Saturday, September 14, 2013

Knitting With Scissors


Both Robb and I have some sort of mystery cold, whose major symptom is mind-numbing lethargy.  We've been sacked out for a couple of days, unable to do much of anything.  I'm finally feeling well enough to knit, and have been chugging away on my sweater.  

I'm using a beloved vintage ski sweater as the template for my project.  Hopefully this will bypass the heartache of spending countless hours creating an ill-fitting sweater.  The original vintage ski sweater has some interesting features, most notably the T-shape of the main body of the garment. I'm convinced that the original cardigan was machine knit, and then the pieces were cut to create shaping.  That would be more like making a sewn garment -- the fabric is created (usually in long straight panels on a loom), then cut and then assembled into its final shape.   In knitting, the shaping is generally done concurrently with the creation of the fabric.  There are a variety of technical reasons for doing this, but it pretty much comes down to the fact that cutting knit fabric creates the opportunity for unraveling.

Which is why it's pretty crazy to be doing the kind of project that I'm doing.  I'm creating large tubes of knitted fabric, and intend to chop them up to form the pieces of my cardigan. This is a traditional Scandinavian method, called steeking.

It pretty much fills the heart of any sensible knitter with horror.

Taking scissors to your project?  Are you insane?  Don't you know how easily knitting unravels?

In my case, I'm trusting the wisdom of generations of Nordic knitters, and am embracing the adventure of chopping up my own work.

But you had better believe that I won't let scissors anywhere near my project until I'm all recovered from this cold, and am feeling totally lucid again.  Right now, I'm just too sick for any risk-taking.


Noreen said...

It's going to be stunning!

Carolina said...

Is that Kauni? If so, try cutting a swatch. I think you will find it doesn't unravel at all because it's so sticky. I used to use a sewing machine first before cutting steeks but found that's not necessary with Kauni.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Good eye! It is Kauni. I'm crocheting the steeks, which is a good activity for a sick day.

Stefaneener said...

I can't believe I missed this. Kauni sticks like a champ; it'll be great. And it knits up into a PERFECT fabric for our climate. You'll love this. It's very pretty.


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