Category: Blog

Adventures in Steeking

Alternate title: Measure Twice (or Thrice, or until you are absolutely positively sure), Cut Once.

I really thought I was done with the body of the vest.
The thing about steeking, though, is that you can’t try the garment on as you go.
So I was comparing it to another vest that fits well.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early, and set to work machine sewing and cutting the steeks


It was actually kind of fun


But then I pinned it together to try it on and realized that the armholes were too shallow. Ugh.

Not as shallow as this photo suggests, because the top edge is all curled up. But short none the less.


So I needed to develop a strategy to add some depth.
I thought about knitting an inch or so more in pattern on the back and each of the fronts, but realized that since I had incorporated a few short rows at the very top to slope the shoulder just a bit, the pattern would be wonky at the edges.

I thought about knitting alternating stripes of brown and white from each front about two inches and then binding it off to the back. But that plain knitting would have a different gauge and thickness from the rest of the body that is stranded.

So it seemed the only thing to do was to knit in stranded colorwork bands perpendicular to the body stitches- like afterthought saddle shoulders.

It took me a couple of tries, as my right-handed colorwork technique is pretty rough-


It took me a while to figure out that I needed to eat up 2 stitches from the body at the end of each row.
I still need to even out the joins on the edges a little, but I think it turned out ok.

And it echos the striping that separates the front and back underneath the arms, so I think it works as a design feature 🙂


So now I’m moving on to edging- a nice deep ribbing at the bottom edge first (about and inch left to go).
Then the fronts and collar.


Whew. That was close.

Survivor, Poultry Edition

This week’s chicken drama involved an eagle attack.

Yep- an interrupted eagle attack, fortunately.
No photos, but I’ll set the scene for you.

Heard a big kerfluffle out in the pasture monday evening, so I hustled out to see what had everyone all worked up.

About halfway out there I saw some big flapping and realized that it wasn’t a false alarm.

As I ran up to the fenceline, yelling and waving my arms wildly, the eagle attempted to take off with the buff orpinton girl in his talons, but he couldn’t keep ahold of her and she tumbled to the ground.

There were feathers everywhere. And I didn’t know how badly she was injured.
But she managed to slowly scramble back to the shed.
After giving her a little time to calm down, I gathered her up and checked her over to see the extent of her injuries.

Amazingly, she only seemed to have one major wound, on her left back quarter.
It’s not pretty, but “only a flesh wound” and hopefully recoverable.


Only the Blue Cote gives away her status as a gimp.

But for now she’s laying low in the nursery pen


Where she mostly sits up on the stool, looks out over the yard and calls to the other chigs.

I’m taking her sassy attitude as a good sign.

In knitting news, I’m really close to finishing the body of the vest. About 2 more inches to go.


And, I think that this project might have finally cured me of my fixation on that circular motif. 🙂

Hopefully very soon I’ll be ready to sew and cut the steeks, and move into the finishing stage.
Woo Hoo!

Ah, That’s Better-

Our big apple tree is breathing a sign of relief


after giving up most all of his fruits.

This is maybe half of what we handed off to friends for cider-making


I kept some for our own use, and have a couple boxes of undamaged grounders that will be sheep snacks over the next few weeks.

And there are still some up there-


that I’m ok with leaving to the birds.

There are enough to go around. And around. And around 🙂

And speaking of going around and around, I’ve been making pretty good progress on the shawl collared vest.


About 4 inches ago I put the underarm stitches on holders and cast on the steek stitches for the arm holes. Also started decreases to shape the elongated v-neck.


So far, so good. Maybe by next weekend I’ll be ready to sew and cut the steeks!

Back from the Peninsula

Sorry I missed y’all last weekend- I was headed out to Hansville, on the Kitsap peninsula for my annual knitting retreat!

The spot was amazing, and we were greeted with a welcome rainbow upon arrival 🙂


There was beach access from the yard


On the way down, I was able to stop in at the Artful Ewe in Port Gamble.


(I usually find that it’s a good sign when there is a spinning wheel out in front of a shop) 🙂


And I was not disappointed!


Beautiful luscious fibers.
I picked up some special Polwarth/Silk goodies to play with while I was at the retreat.



I focused on the teal, brown & purple and decided to save the fiery colors for later- here are my results


Had never worked with Polwath before. It was a really fun spin, very soft and springy-

I also got a fair bit of knitting done- maybe 5 inches on the shawl collared vest project


What a great way to spend a few days!