theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 22, 2007

From Sally — Cutting a Steek

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Widdicombe Fair — surly @ 12:45 pm

My eyes are still glazed over from reading the 700+ pages of the last Harry Potter book. Even so, I’m going to attempt to return to the real world and to my knitting.

I finished knitting the body of my carousel baby blanket, aka Widdicombe Fair. I may finish the entire thing before the baby is born, which would be nice. Here is a photograph of it mere moments after it was finished.

Here is a bit of a close up of the top. It is still “on the needles.” As is typical with fair isle knitting, you bind off the steek stitches as you knit the last row. Although the steek stitches have been bound off, I have live stitches at the top and I will have live stitches at the bottom when I undo the provisional cast on.

The fun part, though, which I always look forward to, is cutting the steek. The first time you try it, you might want to make sure you’re relaxed — or at least make sure you won’t care if you make some horrible, irrevocable mistake.

Alrighty then. There’s really nothing to it so I decided to enlist my personal videographer and let you see the cutting of the steek. Please don’t laugh. I know I have a weird farmer’s tan (it’s because I bicycle a lot and I wear bicycling gloves; I just hadn’t realized how white my hands look in comparison with my arms until I watched this in horror). The cutting also seems to go on forever because this is such a long steek — the blanket is almost three feet long. Finally, the video is a little blurry because I had to compress it in order to upload it.

Now I’m off to undo the provisional cast on and pick up all the stitches for the border: 900 and then some.


  1. Wow, the YouTube video is a wonderful add-on! That baby blanket is just beautiful! I’ve watched it from the beginning! I did feel my heart flutter when you were cutting though, I’ve never done that, and maybe never will! What courage!!!! 🙂 Thanks for the video, I learn something everyday! I love your blog, it’s part of my MUST read everyday, the amount of knitting you guys get done is incredible! I’m still on my few projects poking away…..slowly, very slowly! Thanks Wendy

    Comment by Redsoxgal — July 22, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

  2. What fun! My computer was playing a song about courage when I watched your video, very appropriate.

    Comment by Joan — July 22, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

  3. Wow, Sally. That’s really something — thanks for sharing this clip. The blanket is truly beautiful, and I can’t wait to see it finished. Maybe you could make another video picking up stitches along the edge? Pretty please? Because, well, as a novice-ish knitter, exactly what does “pick up and knit” mean?

    Thanks again — and thanks for showing great (and frightening) things.

    (I finished HP at 3:00 a.m. and still haven’t decided what I think.)

    Comment by Wendy O'C — July 22, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

  4. Great visual aid! that crunching sound is awe-inspiring. Looking forward to the sequel!

    Comment by Laura — July 22, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

  5. That was incredible! Now can you do a mini version of picking up the steeked edge and what to do from there? Just checkin’ 🙂
    There’s no teaching like a visual.

    Comment by Michelle — July 22, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

  6. Sally- I guess that makes me the only person on the planet that has never
    read a HP book- but I’ve seen the movies.

    That’s a great idea-take the fear out of steek cutting. You just have to be
    extra sure, because once it’s cut, there’s no going back.

    Comment by Lorraine — July 22, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

  7. Wow that was really scary! I had to pause there at the beginning before the first cut. Makes you wonder how the first knitter ever decided to cut a hole in her knitting and hope for the best…beautiful blanket though.

    Comment by Amanda — July 22, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

  8. I’m shakin’ here! Thanks for sharing this, one day maybe if I’m brave enough…That is the most gorgeous blanket I’ve ever seen! What a lucky little bundle of love!

    Comment by Carol — July 22, 2007 @ 7:47 pm

  9. You may think the tan is bad, but your left elbow is terrific! Thanks for being so brave on video.

    Comment by Pam — July 22, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

  10. It’s going to be a wonderful little blanket. What a lucky baby!

    I didn’t need any martinis for my first steek, since it was just a swatch! It was a great way to build up my courage for an actual sweater vest. Now I feel like and old hand at it. 🙂

    Comment by LaurieM — July 22, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

  11. Oh my! Thank you for the video!!! I loved LaurieM’s sharing about doing a swatch first sans martini! This and the video gives the me confidence (and the resolve) to try it! I’ve been knitting for, well forever, but just haven’t worked up the courage! Can’t wait to see the next steps…

    Comment by BonnieJean — July 22, 2007 @ 11:41 pm

  12. I expected a big TA-DAAAAAAA at the end. The sound effects made it especially nervewracking.
    Am I right in assuming that you knit in the round just because it was easier/faster? Does it prevent the balls of yarn from getting so wound up with each other, too?

    Comment by PainterWoman — July 22, 2007 @ 11:53 pm

  13. Great video, beautiful blanket. And I do not think I would have even noticed the tan line if you had not called attention to it!!

    Comment by Lee — July 23, 2007 @ 7:13 am

  14. Thank-you for proving to me that people actually do take scissors in hand, cut their work, and it doesn’t end up in a big pile of short yarn ends. I have a Cheryl Oberle pattern and yarn ready to start (when the weather cools) and my BIG hesitation was cutting it. What a big chicken I am.

    Comment by Denise — July 23, 2007 @ 8:30 am

  15. Very nice — picking up 900 stitches, whew!

    Comment by Octopus Knits — July 23, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

  16. OMG

    I Just passed out, lol

    Comment by Junie — February 16, 2013 @ 10:43 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress