Steek and Strand!

Strand and Steek swatches

6 class hours.

Stranded color is one of the classic color work techniques, including as it does the well-known subgroup known as Fair Isle knitting. This class is for the knitter who has worked a few stranded projects and is eager to learn more, including how to successfully wield scissors on knit fabric. Class begins with a discussion of “steek” stitches, the extra stitches demarcating where a piece will be cut open. Students will learn four ways to secure the stitches of their single-color homework swatch before cutting it open, then learn ways to handle the resulting raw edges as well as how to pick up stitches in the new opening.

The second part of class focusses on stranding technique. Students experiment with ways to hold two yarns at once, learn about traditional patterns and garment construction, and try different color combinations while working a second steek-able swatch.

Prerequisites: Must know German twisted cast-on, how to knit in the round and have worked one or two stranded color projects.

Materials 

  • #4 (worsted) weight 100% animal fiber yarn (no acrylic or blends), 100 yds each in two colors
  • Small amounts #4 in additional colors
  • US 7 [4.5 mm] 16″ (measured tip to tip) circular needle  or size appropriate to the yarn
  • US 5 [3.75 mm]  16″ (measured tip to tip) circular needle
  • crochet hook 2 sizes smaller than larger knitting needles
  • small sharp scissors for steeking (if you have them; students will share)
  • Basic knitting supplies: ring markers, tapestry needle, scissors

Homework

With smaller needle, one of main colors, and using German twisted cast-on, cast on 92 sts. Join to work in the rnd, placing marker.

Next round K1, k1tbl, k2, pm for end of Steek Set 1; k1, [p2, k2] 3 times, p2, k1; pm for start of Steek Set 2, k2, k1tbl, k1, k1tbl, k2, pm for end of Set 2; k1, [p2, k2] 3 times, p2, k1; pm for start of Steek Set 3, k7, pm for end of Set 3; k1, [p2, k2] 3 times, p2, k1; pm for start of Steek Set 4, k7, pm for end of Set 4; k1, [p2, k2] 3 times, p2, k1; pm for start of steek Set 1, k2. k1tbl.
4 sets of steek sts established, 4 sets of body sts. Slip markers on subsequent rnds.

Working in established patts, rep last rnd 2 times. Change to larger needle. Working each set of 7 steek sts between markers in established patts and rem sts in stockinette (knit), continue until until piece measures 3¾˝ [9.5 cm]. Change to smaller needle.

Next round K1, k1tbl, k2 for Set 1; k1, [p2, k2] 3 times, p2, k1; k2, k1tbl, k1, k1tbl, k2 for Set 2; k1  [p2, k2] 3 times, p2, k1; k7 for Set 3; k1  [p2, k2] 3 times, p2, k1; k7 for Set 4; k1  [p2, k2] 3 times, p2, k1; k2, k1tbl for Set 1.

Repeat last rnd 2 times. Removing markers, bind off. Block swatch.