Cowl by Nova Seals. I used a yarn by The Unique Sheep House Blend, which I found to be quite scratchy. Even though it was made with alpace, silk and wool, there was so much guard hair left, evidenced by the fact it did not take up any dye. There were many white hairs sticking out of the yarn. I tried to pull them out, but you know, some are always left behind. However, I had plenty of yarn left over after the cowl, and I went on to knit a pair of fingerless mitts, using a smaller needle and reducing the stitch pattern from 11 to 9 stitches.
And then there was still more yarn left, so I went on to knit a cap. Unfortunately, it is a bit small. I mean to find some complimentary yarn and add to the top of the cap.

Then I started another project. This was a pattern called Branching Out by Susan Lawrence, found on the Knitty .

Then, using another pattern from The Knitty called Kernel by Bonnet Sennot, and using the yarn in the colorway called Summer Sky

This is as far as I got because the next row called for beads, and I can't remember where I put the beads! So until I can find them, I am setting this project aside.