Emily Explains: Cutting the Steek!

As you saw in the last post, I worked the yoke in the round and the body of the cardigan flat, so that I only have to cut my yoke. Today I am ready to cut the steek! Following instructions from 150 Scandinavian Motifs by Mary Jane Mucklestone, I crocheted a chain on either side of my six-stitch steek, to secure my fabric.

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Then, with good sharp scissors I cut down the center of my 6 stitch steek.

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The stitches on either side of the cut will roll in slightly. Blackstone Tweed works well for a steek as the wooly stitches stay in place. I like to pick up and knit my button bands and then turn my cardigan to the wrong side and carefully trim the frayed edges of my steek.


To really see how the steek was done, follow along with my how-to video below!


How’s your Ellen or Helen going? Have you made any alterations?

Happy making!





8 thoughts on “Emily Explains: Cutting the Steek!

  1. Emily, thanks for demonstrating this technique. After cutting the steek, how do you pick up stitches for your button band? Do you pick them up in the crocheted stitches?

    1. Hi Carol! Thanks for your question. You’ll want to pick up the stitches one-stitch in from the crochet chain on the right-side of the work. I’ll have another blog post about picking up stitches and working the button bands soon.

    1. Steeks are extra stitches used in a knitted piece where an opening is needed. It allows you to knit in the round and then cut in between the extra stitches to add a button band, neckline or sleeves.

  2. I have just finished an Icelandic sweater that I steeked for the first time. I did a single crochet but am not happy with the results. Too much wave. Any suggestions you can make to help smooth it out?

    1. Hi Nadia,

      Sorry to hear you’re not happy with the results–and for the delay in responding! By now, I hope you’ve had a chance to finish the sweater and that the edges aren’t waving anymore. We recommend using a thinner yarn with the crochet steek, and even then you’ll still get a little bit of a wave, but, assuming there are button bands or some other sort of edging attached to the finished sweater, those edges should help reduce the waving.

  3. Hello,
    I was watching your video about how to do the sheek and had a few questions.

    When you added six stitches to it did you just cast on the 6 extra stitches and then purl up to when your stranded work started?

    Did you continue the pattern on the 6 stitches that were your sheek or did you just pick a color and carry the other color?

    Thank you for your help

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