If you haven’t tried steeking a sweater, consider the benefits: you get to knit the entire thing in the round, and then open it up for sleeves, or even to make it a cardigan. Here, Ragga Eiríksdóttir (instructor of the Craftsy knitting class, The Topdown Icelandic Sweater) shows you how simple it is to steek a sweater using the crochet method, as she uses when she makes her Icelandic lopi sweaters. Careful: this free video tip might get you hooked on making cardigans!
Hi, I’m Ragga Eiríksdóttir, a knitting instructor with Craftsy.com. Today I’m going to show you how to steek an Icelandic lopi sweater using the crochet method.
The sweater I am wearing is steeked using the crochet method, and that means that I could knit this sweater in the round, and then open it up at the end to make it into a cardigan. Now I’m going to show you the steeking method using this little swatch here. It’s just a stockinette piece, knit in the round. And it has one purl stitch that runs all the way from the top to the bottom, in the middle [learn to knit basic stitches for free on Craftsy!]. And if you look at it from the inside, it looks like a knit stitch. So what I do is crochet into the next knit stitch that’s just beside the purl stitch on both sides. And I make a little ridge just like I’ve done here that runs all the way from the top to the bottom of the piece, and now I’ll show you how to do this on the other side.
Now I first need to anchor my yarn to the edge. So we’ll go all the way up here into the stitch that I cast off and I get the yarn and then I pull it through the loop that’s on my crochet hook once more to anchor to the edge.
And now I am going to work into this stitch right here. It’s the knit stitch next to the purl stitch. I make sure that I go under both legs of each of the stitches, get the yarn, make a yarn over, and pull it through both loops like this.
I always want to make sure that the purl stitch is facing away from me, so I work one of the ridges from bottom to top, and the other from top to bottom. And I like to hold it, just pinch it like this. And then I have a clear view of the stitch that’s next to the steek stitch. Under both legs, yarn over, pull the loop through, and whenever you have two loops on the hook, you need to pull the yarn through both of the loops.
So I’m going work my way all the way down to the bottom edge of my piece. So I’m getting closer to the edge here, just making sure that I’m going under both legs of each of the stitches as I single-crochet this little border. And this way, I’m just anchoring the stitches together. And lopi yarn is really clingy. The fibers stick nicely to one another, and that’s why we need only one purl stitch for the steek.
And now here is my last stitch. I’m just going to go right through the fabric at the bottom. Get the yarn, and now I can break my yarn and pull the end through like this.
So, now I am ready for cutting this piece open. Notice that the crochet ridges are worked on the right side of the sweater. Here you can see the purl stitch in the middle, and the two single crochet ridges that I have prepared. And now it’s time to cut the steek open.
I like to cut from the wrong side because, there, the stitch looks like a knit stitch, and you can use it as a guide.
So I put my hand inside so that I don’t cut into the other side of the fabric. So I’m just going to go here, right in the middle of this stitch. Hear that sound? All the way up. There we go. And if I fold it to look at the edges, you can see how nicely they just want to fold inwards like that.
So, on the inside, you can see the little edges stick out where I cut the fabric. And I would add a ribbon for finishing detail, and for these little ends, it prevents them from unraveling.
If you want to learn more or knit this modern sweater, you can check out my class, The Top-Down Icelandic Sweater, on Craftsy.com.