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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

Some of us aren't there yet and can benefit from this. Did you use one strand of lace-weight yarn or two? --P
I originally used a fingering weight and the wrong size (too large) crochet hook. I think that's why the lines were wavy. This time around, I plan to use one strand of lace weight and a size 4.0mm or 3.5mm crochet hook (I'm using US 5 / 3.75mm needles)
I think one strand of lace-weight yarn should hold everything together. I'm on row three of the body hem. Slow going with only 30 min to work on it at a time. Soon, though! We're going on a trip, and I have to leave the Nonna home, because we won't have room for my big charts! --Peggy
I am almost done with the hem rows. I will be fusing the hem before I start adding the rows of Shimmer. I was thinking of adding the Shimmer along the steek to give me a cutting line. I placed an extra marker (I go crazy with the markers sometimes) in the center of the steek stitches. I planned on knitting the Shimmer first on the stitch before the center steek marker and then on the next row on the stitch after the center of the steek. That will give a marked cutting line that would zig-zag up the steek. Then when doing the stitches for the steek, I would just have to follow along that center line, just over a couple stitches.
Those of you who have steeked already or previously--do you think that will help? Or should I add a long thread to trail down from the steek and end of row markers to mark the edge of the steek?
I didn't add a thread to mark the center. I used markers for start, middle and end of the steek. When it was time to do the reinforcements and cutting, I just followed the stitches down. I don't think it's difficult to see the line for reinfocing or cutting, but if you need the security blanket, either of those methods would work. But the cc zigzagging up the steek might end up being confusing once you have it done. If I had to mark it, I'd use the thread version just to avoid confusion.

This is all so helpful to those of us lagging behind! --Peggy
I have just finished my sweater, will post pictures on the other thread soon. What made my first steek painless was doing the middle 2 stitches of the steek in purl stitches. I haven't seen much discussion of machine reinforcement. I used my walking foot (because I have one, didn't seem to be critical), used water soluble stabilizer under the steek (4" by 25", pinned at top and bottom), then worked from the bottom up. I know some are leary of catching the back of the sweater in the process, but actually was easier than working with fabric. Only challenge is that stitches look different upside down, so actually reinforced 2 1/2 stitches from center. (no big deal, though). Trimmed excess stabilizer away after sewing a straight stretch stitch on 2.0, then it was very easy to cut from the wrong side very precisely, as I had my 2 purl stitches all the way down the sweater. No ridges to trim like the crochet method, done in under 10 minutes. Put the sweater in my new washing machine on hand wash cycle to rinse out the stabilizer (or could have done this by hand) but wanted to check if the steek would curl, it didn't. Then blocked to dry, sewed up the front bands, and added front clips so I could wear it closed as desired. Very happy with it, will steek again. Only other warning, use the diagram for reinforcement, and cutting, not the written directions. You actually cut between the 3rd and 4th stitch of the steek, not between the first and last stitch of the row as in the written directions.
Karen: Thanks for posting this. I'm still leaning toward crocheted edge, but there's some valuable info. Photo? --P

Here's the sweater when done, with coat hooks down the front, with the stabilizer trimmed, ready to cut (inside out), and when I finished knitting, love how the yarn pooled at the collar, bust and hip. This is Imagination Gingerbread House

I love it in Imagination! I've been looking for an excuse to order myself some in Bare and dye it myself, and this is definitely it. Very nice job! The blue really pops, and the zigzag pooling is great.
Oh, I love the idea of purling the center 2 stitches. I think I will try that on my 2nd sweater. I already have the Jewels heather, and am planning on getting Galaxy Shimmer. I bought some of Hush, but think that the colors of Galazy will match closer. It wil be more subtle, but it includes the same tones as the heather. Great idea. I think it would be much better than my zig-zag. Not as clear as I thought it would be. I will definitely use the purl stitchs next time.
That is a brilliant idea to use purls stitches to mark the steek. Wish I had thought of it. I hope I can remember to do that the next time I steek something.


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