Making friends with steeks

I want to thank everyone for the comments on my socks in the previous post – they have brought me much cheer and encouragement! The pattern file is open once again and I am going to get back to it in short order. In the meanwhile, though, I finally have this Finished Object to show off:


Um. I mentioned before how taking photos of yourself is really hard, right? Yeah. There are about a dozen more shots in the trash, heh. But I did manage to get a few worth showing, that display the vest in all its glory. The steeks worked. The fair isle was wonderful. The pattern is well written. I’m so happy with it I don’t even mind including a shot with my rear end in it. 😉


Pattern: Ivy League Vest, by Eunny Jang, Interweave Knits 2007 (scroll down)
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (substituted; in twig, cream, tidepool heather, blue note heather, brindle heather, and mist) I only needed 1 ball of each for the 34.5 inch size, which makes this project a freakin’ bargoon.
Needles: 3.5mm on the fair isle, 3.75mm on the ribbing
Modifications: I knew from the get-go that I wanted to add length to this to bring it just over the top of my hips. I did this by adding 2 small peeries at the bottom before beginning the waist-shaping. I also up-sized the needles on the ribbing and on the two peeries that I added before the waist-shaping, to allow for a bit more room in the hips. This worked out well, and in fact I think I could have gone up another needle-size on the ribbing. I think next time I wash it I will block the ribbing out a little more widely, as it is rippling slightly just below the waist.

I omitted the purl ‘seam’ stitch at each side, and unintentionally deviated from the colour chart when I flubbed a few times and didn’t change the background colour or foreground colour when I was supposed to. I think it still looks good, though. I’m a happy camper.

As far as the steeks go – well, it was all fine. I’d done steeks before, but only using the Philosopher’s Wool method of cutting alongside a single column of ‘purl’ stitches that are first reinforced with a sewing machine. I left these Ivy League steeks without reinforcement before cutting, which is fine when your steeks are 8-10 sts wide. Post-cutting and post-ribbing, I trimmed the steeks to neaten them and then reinforced with a row of single crochet. So far, so good, it all seems to be holding up nicely.

ILVtake1 ILVDec8 ILVDec11
IvyLeagueDec16 ILV steeks IvyLeague3

Hurrah! Onwards to more fair isle. Soon, my pretty yarn, soon…


  1. It looks fantastic. Steeks scare me, but I am glad to hear that they work and don’t have to be evil stress-making experiences.

  2. Wow, that looks fabulous! I’m so impressed. I’m trying to work my way up to steeking in the next couple of months.

  3. You just rock, completely and totally. That is one of the very prettiest FI I’ve seen, the colours are to dream about.
    ok… I counted… 6 colours… holy moly… 12 bucks… that’s beyond bargoooooon!
    And it’s a shapely derriere ye have there, Lass :^) (those are all great photos!)

  4. wow that looks wonderful:) Well done you

  5. Wow, that’s a work of art: it’s gorgeous!!!

  6. That’s a knit to be proud of! Congratulations!

  7. Oh my gosh it’s beautiful! I love your color subs! I’m not a vest wearer, but man, this vest may convert me!!

  8. This vest is stunning. When I get better at stranded knitting, Ivy League Vest will be my goal! Well done. REALLY!

  9. Gasp! That’s too beautiful.

    Okay, you’ve sealed it for me. I am definitely getting off my arse and jumping into the wonderful world of stranded knitting. Glad I have Fiona Ellis’ colourwork class at the DKC this weekend to jumpstart my efforts!

  10. That’s great! I really need to give this colourwork thing a try.

  11. Gorgeous, and looks great on you! Thanks for mentioning the colours you used – I’ll file that info away for future use, as this is now on my must-knit list!

  12. 1. You rock. I have not yet the ovaries (must courage always be associated with boy parts?) for steeking, though that’s partly b/c I haven’t found the perfect fair isle project for me yet.

    2. love those Nancy Drew socks. Will you be including the shorter version in your pattern as well?

    3. How goes the lecturing?

  13. Oh man, that looks good. Great job!

    On the self-portrait:

    I recently signed up for…because I need to have my head examined…and needed a recent photo of my gorgeous mug as I cut off 8 inches from my hair since the last time the paparazzi caught up with me. One hundred and fifty one photos later, I found three, count ’em one, two, three photos that didn’t make me look:
    a) retarded and/or dorky
    b) six hundred pounds (I blame the round Charlie Brown head on my Polish genes)
    c) high
    d) some combination of a, b, or c

    Oy vey.

  14. Wow that looks fantastic!
    I should be attempting this very soon, seeing yours is inspiring!

  15. The colours are gorgeous and it’s a fantastic piece of knitting! Not only that, young lady, it looks brilliant on you (especially with the jeans)!

  16. Wow! That has turned out beautifully hasn’t it. Great practice for Venezia. I omitted the purl seam on my frogged Venezia, I prefer it like that too.

  17. That is soo beautiful. And it looks really flattering on you, too, which I think is unusual in fair isle. I’ve always been a bit scared of colour work, but you’re making me want to try!

  18. Wow, it looks so good! I want to make this soon and was also thinking about lengthening it, so I appreciate you sharing what you did for that. Great job!

  19. the rachface · ·

    A, your socks are super awesome! There’s just something about knee high argyle, isn’t there? And 2, holy crap you make fair isle and steeking look easy. Your vest looks amazing on you! Great job!

  20. That vest is stunning!!! Fits you really well, too. Man, I need one just like that!

  21. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Oh I wanna knit that now!

  22. Wow! Love your vest! What a great job you did. And I love the argyle socks as well! I do hope you publish a pattern for them.

  23. Wow, what a beautiful vest! Now I can’t wait to make one!

  24. Love the colours you chose for this; very purty. As for the socks in the last post well done you; adore that seam going up the back :o)

  25. love the vest but i’ll leave the cutting to you.

    please visit my blog-you always make my day!

  26. Your vest looks totally amazing and fits you perfectly! It looks fantastic on.

    Beautiful work and your colour subs look great.

    I need to beat the Knitpicks non international delivery system and get me some!

  27. That is awesome, Glenna. Well done! I really like the colour scheme you picked, it looks really nice on you. 🙂

  28. I hope you don’t mind a little award passed on from me from one I got on my blog. x

  29. GORGEOUS! I’m in awe. Simply stunning and it looks great on you. I’m going to Stiches West next month and I’m taking a steeks class. Yikes. Great job! 🙂

  30. […] some knitting, am I right? I was so flattered and warm-fuzzied by all your lovely comments on my Ivy League Vest last week. A lot of you expressed your own fear over doing a project that requires you to cut […]

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