Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 7. Geometry

Listen up, young knitters. It pays to pay attention in Geometry class. If I had paid attention, I might have an inkling about how I am supposed to turn my tube of knitting into a rectangular sweater with 90' angles.

Elizabeth Zimmermann obviously knew a thing or two about Geometry. She had me knit the Green Sweater in her favourite method - in the round to the shoulders. As I mentioned a few days ago, that creates a tube. But this particular sweater design is quite squarish. Square neckline,
square-ish sleeve insert
and square-ish overall shape.

How do I turn this

into this?
According to Elizabeth and the pattern, I do it with steeks. Steeks for the non-knitting readers are a few extra stitches of knitting, inserted so they can be cut. That's right. Cut. No the sweater doesn't come unravelled in front of your eyes. Knitting only unravels in the opposite way to which it was knit. In this case, I knit up, so the sweater would unravel
'down'. It will not unravel horizontally.

Still, who wants to test that theory? The common method of risk-aversive steekers is to sew a couple of rows of machine stitching on either side of where the cut will take place. Specifically, two rows of stitching with loose tension and tiny stitches. That is what I will do today.

One steek goes here.
From the top of the neckline where you see the needles still in the knitting, to the bottom of the neckline. The bottom is the funny looking pouch you see with the two green markers. When it is cut open, theory says it will fall away to create the square shape of the neckline. The markers are on either side of the 5 steek stitches as are the two markers in the needles. The cut will take place in the middle of those five stitches. Hope for me a steady hand.

Next I will cut the two sleeve steeks from sleeve pouch that you see below on the right, to the shoulder at the top.
That cut will create an open circle from which I can pick up stitches to knit the sleeves.

Lastly, I will cut from the bottom of the neckline all the way down to the bottom of the sweater.
With that cut, my tube becomes a cardigan .

I am virtually a steek newbie, having done only one other in my life. I had a pullover that wasn't seeing much wear and decided to steek and cut it to create a more-wearable cardigan. But neckline steeks and sleeves steeks are a first for me.

At this point it is all theory. By tonight, I will either have the beginnings of a rectangular sweater, or a nervous breakdown. But that's the stress of the Olympics, isn't it? Wish me luck.


Sel and Poivre said...

I added a basting stitch along the line I needed to cut and I was so glad I did - I would have gone off the line a couple of times if not for I do wish you very, very steady hands and a nice weekend of sleeve knitting!

Laurie said...

Much luck with those steeks, Brenda. You're a brave woman...I'm hyperventilating just looking at your pictures.

freshisle said...

Best of luck! I think you're amazing.