GTS has its first guest blogger, the one and only Lucas. Imagine we are all sitting round the campfire and Lucas has a flash light which he is shining up at his face from below (which puts ones nostrils all aglow). This is the tale of the spooky Steeking! (dramatic pause for effect) MWAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, take it away Lucas.
Steeking (definition): an eight-letter word that strikes fear into the hearts of knitters everywhere, usually followed by the shocked reaction “You want to do what?!” You heard me right; I’m going to cut a big hole in my knitting.
Steeking is a technique whereby front openings, armholes or necklines are cut out of a piece of knitting after the body is already finished. Steeking allows you to knit garments completely in the round; by not having to work a wrong side the knitting process is faster, results in a more consistent tension especially when doing colourwork, and you have far fewer ends to weave in when you’re done.
These all sound like great benefits at the beginning of a project – it’s amazing how quickly the bravado fades when the scissors come out.
D-day for me was last Monday. After six months of working on my Dale of Norway “Berge” jumper the garment-pieces were assembled, the scissors were new and sparkling, and the amazing Town Mouse Knitters were gathered around ready to toast my success or pick me up if disaster struck.
But the knitting gods were pleased with us all that night (maybe it was Cyria’s virtuosic talent with the Tibetan singing bowl?) and the scissors cut true. With the new armholes installed I mopped my forehead, took a quick gulp of stout, and just carried on where I left off – with this big hurdle now cleared the finish line finally came into view.
Steeking is totally scary but it isn’t magic. By getting advice from your friends, learning from resources in print and on-line, and having someone there to keep your nerves calm and your scissor-hand steady, you can do anything. A well-tuned singing bowl doesn’t hurt either.
If you would like to keep an eye on Lucas’ progress, feel free to stalk his Ravelry Project Page. Rumor has it, the jumper has been finished!