For those of you unfamiliar with the term, steek is both a noun and a verb. A steek is the extra stitches that you cast on and knit and the process of cutting those extra stitches. Steeks are most commonly used in stranded (or multi color) knitting so that you can maintain the pattern. It also helps maintain the color variations with self striping yarn.
This vest has three 5 stitch steeks. 1 for the front and 2 for the armholes. The directions said to alternate the stitches in the steeks every row, creating a checkerboard effect. Were I to make this again, I would do vertical stripes, to make it easier to do the guideline and reinforcement lines. You put a guideline in a contrasting color down the middle of the steek (I used white), and reinforce the steek on either side, if desired. This being my first steek, I greatly desired to reinforce. I sewed 2 lines on either side of my guideline in yellow. After I sewed the reinforcement lines, I put the grocery ad in the vest (so I wouldn’t cut any floats) and then cut the steeks. In the below pictures, the first one is before I cut and you can see my guidelines. The second one is after the steeks were steeked.
I am using Berroco Ultra Alpaca and Noro Kureyon. I started the bottom with one skein, and then when I finished the first chart, I switched skeins for the body. I am on the fourth skein of the Noro and the third skein of the Berroco. I did the main part of the vest with 3 skeins that basically started and ended with the same color. I’ll be using the end of the third skein for the collar and am using the fourth skein for the hem band and the front bands.
While I really like this pattern, and there are other patterns in this book that I plan on making, I do have some issues, 3 in particular.
- For most of the patterns, the only way to change the size is to change the gauge. While this is fine and dandy, there are no yarn recommendations for the looser gauges.
- There are no diagrams of the patterns, showing the finished dimensions.
- The arm holes seem huge. The pattern calls for 2 repeats (24 round repeats ) and 20 rounds for the armhole. This would put the size I made at an armhole depth of 10 ½ inches and this doesn’t include the stitches you put on a holder! The stitches on the holder was more than I would have thought was needed.