Some of my readers mentioned that they did not know what "steeking" meant, so I thought I would treat you to some gorey operation-in-progress shots. Those of a nervous disposition may wish to avert their eyes!
The picture above bears witness to the scariest part of the process: listen to me my children, you have to CUT your knitting! GASP!!!
But as several wise commenters observed, this is a "sticky" wool fabric, which cut lengthwise will not instantly unravel itself. If I were to cut it crosswise, it would be a very different story... so I won't be doing that!
When you knit something with the intention of steeking it, you add extra bands of stitches, rather like a seam allowance in a sewn garment. As you are knitting in the round, there are two such allowances next to one another, and where they join is where you cut... but because knitters remember the hours of work it has take to get to this point, there is an option to reinforce the fabric either side of the cutting line. Just in case. Having found crochet too bulky, and heeding the advice that a machine-stitched thread line might eventually cut through my yarn, I opted for two rows of backstitch using the same weight of wool as my garment.
These are sewn through the centre of the line of stitches to either side of the centre-parting, as shown above.
And then you CUT your knitting right up the middle. GULP.
And miraculously, it stays there. As long as you haven't cut through your back-stitching (hence the contrasting colour), this is enough to hold the fabric steady while you fold and steam press under each seam allowance.
This is the top of a sleeve.
The safety pin is holding the stitches which will be grafted to a matching set on the main body piece under the arm.
Now all I have to do is sew in the sleeves and pick up the stitches down the fronts to make button bands.
See you next weekend!