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Thursday, February 15, 2007

The First Cut Is Always the Deepest...

Today's Confession: Steeking a sweater for the first time will either turn me into a liberated knitter, or a lush with a crochet hook.

I am going to steek for the first time. I've been a knitter for over thirty years and managed to avoid it for this long. However, I decided to take the plunge into my unknown territory...albeit with many excuses to delay it further. Here my friends is my Knitpicks Telemark Ski Sweater ready for its procedure.

First, a little preparation.

Check List

1. Garment to be cut: check

2. Sc-i-i-i-i-ssors: c-c-c-c-heck

3. Large, cheap [shhhh!] bottle of wine given to me as a hostess gift: check

4. Large bottle of the good wine in case the cheap stuff doesn't cut it: check

5. Nice giant tumbler pretty wine glass: check

6. Crochet hook: check

7. Rosary: check

8. Garbage bag to hide the evidence if all fails: check

9. Sock yarn to make it all better if all fails: check

10. Courage and determination: check, no, no, it's there...check.

Alrighty, the first thing I must do is crochet the steek. I also need to reverse all instructions because I'm left handed.

Oh joy.

Okay, I can do this. I'm backwards anyway, right? [snort]

So, in order for me to determine a straight line, a basting stitch is a good idea. This not only keeps things aligned, but also helps you know which stitch you're crocheting and know the length [which is measured using your sleeve] of the opening you need to fit your sleeve properly.

Next, I need to crochet a few stitches before beginning my steek because it's always good to know that even though you may not be as proficient a crocheter as you are a knitter, your crochet [that you spent 15 minutes making] will remain intact while your knitting [that you spent 8 months making] falls into itty-bitty pieces.

Now it's on to crocheting the steek. I'm taking one half of two stitches and crocheting them together using a slip stitch. I'm about a stitch or so away from the basting line. [Hey, if being chintzy with the steek is good enough for Meg Swansen, it's good enough for me]. Remember, I'm left handed so this probably looks weird to a right handed person.

I began with the right side of the sweater facing me and starting on the right hand side of my basting [if you're right handed, start at the left] crocheted down, across a couple of stitches and back up again, ending it off with a few crocheted chains as I did for the beginning. Repeat on other side of sweater.

There you have it. A crocheted steek. My first one. So far, so good. I didn't have a blood pressure is probably a wee bit elevated, but I'm good.

Now, it's time to cut.

Stay tuned...

Keep On Knitting...


Knitting in Pink said...

I hope the cutting went/goes well! Good luck!

Samantha said...

Oooooooooh. I have faith in you my friend. :)

Michelle said...

I haven't cut yet, Valerie...I'm waiting in case someone comments that I've done everything all wrong! ROTFL!

Thanks Samantha!

Lisa said...

good luck michelle - i have total faith you in!

dragon knitter said...

tease! according to the harlot, looks good so far!

Anne-Caroline said...

This looks so scary! We'll wait to see you on the other side...

Carol said...

You are a brave knitter, Michelle. But then, I haven't seen the update yet. OK. Just for THINKING about trying a steeked sweater, you are a brave girl. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Marlene said...

I've never tried a crocheted steek. My sew and cut steek turned out fine though. You can do it. Go, Michelle go!

Carrie K said...

Go, go, go! You can do it.

If I ever finish either of the sweaters I'm knitting, steeks are in my future.

Shannon said...

No matter how many times you see it, it never gets easier... I feel weak thinking about steeking LOL GOOD LUCK!!!