Get the good scissors out:
It's time to sssssssssttttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!
The tutorial at our monthly guild meeting this month was on steeking, lead by members M-H and Sandra. I've never done it, and quite frankly the thought of cutting my knitting scared the crap out of me! Cutting something that I'd spent hours and hours knitting - in fairisle - gaaaaaahhhhh!
I know others have done it - and I admired their bravery - but I never really thought I could do it.
We all did our homework (knitting a tube in a fairly easy fairisle pattern), ready to learn how to reinforce the knitting before bringing out the good scissors. I was the only stupid person to use 4ply/fingering yarn - I don't know why I didn't use 8ply/DK, which would have made for a bigger tube and less knitting required. I suppose I always think of finer yarn when I think of fairisle (it would be too too hot to wear a double strand 8ply garment here) and I had this yarn left over from my endpaper mitts, so that's as far as my thinking went when choosing yarn!
Anyway, I had a bit of an experiment with my fairisle - reversed the colours for the middle section, and for the top section I reversed the yarn carried over the top (at bottom, I carried the brown over the green, at top I carried the green over brown) - I think the top looks better. Yarn dominance in action!
The tutorial was excellent! M-H and Sandra have come up with an alternate way to reinforce the steeked section using crochet - the method most commonly used has you crochet on either side of the area you will cut (the double width brown strip in the centre of my sample), while their method (the WestWard method!) has you crochet on either side of the entire steeked area, thus creating a kind of selvege edge and reducing bulk on the very edge. (The red stitches are the crocheted reinforcement).
I initially grumbled about this method, as I found it the way of crocheting very awkward, but once M-H showed me how to do it more easily, I saw the light! And soon I was going for the scissors and it only took a few seconds and my tube was now a flat piece of knitting! Weeeeeeeeeeee!
I thought I'd chosen a relatively sticky yarn, but I discovered after cutting that it was not really sticky at all! So I think if I was to use a non-Shetland yarn for fairisle, I'd either crochet right on the steek area, to ensure it can't unravel, or I'd use the WestWard method but also machine sew closer to the steek edge, for double security!
Thanks to M-H and Sandra, I now have the confidence to actually try this out on a full-size garment! Yay for Growth As A Knitter!