At this point your sweater has been cast off at the neckline.
The next step will be to cut open the sweater to create a cardigan.
This can be a bit scary the first time. I will tell you that once you have done this, it will become old school without fear.
Sweater cast off at the neck
embroidery thread in a similar colour to your sweater
crochet hook in the same size as needle used to knit your sweater
small sharp scissors
Main colour yarn
tapestry or darning needle
There are some steps to take prior cutting open the sweater. Should you have knit with an acrylic yarn or a super wash wool you will need to complete a couple of steps.
Lets go through the steps.
I recommend if you are completing a steek for the first time, you add a basting stitch using the contrasting yarn through the centre of the steek. This helps you spot dead centre of the steek.
Step one will be to secure the stitches on either side of the centre stitch. For this I use a closely matching embroidery thread. Using half of the embroidery thread (ie, 3 strands) you will run a backstitch that pierces the yarn on both legs of the stitch. BE SURE TO PIERCE THE YARN. Backstitching that goes around the leg of the stitch is not sufficient.
This will be completed on each stitch on either side of your steek centre stitch. For acrylic or super wash wool this step is a MUST. As those fibres will not felt like a wool does, we need to ensure they are safely secured. Some knitters will use a sewing machine for this step. I find sewing machine stitching is not elastic. The backstitch allows for some stretching, while still being secure.
Step two is to use a crochet hook to complete a nice edge that will be tacked down on the inside of the cardigan opening. If your sweater was knit from wool you could easily just do this step before cutting the steek.
When adding the crochet edge begin by placing the hook into the first stitch from the back. Pick up a loop of yarn, pull it through the stitch and lock it into place going over the edge of that first steek stitch. The very edge of the steek is now enclosed. Now put your hook down through the centre of the centre stitch and come up the back of the stitch beside the centre stitch. Pull the yarn through both loops on the crochet hook and then draw a second loop through. You will notice when you go into the center stitch and out the back of the stitch adjacent you will have an upside down “V” on your hook. Once you have completed a few stitches in this manner you will find you are able to fold the fabric of the sweater and quickly go through the stitches.
Continue down the entire front of the sweater. When you reach the end ensure you draw a loop around the edge of the steek to secure the final stitch.
Complete the same process on the other side of the steek.
Once that is done, gently pull the crochet edges apart. You will now notice a ladder of threads.
Step three, No need to take a deep breath here. Your stitches are very secure.
Now cut up those ladders with some small sharp scissors.
Congratulations! You have now completed your first steek!
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One response to “Round Yoke Sweater Lesson 5a: Cutting the Steek”
Excellent detail! Your instructions are easy to understand…even I could knit this sweater. Hmmm, maybe this afternoon!