Tag Archives: steeks

Evolution of the Dotty Bed Sock

I designed this mini Dotty sock to teach top down sock basics during the Craftsy/Knitting Circle Holiday Virtual Event in December. But I always knew that I’d want to design a full size sock using the Dotty stitch pattern, which I love. Of course they’d be worsted weight socks, because I’m not a skinny yarn sock knitter. And I like quick socks!

I used a two row stripe pattern at the gusset decreases, because it was easier than trying to make those decreases fit into the Dotty stitch pattern. And I liked the way the stripes looked, so much that I put a 2 stitch slip stitch stripe pattern on the sole of the foot. Well. that was so graphic and lovely, I decided that maybe I wanted striped socks instead. So I started those.

I wasn’t sure I had enough of the purple/orange combo to make a third sock, and I wasn’t committed enough to the stripe to frog the first sock, so I started a striped pair in blue. (Thank you stash!) But you can tell that it’s hard to control the stitch gauge with the 2 stitch stripe patten; see how the cuff and the foot are wildly different in width? The gauge is definitely tighter than the Dotty stitch pattern. I wrote up the pattern while knitting the second blue sock, but by the time I was finishing the second sock, I really didn’t want to publish it. Too many caveats about gauge and centering the stripe pattern at the heel for the different sizes. I wanted it to be simple and elegant. Worst of all, they weren’t as cute as I thought they would be.

You can see from the picture above that I moved on to the green all Dotty sock.

After I finished the Dotty sock with the striped gusset, I wondered if the row gauge between the dots and the stripes were too different for me to use dots on top, and horizontal stripe on the bottom where the decreases happen. Only one way to find out. So I tried it. And it was fine. Then I had to decide which I wanted for MY pair.

Which meant I had to knit a third sock, so I’d finally have a complete matching pair. And an extra. And that’s how I ended up knitting 7 socks before I had a complete pair.

The Dotty Bed Sock pattern has both insteps, so you can choose which one you like best. But the striped sock? Not gonna happen…even though I had it tech edited. I only want you to have the best!

The Dotty Bed Sock pattern is still 20% off with code SlipSlide through January 8.

The SlipSlide code also applies to the Slip Away Cowl, through January 8. It’s been a slip stitch party!

And the Sheepy Steeky Coasters are still 15% off with code COASTING through January 8, too. If you’re looking for a low stakes introduction to steeking, this is it. Coasting into 2022, one stitch at a time.

I’ll show you what’s on my needles in the next post. Although by then, it may be off. I’m knitting up a storm of garter stitch, and thinking about more! What are you knitting in 2022?

Improving my steek

I was perusing Mary Jane Mucklestone’s 150 Scandinavian Motifs the other day, and I was struck by her steek setup.

She uses a six stitch steek, but the two center stitches are the same color. This makes it clear where you cut: between the two stitches that are the same color. Easy peasy!

My first forays into steeking used a checkerboard pattern. I use single crochet to reinforce my edges. I’ve tried slip stitch crochet, too, but I like the way single crochet looks, better. Trial and error, right? The checkerboard pattern kept me on my toes, as far as seeing where to crochet my reinforcement; the color alternated with every stitch.

On my next steeking pattern, I decided to use striped columns, so I was always crocheting into the same colors. Better. But not symmetrical as far as the edge stitches go.

The double center line makes it super clear. Yes, it’s the same as far as crocheting under 2 different color legs, but this makes my heart go pittypat. In a good way. The steek edges are the same color, where I pick up my edgings, so they look the same. That’s a win for me. Symmetry! You can use whatever steek arrangement you like; I like this one best. So far…

If all goes according to plan, this pattern will be offered free via Craftsy/The Knitting Circle for a Live Event on Tuesday, November 30. I’ll keep you posted. I love these little projects for teaching, learning, and gift giving! And I’m glad I learned something, too.

Have you ever discovered a better way to do something, and it was so simple it made you laugh out loud?

