Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Green Sweater

Over the past week, we've gotten about 40'' of snowfall in Gothic- that's over three feet, for the math-challenged.  It's been very picturesque with snow falling nearly all day, every day, but I was still very happy to wake up to this.  Look at the snow on top of Ender- the cabin in the lower left corner.  That is a lot of snow.

[T - I had to finally go outside and shovel out our southern windows.  The hobby room ones had several inches of snow piling up, and the main window was approaching a foot of snow near one side.  It's because as snow falls off our roof, it builds up a little hill against the window - the actual outside snow level is still below the sill, although not by much anymore.  It's all cleared away now, which was fun - from all the dripping from the roof a lot of it was pretty icy.  I got to use the big hammer to turn it into chunks, which was fun.]
Not that this is going to last- we're expecting more snow later this weekend.  In the midst of all this snow, I've made massive sweater progress.  This is the body of the sweater, which I completed a few days ago.  To the left you see the bottom hem of the sweater.  As you move to the right, you see some waist shaping that I added, and then two funny pouchy-looking things on string.  Those will become the sleeves.  It's knit in the round all the way up to the shoulders.  Which means... steeks!
As excerpted from the Wikipedia article on steeks:

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. The steek itself is a bridge of extra stitches, in which the cut is made, and is usually 6-10 stitches wide. This technique was developed by the knitters of the Shetland archipelago and is particularly associated with Fair Isle sweaters, although it can be used for solid colors as well.

So.... steeks.  I have four on this sweater.  First, it's a cardigan, so I will cut down the middle to open it up.  Then, there are two sleeve steeks and a neck sleeve.  To ensure that my sweater doesn't just unravel when I cut it (nightmare inducing), I crocheted along stitches on either side of where I was going to cut.  Note that my yarn (alpaca-wool blend) is less "sticky hairy" (Wikipedia's words, not mine) than the Shetland wool commonly used for steeking.
And then I cut in between those two light-green, crocheted edges.  As you can see, my sweater did not instantaneously unravel into a pile of useless green scraps of yarn.  So... success!

I did that four times before picking up stitches for a sleeve.  You can kind of see here that the waist shaping I added appears to fit pretty darn well!  Yay!
And two days later, a full 3/4 length sleeve.
In non-knitting news, Linda (one of Thayer's family friends) and her sister are coming out to stay with us for a few days.  We're so excited for their Saturday arrival!

[T - we're hoping it will be nice and sunny so that the skiing and the sled pulling goes fast, because a little crust goes a long way, especially with the ol' sled.  Here's to hoping Linda and Leanne manage to pack light!]


Thistle Creek Photography said...

Popped over here from Ravelry, I was so nervous reading about steeking! I was was a little queasy as I read your post waiting to see if it worked right!

Anonymous said...

Yikes 40"!! said 3" expected in Crested Butte for the last 2 days. Do you get that much more or don't they know what they are talking about. Last chance to tell us what to bring you!! We're really excited and Will travel light.
How many knitting projects should I bring??????