Monday, September 22, 2014

Steeking Cape Vertigo and Holla Knits Giveaway!

Steeking! It scares the *&!$ out of most knitters. The mere thought of cutting a knitting project sends shivers down the spines of even the boldest, bad-assiest crafters among us.

Cape Vertigo is my first pattern to utilize steeking, and I was a bit nervous about this (understatement of the year), having only ever steeked a tiny sample before this. "Why," you might ask, "would you want to incorporate such a nerve-wracking process into your pattern?" 

Well, that's a great question. 

Firstly, it allows the piece to be worked in the round, which makes stranded colorwork practically a breeze. When you can bring both colors along for the ride on the inside of the fabric, it makes for a much simpler and cleaner process AND finished product. 

Secondly, steeking is... not that bad! Really! It's all in the preparation, and if you've prepped your steek properly and securely, it works out beautifully.

Finally, it's EXCITING. It's like the knitting equivalent of skydiving. You just have to take the plunge! 


Because I knit my cape in the luscious Berroco Flicker,  a gorgeous baby alpaca blend with a bit of sparkle, I wanted to make sure its unique, smooth chain-ply texture didn't try to break free and unravel. Steeking is most often done with 100% wool, the fuzzier the better, to bind to itself and hold the steek in place. Wool like this is sometimes referred to as "sticky"... and Flicker is very smooth. Because of this, the pattern walks you through a double-reinforced process to make sure everything stays where it is supposed to.

The gray crochet chain adds stability for the sewn reinforcement

A crochet chain is the first step, looping through each stitch of each row all the way up the steek line. Then, with a sharp needle and strong thread, we sew a careful running stitch and back-stitch along the line, making sure to pierce EACH stitch and strand of each row. 

Then... we pick up some sharp scissors, take a deep breath (and/or swig of liquid courage), and cut, carefully carefully, so as not to snip our reinforced edges.


It works! It's secure and strong and ready for the next step of the process.

The end... for now

Knit Picks is giving away some of their excellent Wool of the Andes Tweed (seen below in Allyson's gorgeous dark brown and blue Cape Vertigo). To enter this Subscriber Exclusive Giveaway, subscribe if you haven't already and head over to the HK blog for details!

The Holla Knits blog tour continues! Check out all these amazing designers, yarn companies, and crafters extraordinaire:

Sept 8: Launch
Sept 9: The Sweatshop of Love - pattern giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP WotA Tweed in Brass Heather
Sept 10: Klever Knits - pattern and skein of Rowan Kid Classic giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP City Tweed Aran in Jacquard
Sept 11: Berroco - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 12: Canary Knits - pattern giveaway, SEG: 1 500 yard skein of Mountain Colors 4/8’s Wool in Harmony Ice

Sept 15: Mountain Colors Facebook Page - SEG: Mountain Colors Perspectives Twizzle in Blue/Turq
Sept 16: Life on Laffer - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 17: Knits in Class - SEG: 1 skein of Knit in Class
Sept 18: Makewise Designs - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 19: Anzula - SEG all the Anzula yarn needed for the vest

Sept 22: Ruby Submarine - SEG: 3 skeins KP WofA Tweed in Thirst Heather
Sept 23: BoKnits - SEG: 8 skeins KP Swish DK in Indigo Heather
Sept 24: Under the Red Umbrella - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 25: DoogKnits - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 26: Cosmos and Cashmere - review and pattern giveaway

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