Sunday, February 14, 2016

Knitting Ninja

A few weeks ago Tin Can Knits announced a quick knit along.  The premise of it was to take a few weeks to teach yourself a new knitting trick.  As soon as I heard about the New Tricks KAL I knew exactly what trick I wanted to learn.  Steeking...

For those of you that might be unfamiliar with the technique, let me tell you that it requires cutting the knitting you've just finished.  It is not for the faint of heart.

Here's how Wikipedia begins their definition of it:
In knitting, steeking is a shortcut used to knit garments such as sweaters in the round without interruption for openings or sleeves until the end. After completing a tube, a straight line is cut along the center of a column of stitches, in order to make room for an opening or place to attach another piece.
So, essentially, you knit your item in the round.  Simple enough.  Then you reinforce the edges.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  Then you cut straight up your stitches.  OH DEAR BOB! That's crazy cakes!!!

I have been looking at a few sweater patterns, somewhat obsessively, lately.  They're ones that I've looked at before and dismissed then come back to repeatedly only to dismiss them again as too hard because they require steeking and I couldn't imagine taking months to knit a sweater then potentially destroying the whole thing by cutting it up.

But trying it out on a small project that would only take a few hours of knitting time seemed a much less daunting and more manageable task.  So I cast on Steek this Coffee Cozy, a project designed for the very purpose of learning how to steek.

All knit and ready for the crazy business of steeking!
I finished the knitting awhile ago, but it's taken me some time to work up the courage to do the actual steeking.  But this morning I decided that if I didn't get on with it, the KAL would be ending soon and I'd never get it done.  I should really get my behind in gear and just do it.  In for a penny in for a pound and all that.

Crocheted chains to reinforce things
Following the tutorial on the pattern closely, I started by reinforcing my knitting with a line of crocheted chain stitch.

Take a deep breath and snip, snip, snip...

Once that was done, there was no way to avoid it, I had to grab some courage and take that first snip with the scissors.  GULP!

It didn't go too badly.  Nothing disintegrated,  nothing untoward happened at all and the earth did not shatter.  Amazing! I am a knitting ninja.

Ok.  This part is pretty easy!
Then it was onto the next step in which I picked up the stitches and knit the button bands.  That was easy enough!

I think my crochet reinforcement could be prettier, but c'est la vie.
Then I wove in all the bajillion ends, sewed on my buttons and gazed with admiration at my handiwork.  I've no idea what I'll use it for, this coffee cozy fits absolutely nothing I possess, but it was a great little project to try out an otherwise daunting new skill and teach myself a new trick.

Would you look at that?!?  All done!
If you'd like to take part in the New Tricks KAL over on Ravelry, there's still a bit of time left since it runs through until February 29th.  You can check out all the details over on the Tin Can Knits blog.  I highly recommend it!  There's nothing like a knit along to give you the motivation you need to tackle something new.


  1. What a cool project to try steeking for the first time. I did my first steek last weekend so I can totally relate to all the excitement you just wrote about. I also did a little practice swatch but once that was done we went on to cut my beautiful sweater (I was soo nervous) Fortunately it turned out fine and now I am so happy I learnt something new.

  2. I just saw your sweater on the FO thread on Ravelry! It's absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations on your first steeking project!!! :)