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High Fiber—We Don’t Need No Steeking Badges

As I wrote last week, cutting your knitting can be a scary prospect.


It may be scary, but it's really the best and easiest way to get a stranded colorwork project from the needles to your wardrobe or Dolly's. Last week's blog post included the steps in making the steeks...and cutting them...but I only had one sleeve done when I wrote my blog post. Now it's done and ready to wear, as a cardigan or as a pullover.


Here's a photo to show how the raw edges of the steek can be finished off. Some people like to cross-stitch or overcast the steek to the inside of the sweater. I like to use blanket stitch. Ribbon can be used to cover up the steeks. Stretchy lace edging is another alternative, as you can see here around the neckline.



I made this for Dolly as a prototype for a project I'll make available for knitters on Ravelry, so they can practice steeking on something small but still useful. The dolls this will be made for are all in the 18" range, but, like people, they come with different figures. American Girl dolls and Madame Alexander dolls in this size range have cloth bodies and are somewhat plumper than the dolls with vinyl bodies, like Vroni, a Götz doll. Because I would like to make the pattern available to people with the slimmer dolls, I tried the finished sweater on Vroni to get an idea of the modifications needed. 



As expected, the neck is a bit large and the sleeve a bit too short for her. The chest is a little big, but doesn't look too bad. Small adjustments will give people another alternative if they have this kind of doll. (Vroni makes anything look good, though.)


I have a test knitter lined up, but before giving her the pattern, I wanted to knit another one, so I could see if I could follow my own directions. I picked different motifs and different colors. The second sweater is about at the stage the first one was last week. Here you can see the armhole steek on the left side of the photo, sticking out on that side. The armhole steek on the other side is tucked in.


I'm calling this colorway "Gabi's Emerald Isle," as St. Paddy's Day is coming up next month, and Gabi is the next one on the list for a nice sweater.


I had great hopes for making it to Vintage Stitchers on Thursday, but, wouldn't you know, that was the day The Great Utah Blizzard of 2017 started. Actually, it started the day before. Even if I could have escaped our driveway Thursday morning, I probably couldn't have made it back in without a lot of effort and help. Here's DH trying to get the snowblower to make it through two feet of snow, and there was still more coming. We ended up getting 30" in 48 hours.



Trying to get the Little Dude outside to play was an issue. We had about 10 minutes of sunshine Friday and Saturday between the snowfalls. Here's Dusty right after pulling on a branch covered with snow. He had a real surprise.



Rocky didn't want to stay out long, although he did run up and down the trail a few times during both outings, and seemed to enjoy the walk we took Thursday afternoon during a break when we had only a light snowfall. His vet just started him on thyroid medication, and he already seems to be perking up a bit. Lack of energy is one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs.


In the meantime, I have plenty to keep me occupied in the balmy 62-degree warmth of my house. People on Ravelry have been asking me about colors of Palette to order to make the sweater, and I'm not even finished editing the pattern. I checked to see if all the colors for both sweaters were still available from Knit Picks, and they are, with the exception of the Turmeric, which is out-of-stock until March 6th, not too long off, but there's a close alternative. Watch this space for more on this design.



Well, maybe we do need steeking badges. This one was designed for me by Susan Claudino, NoKnitSherlock on Ravelry, back in the dark ages, when I lost my steeking virginity.


What's on my needles: The second sleeve on the “Gabi’s Emerald Isle” sweater for Gabi.

What's on my Featherweight: Steeks for the “Gabi’s Emerald Isle” sweater are finished. Waiting for the next one.

What's on my loom: I still haven’t started anything with the leftover warp.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is looking at me reproachfully.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Still listening to the choruses we’ll be singing from The Messiah for the performance April 9th. Finished The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, a continuation of The Queen of the Tearling. I plan to read the next one in the series. It’s scarily prophetic. Now I’m listening to D. E. Stevenson’s Vittoria Cottage. On the Kindle app, I’m still reading Dying to Read, The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1.

What's in my wine glass: Fish Eye Shiraz, 2015 vintage. 

What's my tip of the week: Little fingers can get caught in the floats inside the sleeves. A plastic sandwich bag (not with a zipper) over the hand will make dressing the doll—or a small child—easier.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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Comment by Barbara Graham on February 28, 2017 at 10:43am

I get queasy just thinking about cutting knitting. It works for you though, beautiful, tiny sweaters. We have had an unusual winter. Snow, snow, snow. My dogs still haven't figured out where their yard went. For a while we had a drift of over ten feet in their yard. To do their business they had to tiptoe along the back wall of the garage where the force of the wind blew the snow back and cleared an 18 inch strip. They make me take them to their favorite walking spot because their motto is "it's always nice at the lakes". They are wrong but I do it anyway. I think I need the walk as much as they do.

Comment by Irene Gallway on February 27, 2017 at 2:32pm

Beautiful sweaters Peggy. I admire your work as I don't knit or crochet.  Mum taught me to do both but I just never took an interest in doing it.  We got over 35 inches in the last snow storm.  It's till piled high where the plow pushed it back but we can expect more before March is over. We have been getting temps in the high 40's which seems to us like a heat wave this time of year.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 27, 2017 at 1:16pm
DH won't turn up the thermostat. I wear layers. I suppose you get used to it.
Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on February 27, 2017 at 10:37am

I really like the new colorway although the first sweater is lovely too.  That's quite the snowfall you had - this winter has been very easy for us.  The biggest snowfall was about 15 inches and that was just before Christmas.  Very unusual for our area.  We generally expect to get much much more than that and much more often. Saturday, we got about an inch.  Balmy 62 degrees?  How can you stand it?  I'm chilly most evenings when the temperature in our house is set at 70. 

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