Steeking (or Cutting – yes, Cutting!) Your Knitting

I recently took a workshop at my local yarn shop, The Spinning Room , to learn how to steek my knitting.


Steeking is a method of cutting your knitting so you can add a button band or a zipper to your knitting.  Typically this is done with fair isle knitting (knitting with two colors in the same row to make a pattern) since fair isle knitting is very difficult to knit when you are not knitting in the round.  Working a small piece like this cup cozy is the perfect way to practice this technique, since who wants to knit a whole sweater, only to mess it up at the end by cutting it and having it all unravel?

Here is how I did it, step-by-step:

We used the pattern Steek This Coffee Cozy. First, I followed the pattern to knit a tube with two colors, using the chart in the pattern:


Included in the chart is a section of stitches where the steek will be (or, where you will cut open the tube you have knitted):


Then, to reinforce the stitches so they will not unravel after I cut them, I single crocheted down each side (seen in the dark blue yarn):


Then I took a deep breath,  picked up my very sharp scissors, and cut up the middle:

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Next came picking up stitches on the right side of the piece to make the button band:

And then turning the steek edge to the inside and sewing it down to trap in all those loose ends nice and neatly:


Add buttons (in this case, cheap buttons that are a little weirdo since I couldn’t find any others in my stash. Something with snowflakes would have been nice….):


This being my first stab (ha ha) at steeking, I would have picked up another stitch or two at the edges for the buttonband so it would be more even with the edge of the cozy.  Overall, an excellent way to learn how to steek and now I’m on the hunt for a cardigan pattern to steek!

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