With the body knitted and the shoulder seams done, the next step on Glenesk was to cut the arm steeks and start the sleeves. Cut? Knitting? Yes. I know – it freaked me out too, but it really isn’t hard. Other than emotionally. Emotionally it is very, very hard. Physically, not so much.
To answer the first question, which is often Why? Why would you do such a thing?
The purpose of using steeks is so that you can knit something in the round, which often goes faster than knitting back and forth for flat pieces, especially when you are doing stranded work, which can be a little difficult from the back of the work. So in this method, you just keep going around and making a tube, even when you know you will need holes in that tube, like to put your arms through.
To mark the places where those holes or cuts are going to be, you knit placeholder stitches, both to secure the yarn a little bit when you do cut it, and also to locate where the cuts are going to be. For the armholes on this sweater, those stitches looked like this…
In other designs you will see the stitches as stripes, and sometimes as just big loose loops of yarn. But I think this looks the most secure. I felt like it would be more secure, and that’s really the important point here.
What you do when you are going to open this areas in your knitting is you secure the yarns that you are going to cut, pick up the stitches you are going to knit, and then chop away! Only nowhere near as boldly as I just made it sound there.
You can secure the stitches a couple different ways. You can crochet a chain next the stitches you are going to cut, you can crochet pairs of stitches together next to where you are going to cut, or you can either run a couple rows of machine stitching or hand sewing next to where you are going to cut. I crocheted. Quality control (Lazlo) looks on.
Once the stabilizing was in place, I picked up stitches all around what would be the armhole and then cut
Ahhhh! Big hole in my sweater!
But then everything worked out fine, and I have been knitting away.
Though I did need a big drink after that first cut was done. And that was my Sunday.
How was yours?