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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cutting Your Knitting!

Does the thought of cutting your knitting fill you with terror? Many fair isle and traditional Norwegian designs use a technique called 'steeking' to cut the fabric. Garments are knitted in the round, which makes fair isle knitting so much easier. Then steeks are cut for armholes or a cardigan is knitted in the round then cut all the way down the front.

I knitted my first sweater with steeks as a teenager. My Mum might have helped with the cutting though. I stayed clear of this technique for many, many years. Mainly because my Mum wasn't close enough to help me with the cutting but also because my Mum used to sew the seams required to secure the steek on her sewing machine. I used to have a sewing machine but I've always been rubbish at sewing so I didn't trust myself to do a good enough job. 

Last year I decided I'd have another go. You can secure the steek using a crochet hook. Much simpler than getting the sewing machine out.
 And now I'm going to share my knowledge with you. I'm teaching Steeking at Spin A Yarn in Devon on Tuesday (19 Feb - there are still spaces. Contact shop to book) and at Purlescence near Oxford on 9 Mar (a few spaces left there too, again contact shop to book).

During the day you'll learn how to reinforce steeks before cutting, how to cut and how to pick up stitches along the steek. By the end of the day you'll have the confidence to cut your own steeks.

There is a bit of home work for this workshop. Before the workshop you'll have to knit a small fair isle tube and a plain stocking stitch square. We'll do our initial practice on the stocking stitch square and then do it properly on the fair isle tube.

The tubes are fairly easy to knit. It took me 1.5 hours to knit each one. I'm a fast knitter but I slow down a lot when I do fair isle. You could easily knit one in an evening. 

So do you want to join me? I taught another workshop at Social Fabric in Totnes this week and one of the lovely ladies on the workshop said about me: "So informative I would like to take her home". I'm hoping those who come on my Steeking workshops will feel the same.

Do you run a shop or a guild/group who would like to run workshops? I've just updated my list of workshops for 2013 and I'm happy to teach anywhere in the UK (I'll even travel abroad). Interested? Contact me for more info. 

If you're interested in one of my other workshops this spring, take a look at what else is on offer. Or if you live too far away to make it to any of my workshops, don't forget, there is still time to sign up for my online Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl workshop which starts on Monday.

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