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Old 08-10-2007, 07:57 PM   #111
Ingrid
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When you do a knitted steek, you keep a stitch at each edge in the background color of the pattern, and alternate colors between. So if you have Red and Blue in, with Blue being the background color, your knitted steek would look like this:

BRBRBRBRBRB
BBRBRBRBRBB
BRBRBRBRBRB
BBRBRBRBRBB

The background color may change, and the contrasting colors certainly change. You use whatever the background color is for that particular row and alternate it with the cc color of that row.

The edge stitch is used to pick up the sleeve, or the neck edge.

For the neck decreases, you'd do the k2tog or ssk right before or after the B edge stitch. I've never seen a bind off on a steek edge. Even if you see a blip where you do the decreases on the side of the edge stitch, it's the edge where you pick up stitches for the collar, so they really don't show any more than in a regular sweater.

Some patterns have you work the neck back and forth so you can do bind off and make the neck wider. In fact, the sweater I'm working on now has you stop working in the round at the neck but work back and forth from the front edge neck to the back neck edge on each side--right front to right back; left front to left back. I didn't appreciate doing stranded on the back though.

The cardigan I steeked had 8 or 10 steek stitches across the front, I don't really remember. Now I have to pick up a billion stitches up the front, around the neck and down the other side. Someday when I'm tied down, I guess.
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Old 08-12-2007, 01:40 AM   #112
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Thanks so much Ingrid. I think I get it now.

I understand what you mean by not wanting to work back and forth up past where the neck begins. That is why I want to try the steek idea. I knew I could work in the round to the armholes and then divide and do the fronts and back separately but in a Fair Isle that would be a bummer. I don't like having to do the Fair Isle with the purl side staring at me. I was also thinking that my FI could look different where I did it in the round and where I did it back and forth. That would not be a happy situation. Can you get yours to look just the same either way you work it?

I really appreciate your help. Maybe these added posts will help some other poor soul too. We appreciate you. Now all I need to do is try to do it and see if I find more questions along the way. Thanks again.
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Old 08-12-2007, 01:51 AM   #113
Susan P.
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I've never noticed this thread before and I admit only read first and last pages. It IS amazing to see knitting cut however, I still don't understand what a steek is as such. Is it a piece of knitting you add in for the purpose of cutting? Part of the reason I may not understand is that I've never made a jumper before..but..ok..I actually don't understand the point of it to be frank. Is it when you've changed your mind about a pattern and wish to change the neck shaping?

Sorry..
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Old 08-12-2007, 01:54 AM   #114
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Ok..it paid to read page two as I found this from Ingrid:

"A steek is an extra set of stitches that you include in your pattern so you can continue working in the round all the way up your sweater. This way you don't have to divide into front and back for sleeves or work the two sides of a neck separately."

I understand the definition now at least...
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Old 08-12-2007, 04:08 PM   #115
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I've been reading this forum and I really really want to do some Fair Isle sweaters, but there's one part I'm just simply not understanding: how does it not unravel? Like, if you pick up the stitches and knit your sleeves, how are you sure that where you picked them up from isn't going to unravel? I just am having a hard time understanding, even with the pictures.

Also, what's this about a crocheted steek? That seems doable, especially since my sewing machine cannot be trusted.

ETA: The see eunny knit blog has an excellent tutorial on crocheted steeks here But that blog says that crocheted and hand-sewn steeks still rely mostly on the yarn to hold itself together - how? It seems like the crochet would keep it from unraveling?? Okay, so obviously unraveling is my biggest fear... :(

So if you wanted to do steeked armholes, how would you add the steek? Do you do increases where you want it to start, or does the pattern include it? How do you know how many rows to do the steek stitches?
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:19 PM   #116
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The yarn used in traditional FI sweaters is regular old wool, so the ends will try to stick together even without sewing or crocheting them. At least that's what they say, and what they did back in the day, and probably now come to think of it.

Even if you use a different yarn, the sewing or crocheting does keep it together. Really. None of my steeked sweaters have come close to unravelling, even when made with superwash wool.

I think the act of picking up and knitting the sleeves keeps it from coming undone, too, since the edge stitches are knit .

All I can say is, it's worked for hundreds of years.

If you are doing a pattern that includes the steek, it will tell you when to do it. It's basically when you get the body to the length you want it from the underarm, you bind off a few stitches at the underarm, and on the next round you cast on your steek stitches and knit until the armhole is the length you want.
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:23 PM   #117
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Well, I started. Before I started the little sweater I want to do, I did a gauge in the round on dpns. But after making a inch and a half of my sweater I see it is smaller than I need it to be so I'm going to start over on bigger needles. This gives me a chance to ask a couple of questions I have already come to.

The Fair Isle (or whatever I'm doing) is only two colors and they change back and forth a lot. There are about even numbers of each over all. On some rows one predominates (it is an 11 stitch repeat). Many times one color shows up 5 times and the other 6. On those rounds I was considering the one with 6 as the "background" color for the purpose you outlined above about the edge stitch of the steek. Since the color use is so nearly the same all the time, do I really need to worry about which is the background color? Would it be better (or worse) to just make the first and last stitch match the first color used in the round? I notice on one row that there are 7 or 8 of one color so that seems like a definite background color. Am I right that on a row like that I would use the color used 7 or 8 times as the background color for the edge stitch of the steek?

Also I made the steek 10 stitches because you had mentioned that number and this is a sport weight yarn and I need enough steek to work with. I'm wondering why you use an even number instead of an odd number? Do you cut down between two rows of stitches then in the center of the steek? Why wouldn't it be better to have an uneven number so you could cut right on a row? Is there some advantage to having an even number?

Well, I wanted to get this question on here so it might give you an opportunity to respond before I get to where I need it again. I have a trip I need to make, so I need to go. A trip to the frog pond. Won't be the first time.

Thanks Ingrid.

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:32 PM   #118
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I think the even number of steek stitches is so that you can seam down the outside of two columns and then cut between them.

XXXX/XX/XXXX

The edge stitch isn't all that critical. If you have a single background color and lots of other colors, it's obvious. If you have changing background colors, it becomes obvious, too. Otherwise it won't make all the much difference in the end. If you wanted, you could just pick a color to be the edge and have it the same all the way, or pick a dominant one. It's really up to you.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:07 AM   #119
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I want to make the Blue Skies cardigan from IK sometime soon. It's a cardigan, so the steek will be the entire length of the piece (there might also be steeks for the sleeves, right?). Here are my two questions regarding the center steek:

1) Does one have to widen the steek to accomodate shaping, or does the shaping all show up, presto-chango once it's cut (like the collar on your sweater, Ingrid, which is beautiful, btw)?

2) The sts from the steek are picked up and a shawl collar is knit from them, so I'm not worried about unraveling (phew!). How does one hide the steek and make it look pretty? This steek won't be as hidden as the inside of sleeves.

Thanks! This is a wonderful tutorial. Thanks for your answers and patience. I think I'm going to like steeking, once I muster the courage to do it for the first time!
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:53 AM   #120
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1) You do the shaping on each side of the steek, so it does show up presto-chango when you cut.

2) The steek will be folded to the inside when you pick up those stitches. I guess this is an instance where sewing them down would hide them somewhat.

The first time is always the hardest. EZ recommends lying down in a darkened room after the first cut.
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