Steeked Sweater 101


I just found this perfect project to try steeking for the first time.It’s relatively small so the initial pain/trauma/fear of cutting into the work should be significantly less than with a sweater.

It’s a plushie from the video game Portal and can be found here.

This along with cake will be my Valentine’s gift to my bf.The cake is a joke from the game; your entire motivation for finishing it is the promise of cake, but at the end the cake turns out to be a lie.This is where that saying “the cake is a lie” originated XD


I’ll be doing my first steeking in a week or so… yikes! It’s non-wool so I’m doing some extra securing first. :thumbsup:


What is steeking?


Steeking is when you [U][I]cut[/I][/U] your knitting. Look at the pictures in this thread and you’ll see how Ingrid did a sweater. It’s usually done with a feltable wool even though you don’t usually felt it. It’s done with wool like that so that the little guard hairs on the wool cling together preventing it from unraveling.

Because my sweater is not feltable wool I am going to use both a crocheted steek and the sewing machine to secure it.


:cheering::cheering:Good for you Jan! Remember EZ’s advice and after you cut for the first time, lie down in a darkened room for a bit. :teehee:




Question about sewing machine steeks… I tried zigzag on my swatch and made a mess. It stretched out the fabric and of course I forgot to move the ends out of the way… :doh: Do you use straight sewing machine stitching? One row on either side? Do you have to adjust anything?


I’ve only used straight stitching, as small as the machine would allow the knitted fabric to still go through.


Okay…one row or two on either side of the steek?


To be safe, I’ve done two on each side, mainly since I don’t get along with my sewing machine. If you also crocheted, as you mentioned, one should be fine.


Thanks, Ingrid. I’m making a few more swatches to try again. Thank heavens I didn’t try it on my sweater first! :zombie:


That would have been horrible!!!:pout:

I’ve never done it, but I read that someone puts tissue (the wrapping kind) under the knitting so it doesn’t get stuck on the bottom.


I had to look away when I saw those scissors so close to the knitting. I was feeling a little wooooozzzzyyy!


Ingrid, I think your sweater is just lovely! I’m a big fan of machine-sewn steeks, but I know lots of folks share your hesitation about them. I did, too, until a friend showed me the ropes. So, I thought I’d mention a few favorite points of mine, in the interest of spreading some steek-love:

#1 Machine steeks are always less bulky than crocheted steeks. Who needs extra bulk?!?!?
#2 As you mentioned, crocheted steeks are really safe only on very sticky wool (read: Shetland wool). But,
machine steeks can be beautiful - and extra secure - on anything, including Shetland wool.
#4 You don’t have to be a phenomenal machine sewer to get a phenomenal machine-reinforced steek. In fact, you can be quite the novice and still get a fine result! Use two lines of small, straight (as in not zig-zag) stitches (like Ingrid - good girl!) and as long as you keep them away from the actual body stitches, it won’t matter if you’re a bit wobbly - they’ll never show.
#4 Use common scotch tape to tame loose yarn ends (on the WS) so that they don’t snag in your machine.
#5 Put cardboard between the layers for worry-free cutting.
#6 Relax - it’s[I] fun[/I]!


Oooh, I love the idea of scotch tape!! I’ve always worried about catching the yarn on the foot of the sewing machine. Thanks!


I wish I had found this a long time ago. I have successfully steeked the arms and neck and front (this is a cardigan) I have not cut the front steek since I want to put it on a wooly board for blocking before I cut it and put in the front button hole and button edges. My question is this: what is the proper way to tack the cut steek edges? I saw it somewhere, but now that I need it I can’t find the directions. This is my first fair isle cardigan. Thank you for the nice clear pictures and explanation of steeking. It does take nerve to put sissors to yarn!:knitting:


I didn’t tack down the edges of the cut steeks, since they were stitched, I used shetland wool, and I’m lazy. :shifty: They’ve stayed put, even with the cardigan I made.

If you want to sew them down, though, a simple whip stitch would do it.

Make sure to post a picture!


I have never done steeking but I did leave a question on the ‘How- to Question board’ asking if it’s possible to steek a garter knitted piece . I don’t want to repeat the question because I know some sites frown on doing that, so if anyone could help me please check out my question “[B]Is it possible to steek Garter knitting”[/B]


Sure you can steek garter. If you work steek stitches to cut, it might be easier to see what you’re doing if you work those in stockinette, but as long as the stitches you cut are secure, you can do whatever you want.


That’s the problem, I didn’t work steek sts to cut . This is just an after thought . I have this long garter st scarf that hubby doesn’t use and he wants me to put pockets on his old Tomten coat I knitted and I just thought that there might be a way to cut the scarf and use pocket size pieces to attach to the coat .

what if I use my sewing machine and sew a line down the one end and then cut ? that should secure the rest of the sts ,yes?