Sunday, October 21, 2007

I am Steek Woman, hear me roar

Forget reading and writing. I have something much more exciting to announce today.

I did it. You know: It.

I cut the steeks. Whoo-hoo!

Last night, I spent a great deal of time staring at Kauni, trying to decide if it was Done; or at least, if the body was Done. The one thing about knitting in the round this way is that there's no way to slide that baby on over your head to get a realistic sense of how far you are. I measured and remeasured, but I was caught between wanted to be sure that it was long enough, but not too long (Goldilocks, anyone?). It's really important that it not be too long, because if it is, it'll rest on my hip-area and wrinkle up unattractively. I am endowed in the hip area, which was great while having kids, and which my friends from Botswana and Senegal assure me would be greatly valued in other parts of the world, but which does mean that the longer sweater/tunic thing is not always particularly attractive. So, Too Long = Bad.

I decided that I was pretty much done (this decision spurred on further by the fact that my yarn colors were converging again), but knit an extra three rounds for good measure. I then knit a round in which I bound off the neck and steek stitches, and lined it up to bind the shoulder stitches off together. Thanks to Stell's very useful comment from the other day, I had decided not to Kitchener the shoulders. The remaining question was whether to do a 3-needle bind-off on the outside, or whether to turn the thing inside out and do it on the inside. I started by binding off on the outside, and decided that I wanted a more hidden-seam kind of look, so ripped and tried again. That did the trick:
That done, there was only one thing to do. I girded the ol' loins, and figured it would be better to just get it over with. So, I sewed along on either side of the neck steek, reminding myself as I did just how sticky this yarn was, what a bear it was to frog, that lots of people cut steeks without even sewing on either side, so that even if I screwed the sewing up, everything was probably going to be just fine.
There it is, all sewn up, awaiting its doom. At that point, I quailed, and called Rick away from his packing (he left for San Antonio this morning). He, being a supportive spouse, came into the living room to stand behind me as I cut. Of course, being also a spouse possessed of a very dark sense of humor, he also said things like, "You're going to cut THERE?!" and "My god, what are you DOING?!" Then T walked in and asked, "Mama! Why are you cutting your knitting?" and I had to lay down the scissors for a moment to gather my courage. The end result:
That done, I headed for the armpits. I sewed up and down both sides of the steeks,
and hacked away.
Both sides done, I laid it down on the couch and stared at it. I keep expecting it to emit a sort of pitiful gasping woolly sound and burst into its constituent stringy parts. I feel like I did last summer after my back surgery when, every time I'd move, I'd expect titanium parts to come flying out of my back with a loud SPROING! They never did, but it took a long time before I stopped expecting it.

As the sweater did not go SPROING!, I decided to try it on to see whether I'd (quite literally) cut too soon. I think not.
It's not a great picture, but you can see that it it neither too tight nor too short. Neither is it too long. I may declare it Just Right. (Note also that I am wearing my pjs still; this was in case everything went dreadfully awry and I had to go back to bed to sleep it off. )

I think I'm going to get dressed now. I may take the girls to the zoo, just so I can stop waiting for the sweater to fall apart. SPROING!


Tracy said...

You are a brave, brave woman! I've not yet had the courage to undertake a project requiring the cutting of steeks. I'm glad it all worked out so well, and your sweater is turning out absolutely beautifully! You go, girl!

Anne said...

Way to go! Maybe someday I'll be as brave as you are--in the meantime I'm just going to admire your Kauni like mad.

ikkinlala said...

You had me holding my breath a couple of times, but the result looks great!

adrienne said...

i have not attempted anything that requires me to take sharp blade to knit. and i do not foresee anything like that in the future. yes, "i am chicken, hear me cluck!"

your sweater is gorgeous!