Tag Archives: steek this coffee cozy

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

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

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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:

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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):

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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):

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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:

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

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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….):

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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!

Popping In

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A pop-in post to give you a progress update on my knitting….

I am woefully behind in my Ravellenics project, but I’m ok with that.  As I’ve said, I knew this would happen… But, I’ve separated for the sleeves and am about 3 inches down the body:

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The top picture is the more accurate in terms of color:  dark gray.  I love how it is coming out.  I have to get to 10 inches from the underarms to the bottom ribbing.  Then knit the arms.  Then knit the hood.  Then knit the buttonbands.  Five days to finish.  Ha!  Are you participating in the Ravellenic Winter Games? How is it going?

In the meantime, because it was easier babysitting knitting, I finished my Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Knit-a-Long shawl:

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I have not yet blocked it and will post a picture when I have. It will show the pattern much better….

And I finished my Steek This Coffee Cozy:

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I’m going to do another post with details about how I cut this up and added a buttonband (not pictured!).

That’s all you get for today.  More during my next knitting break….

Knitting Hits and a Miss

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I was a knitting maniac this past week/weekend.  Remember I referred to this hat on Saturday?  It’s the Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl SoHo.  So. Stinkin’. Cute.

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I started this on Saturday at 5pm and was done by Sunday at 2pm.  AND that included an emergency trip Saturday night to my mother-in-law’s house with Paul to fix a frozen pipe.  He used a hair dryer that she has had for 46 years.  FORTY-SIX YEARS!  It worked great.

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(Try to ignore this creepy Styrofoam head. It took me forever to find one online and it’s actually pretty small – not an adult head – and I think the face is creepy. I need to get a different one.)  Seriously cute hat.  I love the little tassle.  This hat is a “kids” size. The pattern comes in many sizes, baby to large adult, which is nice.  I think I’m going to make an adult one too.  Easy and quick quick quick.  Also, I saw my doodlebugs at dinner on Sunday night and tried to get them to try it on since they are “kid” size.  No dice.  They’re two and a half so I don’t know why I thought they would do so willingly.  When I asked each of them if they wanted to try it on they said, “No fank you, Auny Wiz.” (read: “No thank you, Auntie Liz.”)  At least they were polite about it.

Next was finishing the Steek This Coffee Cozy fair isle knitting:

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Now it’s ready for the steeking which we will do in a few weeks at the next workshop.  The little section on the front shown in this next picture is the part we will reinforce and then cut:

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And see all those ends?  Ugh, weaving in galore, right?  WRONG!  Apparently, if I read the instructions correctly, they are all in the steeking section and something miraculous will happen where I won’t have to weave in the ends.  I think. (I hope).

Before the weekend started, I had knitted the clues for the Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-Long:

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It doesn’t look too terribly different but it’s coming along.  Now, I’m working on the next set of clues.  There are only 6 rows in this next set, since there are eleventy-thousand stitches on the needle at this point.  Eleventy-Thousand.

I also finished the leg clue for my Through The Loops Mystery Knit-a-Long:

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A pretty intricate pattern for what I normally do – it’s been fun to see how they are turning out.

My next mystery knit-a-long starts this Friday: the Knitter’s Brewing Company   Mystery Sock KAL: Cocktails for Two.  Still haven’t decided on a yarn yet, but stay tuned.

I also finished the second Snow on the Laurel cabled arm warmer:

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You’ll have to take my word for it that this is actually the second one. I can see how you may have doubts since I only recently finished the first one and I tend to procrastinate on knitting the second of anything.  However, the first one is at the yarn shop as a class sample so I can’t take a  picture of the pair.  Honest.  I had been done with my knit-a-long clues, looking for something else to knit and decided this was as good a time as any, and then I could cross it off my list. Took me just a couple of days.

Next, I knitted up the two-color brioche swatch which I will be teaching as a class at the shop:

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If you look toward the bottom of the swatch in the bottom picture you’ll see a little row of white stitches where I messed up.  I left it so I could use it in class as an example of what NOT to do.  So nice that I can USE my mistakes.  As a reminder, this is the two color swatch which will go with the teaching of the brioche stitch scarf:

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And, finally, I worked on the weaving section of the Princess Franklin Plaid Collar:

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A few challenges with this one.  Trying to weave the strands while keeping them loose-but-not-too-loose is hard.  Even paying close attention and trying to stretch it out a little, I ended up with some puckering.  You can see it at the top of the picture.  Then, just for “fun”, I decided to try it on to see what it looks like.  I apparently have a huge head, and a ton of hair which adds to the circumference of my head, because I had a hard time getting that woven section pulled down.  I tried putting my hands inside and gently stretching to make the woven strands looser, to no avail.  If I had stretched any more, the strand ends would have started unraveling.  Once I did get it over my head, it looked pretty good and was comfortable on my neck.   I’ll just need to re-do my hair after I put it on.  So, now I’m revising this pattern and will only weave about another inch, so that I can still wear it.  Since it is a rather tall cowl, about half of it will be folded under while I wear it anyway so why not make it easier to put on, right?

Whew.  That’s it.  Not much really.  (Ha! No wonder my hands are sore.)

A Pefectly Cold Day

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Today it’s cold.  Again.  Really cold. 18 degrees.  Actually, around here, lately, that’s warm.

But, it’s the perfect day for knitting and going to The Spinning Room yarn shop  where Robin was offering a free workshop on how to steek your knitting.  Steeking is used when you have knit an item in the round (in a tube) and then cut your knitting open to then put in a button band or a zipper.  Sounds scary to CUT your knitting, but we are doing it on a coffee cup cozy (using this pattern: Steek This Coffee Cozy) as a way to practice.  Here is a picture from the Ravelry page:

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That button part was added after knitting this in a tube and cutting from the bottom to the top.  So cool.  Steeking is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while.  One of my knitting goals is to make a sweater to steek and put in a zipper.  I’ve never steeked and never put in a zipper.  Stay tuned for that project.  Which I will do after I finish all the knit-a-longs and other things on my must-knit-now-or-I-won’t-be-able-to-stand-it list.  (Like this hat I just found and will be casting on for today.)

So today was choosing the 5 colors we will use to knit the fair isle patterned tube, then starting to knit using the color chart which includes a 6-sttich section that will later be steeked.  There were 10 of us there today and here are the tables with all the various color combos:

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Those purples, blues and white on the bottom are mine.

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Those green/red squares in the middle are Robin’s finished-knitting-but-not-yet-steeked samples.  The next session, in a few weeks, will be the actually steeking so stay tuned for that post.  I hope I remember to take pictures that day!

But the really cool thing about visiting The Spinning Room on this cold, cold day was seeing the window Christine has created with yarn!:

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A wonderful winter wonderland, accented with hearts and candy for Valentines Day!

Yes, CANDY!!!……

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She knitted some chocolates to put in the candy box!  She has done wonderful things with the window here.  Over the summer, she knitted ice cream cones.   Do we dare temp ourselves with thoughts of summer and ice cream cones when it’s still so far away?  Can’t hurt.  Might help chase away the shivers.