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So I thought we could encourage each other in the steeking process and discuss alternative methods. (Disclaimer: This is my first steek!) Since I don't have a sewing maching, am not fond of hand sewing, and have crochet experience, I chose the crochet method of reinforcing my steek. I think the contrasting yarn I used is a heavier weight than the two or three lace threads together so my reinforced lines wobble a little, but I think it'll be okay once I add the front bands.
So here are some before and after shots of the steek!

Before steek:

Close up of reinforcements:

Sweater on me after cutting steek:

Apologies for the poor pictures. It's dark and I'm in my pjs. But you get the idea.
Happy Cutting!

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Replies to This Discussion

Wow, great job! Are you the first one to get this far? I just did my swatch, so I've got a ways to go! It looks like you used Midnight Shadow, is that right? That is what I am using except I am using Bayou Shimmer for the contrast. Happy Hemming!
Yes. It's Midnight Shadow and Hush Shimmer. Bayou sounds good too. Good Luck!
Congratulations! Nicely done. What an interesting idea to crochet the reinforcement. Just be sure that the crochet stitches don't pull out. I think that's why they said to do a backstitch when hand sewing to make sure it can't pull out.
That is a beautiful sweater. I like the colors.
If you pull the broken end of yarn through the last loop, the stitches stay in place even if you tug on them.
Thanks for the compliment. =)
beautiful! im so envious! i had thought of crochet method, too. i read an article about it. in that version. they did the crochet part right up against the actual steek and then cut right between the two rows of crochet. did you get any fraying after you cut? i'm using shadow, too, so it should react the same. thanks for using a contrasting yarn, so we can see better! --p
I left about 3 stitches on the inside of the steek reinforcements. So the row of stitches right next to the cut end frayed a little bit, but not much. And certainly not past that column of stitches. I was also not as precise as I could have been when cutting the ladders between the stitches. Mostly the stitches curl right under the reinforcement so you can't even see them. I think cutting right between the two rows of crochet would work as long as you were careful not to cut the contrasting yarn as well. It would make a nice finished edge too.
Beautiful! Where did you get the information on the crochet reinforcement? I think I would like to use this technique on mine.
i think the article i read was in knit 'n style. after my dh gets up, ill go in there and try to find it...or maybe it's on their website...
I haven't started yet - got to finish a special order pair of socks first - but I have done steeks a couple of times before. The first one was on an Icelandic cardigan, knit in Lopi, with a Fair Isle yoke. Needless to say I was terrified. I knit a couple of swatches and tried sewing and cutting the steek before I did it on the finished garment. Once I saw how the fabric reacted I understood what I was doing and it went very well. When I make my swatch for this project I'll make knit a steek panel into it, then practice sewing and cutting on it. One thing to understand is that knit fabrics fray down, not across, so the whole thing is not going to unravel on you.

Hope this reduces some of the anxiety for those doing it for the first time.
I just googled 'crochet steek' and found these two blog posts (I think by the same person). I already knew how to crochet, but was unsure where to pick up the stitches. These posts helped me because they have very nice clear photographs. One of them references a Meg Swanson book which probably has better step by step directions. But I have a baby knitting library and was too impatient to order the book and wait for it to come in.
Great instructions/pictures....thanks for posting this :)

by the way- I think the blog site you referenced is for a knitting designer that has been featured in Interweave Knits several times.
Your sweater is beautiful. Did you shorten the sleeves any? I like the length of yours.


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