Sunday, August 19, 2007

A rainy Sunday afternoon

Today has felt autumnal in that snuggle down under a blanket, knit warm things and eat comforting spag bol kind of a way. I am reliably informed by my northern translators that the weather for today is "dreek". Well you can guess what I did today!!

Actually today's story should probably start with a rainy Saturday evening - H was out with some work colleague who were staying with us so I had the evening to myself and I had planned to do something about Kauni but as with the best of plans, we overslept, spent most of the afternoon sorting out the house and doing the usual Saturday chores and when you have guests in the house it really isn't the best time to start steeking. That and J was staying in my sewing room!

Ok, ok I'm sure you believe my reasoned prevarication so far but the canny among you will know that there is one more reason for the delay; Mystery Stole 3.
Finished Saturday evening and boy did those last few rows take a while. This is the unblocked state and you can finally get a feeling for the finished article.

This morning I had no such excuses - MS3 was finished and just needed blocking so surely now I could think about those steeks. But the problem with finishing one project is it inspires a bout of finishingitis which is particularly catching when you have an almost finished sock on the needles and you are the slightly obsessive sort of person who likes to finish a sock each week. (On a complete tangent that means I might knit 26 pairs of socks a year - I've knit 14 pairs so far this year including two pairs of knee highs so I'm going well!). Needless to say I now have 1 finished embossed leaves sock - and very comfy it is too.
Embossed Leaves
So those steeks - I knew I'd never get away with hiding from them again but I did have one more job to do first - blocking the Mystery Stole, this time with blocking wires - or rather "light garden wire" from Homebase:
MS3 and Wire
Once you have unravelled the coil and pulled it through your fingers a few times it straightens out really well. The stole had a little soak and was then threaded onto the wire through the YOs around the edges and it is wonderful how few pins you need to block a nice straight edge. I have pulled out each of the feathers on the wing to a point and it looks wonderful. The only problem is that as it is fine white lace my pictures of the stole blocking on pale coloured towels are remarkable only for their uninteresting nature - better piccies when the stole and I meet in daylight!

I have to say my fear of the steeks and the reason for putting it off until the weekend was not really a fear of cutting my knitting - lots of Norwegians make sweaters by cutting them, there is no reason to suppose mine will be any different - and more to do with a fear of my sewing machine eating the knitting!

Suitably bolstered by copious amounts of chocolate and with H on hand to mop up the tears if all went wrong I set up the equipment:
Steeks 3
I planned on practicing on the swatch but I couldn't find it so I did a dry run on an old Alpaca swatch - I sewed:
Steeks 2
And steeked:
Steeks 1
An the world did not come to an end so I ventured onto the real thing.
I would love to say that it all went (dare I say it) seamlessly but the machine did have a valiant effort at sewing about 20 sts all at once into the same bit of knitting after the bobbin had a little paddy and I had to rip out one protective seam and do over. It isn't the best stitching in the world but it will hold.
After all of that actually cutting an armhole was a walk in the park and we are all set up ready to go again - must get a shorter circ though.
So far the steek I have cut seems to be holding up well - it is a little fluffy round the edges of the cut as it passes through my fingers but as the sleeves lengthen I will be leaving the steek well alone and it's nothing major.

More progress will be revealed as it happens.

PS I cast on for Foxglove! - bad and unfaithful knitter


  1. you are so much braver than me... glad it's paying off :)

  2. The way your colors are combining is stunning. Congrats on a good steek! This was my first steeking experience too, and I thought it was rather exciting. :-)

  3. I hope you don't mind if I look on your Kauni pictures for support.
    I will be starting mine as soon as the yarn gets here.
    Yours gives me lots of courage and inspiration.


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