Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two things I've never done before

It's always good to expand your horizons and do something you've never done before. For me, one was steeking. Steeking is one of those things so antithetical to knitting--after all the effort spent to avoid any dropped or wonky stitches, to suddenly cut knitted fabric seems so awful and cruel! But for a test knit, I may have put this off forever.

I started off by basting where I would ultimately cut.

I followed Eunny Jang's instructions for the crochet method.

Then I got fraidy-cat and did the sewn method too, for insurance. (Sorry for the awful contrastiness, this whole shebang was done in the basement at night.) I used a peach thread, which I thought was different enough from the cream yarn that I'd be able to take it out if needed, but not dark enough to see it through the fabric. I'd just use a matching yarn, in retrospect.

Then, the cutting! A lot of knit-bloggers seem to take a swig of something alcoholic beforehand, but I was so afraid I'd mess up I went in sober. I followed along the previously basted yarn, removing it as I went along. Scary!!!

(Can't cut and take pictures at the same time, so I must have put the scissors down out of view!)

Voila! Steeking = amazing!

#2 thing I've never done before: grow tomatoes. If you recall, I had supermodel infertile tomato plants. Suddenly, in October, they began to bear fruit, inexplicably. It was a long summer so I held out hope that they'd ripen on the vine, but alas, had to harvest them before a below-freezing night.

One reddish tomato, 14 others very green! I am suddenly inspired to try out fried green tomatoes...


mooncalf said...

Oh gosh - congratulations!

This is something I mean to do... But haven't yet faced. I tried a sample with JUST the crochet and was totally unconvinced that it would hold. i think the sewn method is best.

Still, I love stockinette in the round and keep thinking of all the steeked stockinette cardigans I could whip up...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, that's a very helpful & encouraging explanation of steeking. I'm glad you did this. I love stranded knitting, but have never attempted the more complex circular projects b/c I've been so scared of steeking! So now, following your splendid example, I think I'll have the courage to try it.


Thea said...

Wow -- I've never steeked either! Great job doing it for the first time, and without a drink - so brave.

tamdoll said...

Fantastic job with the cutting! I've never done it either - I think I would be terrified.
My tomatoes did the same thing - I pureed some and made muffins with it from a recipe I found online (I don't recommend it!) - froze the rest to think about what to do with them for now. Fried sounds good to me!

Lori in Michigan said...

Late production surprised me with my tomatoes, too, this year. But all is not lost! Simply put the greenies in a box with an apple or two and close it up. Check on them every few days. There's some kind of chemical the apple releases which will ripen the tomatoes just fine! Bon Appetit!

Sereknitty said...

You brave soul, you! Several years ago, when I made my Norwegian sweater, I couldn't bear to do the steek and handed it off to my friend to complete. She simply machine zig-zagged stitch in 2 columns and cut up the middle once done.