i steeked and lived to tell the tale

I’m not sure if I believed that it was going to work, despite all assurances that it would.

When people told me it was no sweat—really—to take scissors to my knitting, I nodded and shrugged like I was well versed in this technique and had no concern.

But the truth is, I’d done a whole lot of reading about steeking, understood the theory and concept thoroughly, and seen loads of friends do it, but I hadn’t yet done it, I was scared out of my mind.

But I dove into the Deep-V Argyle Vest anyway.

And guys, it is no sweat—really—to take scissors to your very feltable 100% wool sweater.

the steeking, captured

I’m lucky, though: JulieFrick let me give it a whirl first on the adorable Grows Like a Weeds that she knit for her boys.

But back to my knitting—that’s why you’re here, right? My totally perfect argyle vest? The one that’s super warm and yet still comfortable and I am totally in love with?

365x3.334 deep-v argyle vest

Deep-V Argyle Vest (pattern | my rav page)
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic, in blue and gray (3 balls of blue and 2 of gray)
Needles: US Size 4. I bought Hiya Hiya steels, and they were nice! Cheap, and they come with a cute locking stitch marker
Started: November 9 (swatching), started knitting for reals on November 12
Finished: The knitting was done on November 18. This is the first time I’ve taken notice of the fact that I actually knit the colorwork part in just 6 days. Dang. I finally got around to steeking on November 21, and it was blocked and dry on November 29. (Basically, I took forever to finish the finishing.)

deep-v from the back

Notes: So, the pattern is the Deep-V Argyle but I honestly think a super-deep-v looks, well, silly on most people, especially those like me who are not overly well endowed. But what’s great about this pattern is that the entire thing is charted, so you can just redraw your own outline and go from there. So that’s what I did, and in the end I probably did something that was closest to the 36″ size, but I cut the number of rows below the waist shaping and cut out rows in the armholes, too (my row gauge was slightly off). In some ways I didn’t knit the pattern at all—it’s as if I took the argyle chart and just drew my own sweater on it! The detailed and reassuring information in the pattern about steeking was really helpful, though.

3/4 view

And it was no sweat, I swear.

28 Responses to i steeked and lived to tell the tale

  1. Lily says:

    It turned out just lovely! I’m always in awe of the lovely effect created by steeking, but never found the courage to try it myself, imagining this nightmare of unraveled ends and tangled threads.

  2. Jocelyn says:

    Really, really beautiful on you, Erin. I would love to have a better understanding of the technical details behind knitting a fitted or custom garment like this one.

  3. leo says:

    omg I cannot believe you didn’t put the cutting action shot on flickr publicly so we could all ohhh and ahhhhhh over how you were taking scissors to your knitting! I cannot freaking wait to cut mine.

  4. jane says:

    Woohoo! That is so great that you completed Vestvember, and how exciting that you are now a fully qualified steeker. Such a great vest – the blue and grey are lovely together and it fits you just perfectly! Enjoy wearing it!

  5. Bertha says:

    I would also like to hear more about the yarn! I’m always looking for a good basic wool. I plan to steek my vest this week, I will draw inspiration from you!

  6. mai says:

    it looks great, erin! i agree that the too-deep v looks a bit silly on most people. you did a great job with the finishing! steeking is fun, isn’t it? :) i also want to know what you think about this yarn. i’d really like to make another one of these vests at some point and might consider using this yarn as well.

  7. Jacey says:

    Your >Deep V looks great! I appreciate the info on the modification. I really want to make this, but I haven’t picked yarn, so it’s a little ways off in the queue.

  8. Kirsten says:

    Great vest! I bought this pattern ages ago but have been too intimidated by the steeking to try it. Maybe I’ll rethink that after reading your post!

  9. Jen says:

    Wow!! As impressed as I am by the steeking (still too chicken to try it!), I’m equally impressed by the great colorwork!! Looks super!

  10. MavenKnits says:

    Oh wow! I’m really excited for you that you have plunged into steeking so fearlessly! EZ makes it look so normal, to just chop up your knitting with scissors. I have always felta little bit crazy in that respect, always looking for something to steek… adrenaline sports for knitters, I guess!

  11. Marie says:

    There is nothing like the afterglow of getting through that first steek – mine was over a month ago now and I’m still enjoying it! BTW – gorgeous vest – and gorgeous fit too! Congratulations on all of it. Enjoy!

  12. ohsewcrafty says:

    The vest is gorgeous, I love the colors, fit and the higher neck line. I am a steek virgin but want to give it a try soon and I’m feeling more confident now, so thank you!

  13. vcathy says:

    i too had trepidation, but having done the unspeakable and twisted my circular knittedd (first time ever) hat band for my grandbaby emma’s jingle bell hat, i ventured forth and the teeking worked wonderfully and we are no longer twister. i too am still smiling and sighing happily.

    your vest is inspiring, i had been planning one and so i will start today–maybe your beautiful pattern next time. knit on!

  14. JanieB says:

    Long may the love last. Steeking amazeball. Maybe 2010 can be my year of the steek. Great photoshoot in celebration of the steeking!

  15. Linda P says:

    Hi! Congratulations on an amazing vest! Your color choices and the fit are just great.

    P.S. I ordered the tapestry cowl pattern a few days ago and haven’t seen it in my inbox. Perhaps you’re on vacation?? I’d love to get started on that soon. Hope you can help me out.

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