Monday, February 27, 2012

Eeek, it's a steek!

One of my unofficial New Year's resolutions was to refrain from buying more yarn until I work through half of my stash (my stash isn't very big: "half" constitutes 2 sweaters' worth).  I also had a couple of hibernating WIP's that I new needed to go.  I decided that the first contestant would be my poorly-conceived tunic (seen here).  The problem with the whole thing is that the yarn is so damn itchy.  It needs to be worn as outerwear and I can tell that the tunic is going to be too warm for me.  So I frogged it and started some sleeves for a Seamless Hybrid (women's version).  It's going to be a jacket with long and roomy sleeves and buttons.  Maybe some patch pockets?  I'm not sure.  All I know is it's going to be WARM.  Phew, this yarn is a workhorse (Lamb's Pride, by the by).  Last week, I showed you sleeve #1:

I experienced something with this yarn that I had not yet come across: there are dramatic variations within the different balls (all the same dye lot and batch).  This sleeve has nice dark low lights and a few strands of light beige high lights.  The other sleeve (a different ball of yarn) has much less contrast.  Oh well.  I'm not a perfectionist and besides, if I chuck that ball, I won't have enough yarn.  No-one will notice, right?  Right.

For the body of the sweater, I'm going to attempt, for the first time EVER, a steek.  I've been doing research all week and found Eunny Jang's tutorial series here, which is really well executed and full of crucial information, which I so appreciate.  I decided to do up a little steek swatch:

My knitted tube with one row of crochet stitches along the steek line (I didn't actually mark the steek line - it wasn't crucial).

The tube with both rows of crochet, ready for cutting.

Do you see the ladders I've circled in grey?  Those ladders are what I'm about to cut.  (Please forgive the deplorable state of my thumbnail and cuticle.  February is doing its best to kill me and I tend to take that kind of thing out on my nails.  My name is dw and I'm a nail biter.)

Steeking in progress.
Wrong side view of the steek in progress.
Isn't it strange how there are no little yarn ends?  The snipped threads almost seem to shrink back into the crochet stitches.

The steek edged (notice how short those snipped threads are?  I'm highlighting them with arrows...)

The wrong side view of the steeked edge.  So neat and tidy...

...and the right side view (with an arrow pointing at a little snipped end).

I took the opportunity to pick up and knit along the edge to practice making the button placket.

Result: nice, crisp and tidy.  The seam allowance on the wrong side was surprizingly not at all bulky.  And it lies flat against the fabric - no wrestling into place involved.

I tacked down the edge with some scrap yarn (in orange, so you could see it).

And this is the final product.  

So what do I think?  Ah yeah, me likey.  I have a feeling I'm about to embark on an adventure that will change my knitting forever.

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