Auntie B - an internet knitting whizz
Making Monday - a riot of colour

There Will Be Steeks...

...and thankfully no blood.

This year I have said I will do three things with yarn I have never done before: knit socks (yes, it's true, I'm a sock virgin), crochet a lace shawl and steek.

The most scary of these is steeking. Socks are just a different construction using the basics of knitting and I've crocheted lace motif's before - this will just be bigger. But taking the scissors to my knitting is hard to do.

But a friend and I have decided on the Pinion cardigan by Christa Giles for our 6 nations challenge this year. This is a mini-KAL running between the kick-off of the first match of the rugby championship and the final whistle of the last day.

IMG_3551 Actually we somehow decided that steeking would be our real challenge and Pinion with its colourwork feather yoke and clever shaping gave us the incentive.

This week I finished the body and decided I should steek and knit the edgings before tackling the sleeves so I could try the cardigan on as I worked.

So then there was some procrastination - which I am officially labelling as thorough research - while I assessed my reinforcement options.

I considered the sewing machine method but was concerned about getting the stitch length right and the possibility of snagging the knitting as well as not being able to see the cutting line.

So I choose the crochet method as beautifully explained by Kate Davies.

For me the advantage of this method was that the crochet lines make it very clear wear to cut and give the impression of solid reinforcement.

I chose to use the contrast white yarn from the garment for my crochet lines because it would make things very clear for me.

The crochet method involves working a row of double crochet into the stitch legs on each side of where you plan to cut.

(Kate explains it better)

You work one crochet row from top to bottom and then turn the knitting through 180 degrees and work the second row in the opposite direction so that you end up with two lines with the stitch "ladders" you are going to cut between them.

And then you have to get the scissors out, take a deep breath and make the first cut. 

And suddenly it is not as scary as it first seems.

The knitting didn't suddenly unravel and I have two "facings" to fold back and an obvious line of stitches to pick up for the edgings.