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First steeks

I got to the part of my Fair Isle sweater where I had to decide how to proceed with the armholes:

  • split the knitting on two needles and start knitting the front and back separately, or
  • create steeks for the armholes and keep knitting in the round.

I opted for the steeks.

Since this is the first time I do steeks, I am not sure I am doing things properly. Hopefully someone will tell me if this looks right or not.

The sweater so far.

To create the armhole steeks, I casted on seven new stitches at each side using the long-tail cast-on. Then, I started knitting the stitches in the darkest color with the center stitch in the lightest color for when I have to cut.

When I took the Fair Isle workshop in London, I focused primarily on the knitting technique and didn't pay enough attention to the steeks. We didn't actually go into how to create steeks, but I saw an almost finished sweater. I remember that either the body or the sleeves had an edge where one line was purled, instead of knitted, to facilitate folding, but I can't remember which part it was. Help!


francesca! that is looking *gorgeous*! you speedy knitter you, wow.

as for steeks, you brave knitter as well. ;) check out eunny jang's steeking posts - they're very detailed and this post in particular, http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2006/01/the_steeking_chronicles_part_ii.html,
could be what you're looking for.


Francesca, the sweater is gorgeous and I LOVE your colors! Your steek looks fine and will probably work. Normally one would alternate dark and light colors to anchor each the same and get across the steek. Either light on light and dark on dark (to make straight lines, which is what I do) or switching on each row so that a light is on a dark and vice versa. I'm not sure what the pattern calls for in the way of armhole shaping. (Despite the fact that I have that pattern somewhere.) It looks like you're just knitting straight up, so the steek will make a straight armhole opening. That's what the photo looks like.

ANYway, there's nothing wrong with your steek the way it is and I sure wouldn't go back and change it to alternating stitches. Just make sure you secure it before you cut on the light stitch, or you'll have lots of loose white strands to deal with on the back!

Now you have motivated me to go find my pattern!

Andrea, thanks for the URL. That is an excellent, excellent resource. Sandra, thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I am knitting straight up; I wanted to keep at least one thing easy. Alternating colors: why didn't I think of that? I am weaving in all my yarn every other stitch, though, so I am probably ok.

Francesca! It looks great. I think you will be amazed at how easy it is once you have "done the deed" of cutting. I second Sandra's comments about alternating, but if you weave anyhow, it should be fine. Are you using the Hifa 2?

Oh, Francesca, it looks amazing! I know nothing about steeks, but had to compliment your fantastic (and fast!) knitting.

It is just gorgeous.

Hi Sharon, no I am not using Hifa 2. I am knitting with Rowan's Scottish Tweed 4-ply. It's really a lovely yarn. BTW, I switched to alternating colors in the steeks even though I already had a few rows done. It won't show in the end, anyway.