Knitting

Streek

When you begin knitting and, even after years of experience, there is a dread of dropped stitches unraveling your hard work.  After a decade of projects (145 complete or in-progress currently listed on my Ravelry page) I am finally comfortable picking up dropped stockinette stitches or correcting a mistake in knit-n-purl ribbing.  However, the intricate subtleties of stitch structure still elude me and, if the mistake occurs in a well-loved cable project or (heaven forbid) on lace work, I frog back.  So you can imagine my trepidation when the August theme for Knit Camp was:  Streeking. 

Not familiar with that word?  Neither was I.  The primary definition of this transitive verb is to stretch or to extend, coming from 12th century Middle English, chiefly Scotland.  As a modern day knitting technique, steeking is a multi-step process that involves preparing, cutting, and finishing the streeked item.  And yes, I did say “cutting” as in taking a sharp scissors to a perfectly good item and cutting something knit in the round and making it flat.  Right?!?  And I wanted to do this why?

Having committed to a fun year of Knit Camp with Marie Greene and approximately 1,000 other intrepid knitters, I thought why pay for classes and then skip the work.  So I knit the Soundtrack Cowl, a variation on my Soundtrack Sweater, crocheted two steeked columns, added extra back-stitched reinforcement since my HiKoo Sueño is superwash, cut a specifically planned purl column (yikes!), added a decorative binding on each side to seal the raw edges, picked up left and right side stitches to add a Knit 2 – Purl 2 ribbed button band and, finally, added eight remainder buttons.  While I am satisfied with the finished project, I am pretty sure streeking will not become my new go-to knitting technique.