Coming up: A revamped Bucket List for steeking class

Steeks! Does the word strike fear in your heart? Cutting your knitting…it’s not so scary if it’s just on a tiny piece, and that’s why I designed my Bucket List Coffee Accessories a few years back.

Steeking a little piece of knitting isn’t nearly so scary as cutting a sweater. There’s so much less time invested in the knitting.

I took a steeking class with Mary Scott Huff many years ago at Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. Afterwards, I designed this scarf as a first steeking project. I offered a class for this project, and it was fun. But the catch was that you had to knit the whole thing before class. That was a commitment!

So I designed a smaller project, the mug rug (coaster) and coffee cozy that you see here. I reshaped the class as a two-parter: Beginning stranded colorwork on week one, and steek cutting and finishing on week two.

Now I’m going to offer the class at Twisted as a single class, the one with the cutting fun. I’m updating the pattern with a few more helpful hints for stranded colorwork, and changing the steek area from a checkerboard pattern to vertical stripes. This will make it easier to see exactly where to reinforce the knitting before cutting the steek.

If steeking is on your knitting bucket list, this is a gentle introduction. If you’ve purchased the pattern before through Ravelry, you’ll be notified when the update is ready later this month. I want to re-photograph the steeking instructions for the pattern, so I’m reknitting samples.

My class at Twisted is scheduled for January 26. It will be fun!

And then you’ll be ready for more. I’m very tempted by Fringe Association’s upcoming Steekalong in January. It has so many things to recommend it: Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Sólbein pattern (she designed Stopover, and I knit two of them) and Léttlopi, the lovely Icelandic wool yarn knit at a looser than normal gauge (again, Stopover). Also, the camaraderie with other knitters on Instagram is fun, too.

Here’s Stopover. Light and airy! Imagine a similar cardigan…

Hoping I can squeeze out the knitting time for this, as I work on a design deadline piece before February. But first: Bucket List update!

Are steeks on your bucket list?

Eek, steeks, like a BOSS, and tea

I had the pleasure of teaching my Bucket List Coffee Accessories class last week and this week at Twisted.

steek promo

This class covers the basics of two color stranded knitting, knitting a steek, reinforcing a steek, and CUTTING the steek. Not for the faint of heart, but knitters are brave! And it’s such a quick knit, it’s not so scary after all.

Crocheted Steek prep

Here’s the before picture: Steeks reinforced with single crochet.

Cutting the steek 2

Cheri makes the CUT!

Steek cut done

And done. Check out John’s double mug rug; a clever way to avoid magic loop/2 circulars/dpns. He used a 16 inch circular needle and will have two mug rugs after he cuts that SECOND steek. Brilliant!

Afterward, we celebrated with bubbly, and worked on finishing our edges. A total win for all. I love teaching knitters to be the boss of their knitting, and what’s more boss than steeking?

Have you cut a steek before? Or is it on your bucket list? My Bucket List pattern provides full instructions for your first steeked project, in a small user-friendly project. Go for it!

In between class last week and this week, I planned, prepped, and served high tea for 60 with my bestie Carole on Saturday. A few pictures, so I can find them later!

High tea

The room

Kerri's tea cup

It all begins with scones, clotted cream, jam (no scone pic, too busy!). This tea cup is from my friend Kerri in Massachusetts.

High tea savories
Savories

Pumpkin mousse shooters high tea
Pumpkin mousse shooters

High tea sweets
Sweets. There was a fruit plate, too, but it went out the kitchen door before I could get a picture.

It was a very lovely afternoon, a welcome respite from an ugly election season. More civility, please.

Thanks to those who have signed up for my new email newsletter! I’m exploring Mail Chimp and figuring out how it works. It’s pretty spiffy! If you haven’t joined the newsletter yet, and you’d like to, tell me in the comment section below. You’ll receive a newsletter once or twice a month with news and special offers, and my Lobelia Shawl pattern as a thank you for signing up.

Knit on!