Back in 2012, I took a steeking class with Mary Scott Huff at Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival (blog post here). It was fabulously fun, and I learned 3 ways to secure my steek. My favorite was the crocheted steek, so that’s what I use. I’ve been thinking of ways to fine tune them, though, so I decided to sit in on Mary’s class yesterday morning via Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop. It did not disappoint.
Top picture, going around from right to left: One full stitch in the center with slip stitch crochet reinforcement through the two stitches on each side of it; half of each center stitch reinforced with slip stitch crochet through the stitch next to it; and half of each center stitch reinforced with single crochet to the stitch next to it.
Bottom pictures are a closeup of the single crochet reinforcement going through half of the center stitch and half of the stitch on each side.
Here’s what I found: Leaving a whole stitch in the center means messier ends. But it also means security. I’m a belt and suspender kind of knitter, I want to make sure things won’t fall apart. Today’s exercise showed me that it won’t fall apart. Probably. Heh. There are many ways to secure a steek, and none of them are wrong if you get the result you want! I’ve seen a one stitch steek on an Icelandic sweater, and I’m too chicken to try it.
What I was really wondering about was the bulkiness of my crocheted steek, since I’ve been working with worsted weight yarn. Best answer? Use a lighter weight yarn to crochet the reinforcement, like I did with these swatches. If I pick a coordinating color, single crochet makes a lovely finished edge without any more fuss (bottom 3 pictures on collage above). If I’m trying to minimize bulk, like maybe behind a zipper, slip stitch crochet works well. Picking up a ribbing or other edging in the column of stitches a couple stitches away from the cut edge forces it to turn back, like a seam allowance, and all the ends are hidden either way.
But enough about my crochet steek fussiness. Here’s a new one (I had previously read about it in Modern Daily Knitting). A needle felted steek! Look at this: all business on the front…
Fuzzy party in the back! It holds beautifully. I’d probably want to do something to make that edge look more finished, though.
What a fun way to spend a morning! But now it’s on to other tasks…still knitting away on the log cabin wrap; I have 4 more logs to knit, and then I’m done. Tech editing is done, too. I’ll check in with my test knitters, but look for it mid-April.