Simple beauty of a steek in my fair isle knit

I sat down to do a post catching you up on our painting success after my retro fail living room post, but on the camera I found photos Mel and I took a couple of weeks ago when I was cutting the armhole and neckline steeks for my current fair isle project.

So instead, I just wanted to share with you the beauty you can find (or at least I can find) in knitting photos. A simple, traditional task in a fair isle knit, cutting a bridge of stitches in your knitting to open up an armhole, neckline or cardigan front, looks so serene and pretty when followed in just a few pictures. Well okay, maybe the scissors do look a bit scary.

Armhole before the snipping begins…

Snip, snip…

Armhole after the cut….

I’m (slowly) knitting plain red sleeves (the same red as in the body), out from the armhole with shaped sleeve caps, a method outlined well in Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. I initially planned to knit the sleeves flat two at a time, but having just done that for my Knit It In Flag Colors pullover, I needed a change. That’s just too many red sleeves knit flat, two at a time! So I switched it up for this one. I’m going slowly because I haven’t had much time for knitting lately (too much planning on the home decor front), and because they’re kind of boring.

Sorry, not much of interest for non-knitters in this post… hm, well, here’s one tidbit: that’s a vintage blouse I’m wearing (probably from the 50s, and I believe home sewn), with a delightful mini strawberry and diamond print. And it’s reversible to pink on the inside. How clever is that!

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Golly, 26 Comments!

  • I can’t do fair isle knitting (… yet), so I have no idea why you are cutting but oh god it looks terrifying! The actual knitting – well, that is beautiful πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see this when it’s finished! And YES PLZ to living room pictures! πŸ™‚

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  • This sweater is so beautiful! Love your almond shaped nail(s) too!

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  • I agree with a previous comment- it looks terrifying! I’m a relatively new knitter, but I can’t imagine cutting into something I’ve knitted, much less something as beautiful as that. πŸ™‚ I would be a nervous wreck.

    ~Kristin

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  • Whoa! I’ve never heard of cutting through knitting! Granted, my knitting skills are remedial, at best, but that gave me a small heart attack. What do you do to keep the while thing from unraveling?

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    • Think of a sock or stocking, knitting wants to ravel up and down, not side to side. So you can use sticky yarn that just clings to itself and eventually kind of felts to the body, or you can secure smoother yarns by a sewing machine, hand stitches, or a line of crochet stitches. Then cut. It allows you to more quickly knit something in the round vs. flat. πŸ™‚

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  • I’ve also never heard of cutting through knitting! It gives me goose-bumps because I just imagine it all unravelling and loosing hours of work! Love the little crown design, I’m hoping to get to your knitting ability one day x

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  • Eek, I didn’t know people cut their knitting either! Obviously you’re going to have to do a more in-depth post on this, because we all find it fascinating!! πŸ™‚

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  • My husband got me some Gingher shears for our last valentines, I love them however they feel incredibly stiff and I can’t get the screw to loosen for the life of me, the hubby tried but I made him stop when I saw it starting to strip :0 I was wondering if you’ve had any problems with that

    xo
    Alex

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  • That blouse is absolutely darling – as is this in-the-works sweater. Can’t wait to see the finished project! πŸ™‚

    β™₯ Jessica

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  • I’m another one who had never heard of cutting through knitting. You must need a very steady hand to stay exactly on the line of stitches! Way too scarey for me to attempt.
    Have you seen this blog by the way http://ticketybootupney.blogspot.co.uk/ Tupney knitted a similar fairisle sweater some time ago and since then has found it popping up all over the place – in magazines and even TV programmes!

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  • I love your beautiful Fairisle knits Tasha, just gorgeous.

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  • Steeks have always scared me! It’s very nervewracking for me to cut into something that I’ve knit.

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  • This is turning out to be such a lovely sweater! And can I echo the call for a post about cutting your knitting? It does look scary but I imagine it turns out beautifully!

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  • The sweater is beautiful! Are you planning to attend the Vintage Bazaar this coming weekend?

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  • I’m a non knitter and I still loved this post πŸ™‚ You are such a clever gal!

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  • I love pictures of knitting– and so few pictures of ‘behind the seams’ stuff gets posted so THANK YOU!! The sweater looks gorgeous. Beautiful pictures! I’d love to see more!

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  • This is a gorgeous pattern. I like looking at pictures of people being creative. Maybe I think I can be creative through them since I totally suck on my own.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  • Your knitting is always so perfect. Simply wonderful, inspiring.
    I’m knitting a gansey in the round but the front and back are knit seperately on 2 needles from the armhole opening upwards and then joined again on 5 at the neck so no scary steeks!

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  • I love fair isle knitting and do a lot of it. I can see why you’re doing it but personally I’d be way too terrified to cut anything! I’m a bit of a scaredy cat! Looking forward to seeing it all finished! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

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  • Love that sweater so far. I just cut my first steek yesterday! So surprisingly invigorating! Did you reinforce your edges or is your yarn sticky enough to do without?

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    • Congrats on cutting your first steek!!

      I didn’t reinforce this, as the yarn is very sticky (Brooklyn Tweed Loft). So sticky that at one point while knitting the sleeve, I realized I’d somehow accidentally pulled out the yarn holding my shoulder stitches, so all of them were dangling in mid-air while I went round and round on the sleeve (knitting out from the armhole), and not a single stitch dropped down to the row below!

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  • […] Isle inspiration I suggest you visit here, and for a picture of the full terror of steeking visit here. Have you done Fair Isle knitting? Is Catherine right to say it’s easier than it […]

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  • I didn’t realise this had a name! I have cut down the centre of jumpers to refashion them into cardigans many times but always used a strip of interfacing to hold the edge, now I know this won’t fray much anyway, thanks to this post. So interesting! I love your knitting, my aunt used to do this, but it looks too complicated for me! However now I’m feeling inspired to get cutting up more jumpers to refashion, remembering the horizontal will still unravel!?

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