Bucket list knitting: Steeks!

Is steeking on your knitting bucket list? Say yes!

steek promo

A steek is a column of extra stitches inserted into your knitting so you can cut them. Why? Because stranded colorwork is so much easier in the round than knit flat. But when you want that circular knitting to be flat, as in a cardigan or a scarf, you need to cut the steek.

mid steek

It’s not as scary as it sounds, especially if you do it to a small piece of knitting, instead of the cardigan you’ve been knitting for months. To that end, I’ve designed a couple pieces to practice on.

bucket list coffee accessories

Oh, coffee, I love you so much I knit a sweater for you. And a mug rug.

These are the Bucket List Coffee Accessories. You can use them for your tea, too. I won’t tell anyone. I designed these for a class I’m teaching at Twisted later this month (see end of post for details).

They make sweet gifts, and they’re an opportunity for you to try steeking, even if you can’t come to class. The pattern is available through Ravelry, and it’s on sale for 20% off through October 15 with coupon code EEK. As in steek. Ha!

I wrote a longer tutorial here, in case you like more pictures. Who doesn’t like more pictures?

For this project, I knocked a couple things off *my* bucket list, too. It’s small circular knitting, which I usually do on dpns. I wanted to know how to knit with 2 circulars, and with magic loop. Done. I liked the magic loop. Working with two circulars is like having antennae waving all over the place, too flappy for me. Your mileage may vary.

I’m teaching a steek class with the Bucket List Accessories at Twisted on October 17 and 24 at Twisted. Come join me, and we’ll explore stranded colorwork on dpns, magic loop, and 2 circulars. During the second class we’ll cut these quick pieces with the support of our classmates. There may be bubbly at the end of the second class!

The very first time I saw a steek cut, it wasn’t even colorwork. My cousin and college roomie Kathy had been an AFS exchange student in Norway, and she was knitting a purple sweater in the round. Since it was stockinette, it was all knit, no purl. She steeked the armholes, because that’s how she was taught in Norway. Are you purl averse? Take that idea and run with it!

11 responses to “Bucket list knitting: Steeks!

  1. Clever to practice steeking on something small. I also like the concept of a knitting bucket list. I will have to develop one of those for myself. Wishing you the best for your class!

    • Thank you! I also have a steeked scarf pattern, Ruffle Kerfuffle, but it seemed like a lot of homework to do before showing up to class. These are much more manageable, and also give practice with small circumference techniques like magic loop, dpns, 2 circulars. I’m happy to have them all in my toolkit now. I was resistant!


  2. Steeking has always terrified me. I’d never considered trying it out on a small item before tackling it on a sweater. Thanks for the idea.

  3. I did my first steek in high school because I really wanted to knit a Norwegian sweater. Since I was so innocent at the time I just did it. and it worked! Been steeking ever since. But lace still terrifies me.

  4. I have stepped before and I have to say it was oddly satisfying to cut my own work. Also, magic loop is da bomb. I don’t even know what I did before it… double pointed needles? What??

    • That’s showing your knitting who’s in charge: SNIP!

      I liked magic loop for this project, with the Malabrigo Merino Worsted. But I didn’t like it when I was working with some Quince and Co. Chickadee, and I don’t know why not. So I’ll just keep playing around and use whatever feels right for the project!


  5. That should say steeked not stepped. Damn you autocorrect!!

  6. Leslie A. Gordon

    I’m totally getting these!!!

  7. I have not yet done a steek, but I love your suggestion to start with a small project like a mug cozy! I’ll do anything for my coffee 😉 Love your site. Feel free to check out mine sometime- I just started blogging! 😉 Thanks! songbyrdy.com