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Old 07-09-2007, 10:01 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by ContiKnitter View Post
Steeks are very useful, if you don't like seaming. You can just knit the entire sweater in the round, cut the steeks, do a 3-needle bind off for the shoulders, pick up stitches for the sleeves and neck, and not one seam. And, you don't have to do it with just Fair Isle, I do it with any allover pattern, color or not.

What's cool to me is the neck steek, it looks all pinched in until you cut it, and then voila, you have a nice neckline. I use steeks all the time for jackets/cardigans, because you have no seams, instead of 5 different pieces to sew together, you just cut some openings.

What's weird to me is that some people don't even secure before they cut, they trust the old Shetland Wool to hold itsself together, which it does, but I still wouldn't think of doing that.
Hi Conti!

I took a 6 hours workshop about 4 years ago...it was a color workshop...the instructor is a ROWAN rep...and a MASTER Fair Isle knitter. Anyhoo, part of the workshop had us working with steeks...and she simply had us cut the steek...the two cut edges rolled to the inside (like stocking stitch does on its own)...trim off excess...and whip stitch it down on the wrong side.

I think it sounds safer to secure first...then cut...but that is not what she taught us. She said 'knitting does not unravel sideways'.
Well, it didn't unravel within the time it took us to trim the bulk of the steek away...and whip stitch it, secure it, to the underside.

I never did do anything with Steeks though. I don't Fair Isle knit. And I don't mind seaming.

I wish I was not so frustrated with Fair Isle knitting. It is the tension thing. Stranding the two colors in the back of the work is tedious & frustrating for me. If I make it look nice, it ends up being too tight and puckers the work. If I knit it looser, it looks messy, and may stay messy...but how will I know til the work is off the needles and onto the blocking board? A lotta work for nothin' if my tension is once again WONKY LOOSY GOOSY. I have knit a few things that need some colors implanted by stranding...but I avoid it like the plague because of the tension issue. Color knitting is so beautiful, but alas, I content myself with texture & cable knitting...and colorful yarns like NORO.

I don't have a problem with Intarsia though. That I can do.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:25 AM   #92
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I just knit a test swatch, and cut it without securing, and it did unravel sideways, just not as readily as vertically.

I know what you mean about the Fair Isle, it is difficult to get your tension right across a large number of stitches. And, steeks aren't just for Fair Isle, they're for anything, great for us knitters who prefer to knit sweaters in the round.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:59 AM   #93
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Thanks for the info, Conti! Yes, steeks are a very useful technique for many knitted items. I will follow your advice before I cut the pocket slots in my NORO Poncho!

Overall, the color knitting class was hugely helpful. It demystified a lot of the scary unknowns associated with color knitting in general. She tried to cover A-Z in just 6 hours.

The class was too large...and the knitters were too diverse in their skill levels. The "kindergartner" knitters sucked up all her time and attention. The shop that sponsored the class should have limited the size of the class and screened the knitters. It was an expensive class, but I would rather have paid more, and gotten more out of the class. The instructor was run ragged, let me tell you. I think this class had 20 knitters, 14 of which were basically beginner knitters. Sigh.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:36 AM   #94
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You're right, that class should have been limited to intermediate/advanced knitters, who would have gotten more out of it. Then, the shop could have sponsored a beginning color class, that would have been better.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:02 PM   #95
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Landing this Instructor, Sandy Blue, was a BIG DEAL. This woman, you should have seen her Fair Isle work. It was incredible! She had a wealth of knowledge to impart...but alas, she got stuck showing people how to, for example, cast on and work with their slippery, metal needles on the Fair Isle sample. Sigh.

Although she is a master at knitting...I think she was a novice at teaching and controlling a class.

Anymore, I ask the LYS if they are limiting the class size. I know they will cancel a class if they don't get enough students signed up.
But, I want to know...will they limit the numbers? Usually, the answer is no. They don't usually get 20 women signed up.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:13 PM   #96
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Here's a video of a steek being cut on a fair isle blanket knit in the round. I swear, the sound of the scissors cutting through the fabric is like fingernails on a chalk board!
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:47 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by JGM View Post
Here's a video of a steek being cut on a fair isle blanket knit in the round. I swear, the sound of the scissors cutting through the fabric is like fingernails on a chalk board!

Hi there JGM! Thank you for the video link! When I cut my first "sample" fair isle piece...I had the same feeling! Eeeeks!! And it was a far cry from that beautiful piece of knitted ART that the Rainey Sister cut on the vidio clip!

Wasn't her knitting just absolutely gorgeous!!??

Thanks again!
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:14 PM   #98
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I might be in the minority here, but the day I cut my first steek, I couldn't wait to get cutting. I had crocheted around the 3 center stitches and I was ready to get going! I still put an inch worth of stitches on hold for the steek, cast on that same number, and then crochet around the center 3 stitches, then cut. No worries. It won't unravel, it's very secure. Steeking is my all time favorite knitting technique.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:27 PM   #99
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I have a question...can you steek with any kind of yarn?
Thanks...

I didn't know what it was until I read all of this, and I remember the first sweather I made, for my husband about 17 yrs. ago and I was just a begainner and don't like the way it look with the seams...I would love to try it and I can't afford the pricey yarns...
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:38 PM   #100
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Sure! I steek almost every sweater I make. Almost. I'll find any way to make a sweater without seams.
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