Tuesday, December 06, 2005

In which I sew my first steek

and you get crappy cell phone pictures (sorry, lent my camera to the SIL, and the hubby had the cell phone last night).

A steek, for those of you unfamiliar, is where you sew a protective edging onto your sweater and then cut a hole in the wool.

The sleeves of the Dale are finished and now the armholes must be steeked. Now, I've never steeked anything, and am inherently troubled by the idea of taking scissors to knitting. Especially multi-color knitting that has taken 7? years to complete. I had hoped, when I took the sweater body out of the bag, that I had overruled the pattern and knit in armholes, but it seems I was feeling much braver seven years ago. Also, since the sweater calls for dropped shoulders, picked-up stitches and knit-down sleeves would have made sense, but picking up sleeve stitches on a multi-color garment can be a dicey proposition (unless one has left a selvedge). So that's probably why I decided to go with the steeking, but yikes. No wonder I put the sweater down, sleeveless, all those years ago. Guess I lost my nerve.

The first step was clearly a hot cup of cocoa with a generous dollop of Kahlua in it. The second step was to hand-baste a steek line in traffic-cone orange, so I had something to follow while sewing. The third step was to prepare the machine.

Now, I do not have a real sewing machine, I have what could best be described as an anti-sewing machine, morally opposed to sewing. If my machine were a senator, it would pass legislation banning the use of thread. It would erect giant billboards proclaiming "Stop Sewing Now!"

Right off the bat, I could tell my anti-sewing machine planned to eat my sweater, so I followed the suggestion made in Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified and placed a piece of tissue paper between the feed dogs and the knit. It worked, until the machine began to self-destruct on its own principles and the bobbin and shuttle went on strike. (It's always the bobbin and shuttle; they're the troublemakers).

Two hours, twelve complete bobbin-works-disassembly-and-reassemblies and one shot of vanilla vodka later, I had steeks:

And the sewing machine is going to the repair shop before it touches Rogue (the zipper for which has been ordered, but that's another story for another day).


Jackie said...

Way to go!!! Steeks scare the crap out of me, but way to bite the bullet and give it a try!! Good luck with the anti-sewing machine. Hope they can fix the anti part.

maryse said...

excellent! who knew that steeking could lead one to having a drinking problem ;)

claudia said...

Very brave, you were.

Laurie said...

IMpressive. Nice looking steeks.