Friday, January 30, 2009

Steeky Situation

Sometimes, finishing a project means doing some pretty scary things. In this case, it means I get to cut up my knitting.

I've been working on my Kauni Cardigan for over a year now. I've said lots of optimistic things about having a new sweater soon, but haven't come very close to that.

Until now - here's the body of the sweater, all ready for steeking.

Um, yeah. Steeking. Cutting up my precious knitting, and hoping nothing will go wrong in the process.

Fortunately the process is very much a "measure twice, cut once" sort of thing, with lots of opportunities to notice and avoid screwups. So here the cutting line for the neck has been marked, and then I've put two lines of machine stitching on either side, in hopes of avoiding any unfortunate unraveling. This Kauni yarn is pretty sticky, so I suspect it's not too likely to unravel on its own, but one can't be too careful with sixteen months' worth of knitting (give or take a few), right?

It's also a very stinky yarn, which may be why I had such persistent offers of help with the steeks. Aaron's suitcase smelled like sheep when he brought it home, and I can feel the lanolin on my hands whenever I knit. But that's probably good for me - and I know it will soften and bloom nicely once it's washed and blocked.

It's not quite time for that yet, but I've cleared a major hurdle: My first steek, cut and ready to go. Wow.

In retrospect, a steek-sewing plan would have been in order. I tried to do most of the sewing, and then start the cutting. I should have sewn and cut the small steeks for the neckline first, then gone back and sewn and cut the front opening. Fortunately, I had the sense to sew the armholes last, and to not cut them yet. There's still some work to do (and I need some new needles) before I'm ready to work on the arms - but I've definitely made progress on the sweater. Maybe I really will have it finished while it's still cold enough to need a sweater.


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