Monday, April 10, 2006

First (real) steeks

So, before I enter into this diatribe, a disclaimer: I have cut my knitting before. My attempt at resizing Asana for a new gauge didn't work out fabulously well, so I ended up using the cut & sew method of resizing. That said, I haven't done any traditional steeking before. With Asana, it was a case of "well, I still have enough yarn left over to make another one, so what the hell." With Snowflakes and Arrows, it was fate. And man, how cruel Fate can be.

You see, I knitted up a lovely Snowflakes and Arrows, with Kim's very helpful advice from the knit-along, and adding my own side-seam-area decreases:

Working some lovely snowflake fair isle, if I do say so myself:

And then, about 14 inches into the center-front opening, I cut two and a half rows of steek, instead of the center purl bumps of steek:

The word panic took on a new meaning last night.

I promptly re-crocheted to re-secure the cut portion, and I think it's going to be okay, but MAN was that stressful. I knit most of this vest in a foreign state, commuting 500+ miles without my husband of 9 months, and sometimes under adverse circumstances (including a lovely bout of stomach flu).

So while the $12ish that I spent on the yarn for this is utterly expendable, quite a lot of who I am as a person is woven into this thing. It contains me panicking when I realized how much more of my time my new job takes vs. the very loose 10-6 my previous lovely and fun but not long-term-challenging job required of me. It contains me realizing that most of what was making me sad was the fact that my husband wasn't waiting for me at (my temporary) home. It contains me realizing that, even though I wouldn't be doing anything even remotely resembling my job title for a good 6 months, the technical writing that I'm doing now is helping to keep afloat a company that pays 100% of my healthcare costs, whose owner says good morning to me every single day, and that gives me a supervisor who tells me at least once a week how happy he is that I took the writing burden away from him.

For that reason, I really, really, want this vest to survive, so it can be a tangible memento of a difficult but still useful and positive time in my life. I rediscovered knitting in a similar during a really really hard time. Its place in my life has grown beyond occupational therapy, but every piece I've made is a record of who I was at the time, and a reminder of what I can accomplish. Including getting through a botched steek, I hope!


Blogger Danielle said...

Good luck, Jess. If anyone can recover (from the vest, and the "life stuff"), it's you!

7:07 AM  
Blogger FemiKnitMafia said...

OMG -- my heart is beating quickly. But Danielle is 100% right. You are the girl who can make this work. I can't wait to see the beautiful results.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Rhonda said...

It can be done! I also had to rescue the fair isle vest I knit for the Olympics ... and learned a lesson there. But you might want to reinforce the steeks with sewing machine stitches using a close match thread. Good luck, you can do it!

10:47 AM  
Blogger christine said...

i totally know what you mean about the knitted item (or any item) being worth more than is visible on the surface. especially for such personal and time-sustaining projects, they really do become a part of us, an artifact of our internal and external elements of life.

dont freak out about the vest; you will make it work out as best you can. and the most important part is -- you are at such a wonderful place now! and no one can ever destroy that memory of achievement... not even a pesky seemingly-soul-crushing steek. ;)

5:51 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Wow, brave steek cutting! That's great you reinforced the cut sides with crochet. I'm sure it will all work out and it looks great. Hang in there...thanks for the comments on the tiles and yarn. Yes, there are certain color schemes that I revisit constantly!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

The vest looks great - I hope the rest of the steeks went OK!

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

See? People are always saying not to worry about steeks, but see?
(I'm sure it will be ok.)

10:51 AM  

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