Monday, November 3, 2014

Starmore Sweater: Cutting Open a Steek

The weather has turned cooler, and that means I've gotten back to working on my Starmore sweater.  I spent a fair amount of time on it yesterday and managed to finish the first sleeve. 

This morning I cut open the steek for the second sleeve, and took a video while I did so.  It looks like the last video update I did on this sweater was a year ago, and there were some comments in between asking to show how the steek is cut.

I apologize for the poor focus - I had the camera to my left side, which meant I couldn't always see the screen to see if I was in focus!  But I think it's clear enough to give you the general idea.


So you see - nothing to fear!  If fear of steeks has kept you from working a Fair Isle sweater, fear no more!  If it's the massive amount of work involved though - well, I'm afraid there's no way around that. 

20 comments:

  1. This is becoming a really amazing sweater - rather like a heirloom than just a garment. Stunning!

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  2. This is on my list to do Gail, maybe after the holiday's I will give it a go.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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  3. Holy mother of knitted things! That is GORGEOUS!

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  4. What a cool video! I just tried out my first (very basic) fair isle and I can see myself getting addicted. This is amazing! Can't wait to see it :D

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    1. I think it is addicting! I'm already plotting the next one for after this one is finished!

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  5. It's GORGEOUS! I know it's beyond all rationale, but I still quiver at the thought of steeking. I've done it a few times, and I hold my breath the entire time. HAHA!

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    1. That's funny! I do think I get a bit braver each time :-)

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  6. Just the word and its concept is intimidating! But I know it isn't as hard as it seems. If I had to steel, I'd practice on a swatch first just to get over that first, fearful step.

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    1. I agree - I think a swatch is always a good idea for a first time go at something!

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  7. You're brave. :) Thanks for a wonderful, clearly narrated video!

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  8. Wonderful video and sweater! This is next on my list. Currently working on Alice's Wave cardigan pattern. I'm working on the 2nd sleeve. Now to figure out how to finish off the steeks when done! Next video maybe??? Hint hint!! LOL.

    And, in your opinion, what is the most difficult Fair Isle pattern? I've been having some personal issues lately and need something very difficult to keep busy and mentally occupied!

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    1. Oooh, Wave is a lovely pattern! Sure, I can show how I finish off the steeks. I have a plan, and if I stick to it, I should be able to finish this sleeve in about a month :-) Really, it's just whip-stitched to the inside fabric though.

      Hmmm, that is a very interesting question!! For me, I'd say any non-Alice Starmore pattern would be difficult! I find her patterns to be so logical - everything just makes sense. And at least in the 3 of her patterns that I've made, they never use more than 2 colors per row.

      Today a friend showed me a book she'd recently bought: Scottish Heritage Knits by Martin Storey. Full of lovely patterns, but not only do most of them have 3 colors per row, but they are also worked flat in pieces and then seamed! Now that is a challenge I care not to undertake!

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    2. I did an 8-stitch steek for the front of the cardigan. What do you do with all the ends? The book says to trim the steek to a 2-stitch width. That probably takes care of them, huh? And...do you weave in all the sleeve ends? I haven't been carrying them when I start a new color...probably my mistake. Something good to do while watching TV! Thanks, Gail. You are SO generous with your knowledge.

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    3. For the center front of a cardigan, you don't need to weave in the ends, since you're attaching your new colors at the beginning of the row where you'll cut the steek. But for the sleeves, yes - I wove in every end. It took me about 2 hours (while watching TV). Since this one is a pullover, I had to weave in the ends of the body too. I tend to do my weaving-in as I go, not all at the end. I save it for those times when I want to work on the sweater, but don't have the mental focus to follow the chart!

      Once everything is woven in, you can go back and trim the steek down to 2 stitches, and then with one of the yarns (something unobtrusive) whip stitch it to the inside of the sweater fabric. The instructions say cross-stitch, so two overlapping rows of whip stitch. But I find the Shetland to be so "grabby" that just the one row of stitching is sufficient, and it eliminates a bit of bulk to only have one row.

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  9. It's a gorgeous sweater! I do so love the look of Fair Isle. I think I'm at a point skill-wise where I could attempt one now, though I'm still scared of the thought of taking scissors to my knitting-- I can't use wool and I've heard it's a disaster if you don't!

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    1. Oh that's right - you have a wool allergy :-( I would be afraid to cut a steek in a non-wool fabric. But you could always do a fair aisle yoke sweater - all in the round with colorwork just on the yoke, no cutting necessary.

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