theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 24, 2007

From Sally — Cutting a Steek: the Sequel

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Widdicombe Fair — surly @ 9:41 am

Thanks for all of the comments on my amateur film. I wasn’t sure whether I should leave it on the cutting room floor (I know. Bad pun.) Several of you asked how I pick up the stitches and finish off the steek. Fortunately, I only need to pick up stitches along each of the blanket sides (where the edge stitches for the steek are) because I have live stitches on the bottom (where the provisional cast on was) and the top (where the stitches were left live). Because row and stitch gauge are different, you can’t pick up as many stitches along the edge as you have rows. This is a Jade Starmore pattern and she tells you how many stitches you need to pick up and when you should “skip” a row as you do. If you are working a pattern that isn’t as explicit, you need to work out the ratio for yourself.

Here is another amateur video showing how I pick up the stitches.

Ooh. That was painful. I hate hearing my own voice. Anyway, you might have noticed I was slipping my needle under both “legs” of the edge stitches as I picked up the new stitch. As a reminder, I was doing this:

That’s my personal preference. You don’t have to slip it under both legs. It’s actually a bit faster to slip it under just the first leg (like this):

The reason I do it under both legs is that I think the new stitches lay closer and more tightly against the fabric. I prefer how it looks when all is said and done. It’s just a matter of personal preference.

PainterWoman asked why I knit this in the round. This kind of color knitting — fair isle — is done in the round because it is faster. You never have to twist the yarns to prevent a hole (as you would with intarsia). You always have the right side facing so that you can see the pattern as you work, which makes it much easier to spot a mistake (and therefore prevent it).


  1. Thank you for the videos. It’s one thing to describe how you do something and another to be able to show it. And your voice is just fine! Most people don’t like to hear themselves recorded. I know I don’t. 🙂

    Comment by Laura — July 24, 2007 @ 9:50 am

  2. Very clear! Thanks for your videos. Add one more please: finishing off the cut steek.

    Comment by Linda Dassenko — July 24, 2007 @ 9:51 am

  3. As you say, it’s faster, but I think the purl rows look a different when knitting back and forth. Do you have that experience too? It’s probably a tension issue on the purl row.

    Comment by Gale — July 24, 2007 @ 10:30 am

  4. Are you going to have a “finishing off the steek” video? It would finish off the trilogy! 🙂 (…no pun intended)

    Comment by Lisa — July 24, 2007 @ 11:12 am

  5. Thanks again for the new video. That Oberle design is calling louder now.

    Comment by Denise — July 24, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

  6. Thanks, that’s very helpful!

    Comment by AuntieAnn — July 24, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

  7. Just wanted to add my two cents in. Thank you for the videos and I would love to see how you finish off the backside too.

    Comment by Michele with 1 L — July 24, 2007 @ 12:53 pm

  8. Sally- What a great idea- being a visual learner, it makes all the difference.

    My own voice scares the heck out of me.

    Comment by Lorraine — July 24, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

  9. Thanks for the pick up lessons. Easier than imagined. Thank you!

    Comment by Wendy O — July 24, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

  10. Another excellent tutorial. You make it look easy! I am knitting a lace border to a shawl right now and I also found that picking up the 2 legs of the stockinette V gives me a sturdier, more elegant pick-up line.

    Comment by Laura — July 24, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

  11. Once again Sally I couldn’t have asked for a better lesson. A visual is sooo much more informative and easier to follow than a written explanation. I keep sayin’ it but, when is the Rainey Sisters Guide to User Friendly Knitting going to hit the book stores?

    Comment by Michelle — July 24, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  12. I second Michelle we need a Rainey Sisters Guide to Knitting. Loved the video, I think I actually picked up instantly what you were teaching. Some of these knitting books leave a lot to be desired. There’s no one perfect book. But I am starting to think that video is the way to go! That was a perfect lesson! And thanks to the camera man/woman it was in the perfect spot!

    Your voice sounded just fine…… I thought you were great! Me, I grew up in the south (Ala.) and have lived near Boston for 25 years……I sound like “My name is Earl meets the Kennedys…..always a chuckle! Wendy

    Comment by Redsoxgal — July 24, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  13. I haven’t tried going under both legs. I’ll have to try that as I think it will give a bit more stability too. Thank you for the video!

    Comment by Gail R — July 24, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  14. Thanks again for a great lesson! You sound just like your picture and have a very nice voice 🙂 It’s weird to hear your own voice (I think there’s a psychological term for that);) I hate to ask yet another question, but what do you do with the steek that’s turned under on the back of the work?

    Comment by Carol — July 24, 2007 @ 10:45 pm

  15. I’m a visual learner too and I just learned a much easier way to pick up the stitches. Thanks for putting up the video.

    Comment by Jewel — July 25, 2007 @ 12:58 am

  16. Thankyou for the video, such a good idea. What a great way to pick up the stitches, all the easier to learn by watching you. I will be trying it soon.

    Comment by Mindie — July 25, 2007 @ 7:27 am

  17. This is so very helpful. Thank you. The trilogy will be absolutely perfect when you show us how to finish the back of the steek.

    Was that a kit?? Those colors are perfect. I have been following the blanket since the beginning but I don’t remember if you said if it was a kit or not.

    Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough. Thank you again.

    Comment by Thomasean — July 25, 2007 @ 7:42 am

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