Well, actually there are 3 steeks + 5 tubes in this jumper. As many of you know, I’m up-skilling my knitting and I’ve been researching steeks. I finally found enough information to give me the courage to give them a go. I am delighted to report that I was successful. I’ll report my journey with this project for those who are interested in trying steeks and hope I’m not preaching to the choir as I imagine many MWK members already use this method.
My inspiration for this jersey came from a British pattern for a WWI serviceman jersey (see attachment 1). I tried to remain faithful to the original design but needed to make some changes. First and foremost, the pattern was written for a slender 19 year old lad just out of boot camp and I’ve not looked like that (if I ever did) for a long time now. The pattern calls for flat, pieced knitting but I did this jumper in the round and seamless. Other than looking at the original photograph, I did not follow the pattern. Rather, I calculated my size by using the E Zimmermann method found in “The Sweater Workshop” by Jackie Fee. I didn’t plan on the drop sleeves (yuch!) and I’m going to try to eliminate that style on my next jersey.
I used a wonderful DK wool which I found quite accidentally. It is made in New Zealand and was not the usual over-processed wool we get from Oz (which even the Aussies won’t use). In fact, it still had a lanolin odor on it! The needle size was 4 mm. It was pure heaven to knit with this fiber – so soft and smooth! The colour is a very light gray with a hint of light blue throughout.
After knitting up to the beginning of the neckline, I put the front stitches onto a piece of waste yarn and then began the reductions on each side. The steek I used here is the wound steek (see attachment 2). After I’d knitted up to the shoulders, I machine sewed the reduced edges and then cut the yarn strands; the neckline automatically took its shape once the strands were cut (see attachment 3). The front and back stitches are live and I knitted up new stitches, knitted the live stitches and made the collar.
Although I hand sewed a security line around the arm hole steeks (see attachment 4), I got nervy and did a machine sewn reinforcement as well. I cut the arm holes and then did a 3 needle bind-off for the shoulders. I knitted up stitches around the arm holes and knitted from the shoulder to the cuffs so there are no sewn seams in this garment.
In addition to learning how to do steeks, I also learned how to knit-up stitches instead of picking-up stitches by working a twisted knit stitch into the bars. I learned how to calculate the size and shaping of the neck and shoulders. I also found out about adding extra stitches to the base of each cable to prevent the fabric being pulled-in by the stitch-eating cables.
Knitting time from start to finish: under 3 weeks. I really enjoyed this project.