I love steeks. This is my third sweater that uses them, and I just love being able to knit in the round as I prefer, and then magically turn my sweater into a cardigan. In fact, I love all things to do with surgery on my knitting – it speaks to the tailor in me. (I would love to teach a class on the various ways to cut, unravel, unpick, and otherwise surgically alter your knitting…they’re such wonderful techniques to have in your design repertoire.)

That said, I am feeling just a teensy bit of trepidation about this:

See that misshapen lump of knitting? Somewhere between a sweater body and a potato sack with holes?

That’s the completed colorwork section for the fall colors sweater. Depending on how you count, there are either 4 or 7 steeks involved in this one piece of knitting (some of the steeks are split into multiple sections to add ease where necessary).

There are two steeks that run up the sides of the sweater where I will insert the green side panels. Those get split at the armpit to add ease to the arm shaping.

Then there’s the neck steek. (One in the front, one in the back.)

This is where it gets tricky. I measured the neck opening carefully before deciding on a final number of stitches, but there’s no other way to know if it will turn out as expected until I snip those steeks open. By then, it will be too late to go back and fix if things are wrong.

I did go ahead and finish the shoulder seam grafts, just to reassure myself that the pieces would at least fit together, but between steek bands covering the arm holes and steek bands holding the neck opening closed, there’s really no way to tell what this garment will look like until it’s cut. I’d call it blind faith, but at least I took measurements first, right?

I do like the way the patterns come together at the shoulder. The original plan was to have them continue uninterrupted up and over the shoulder, joining the front and back seamlessly. This was all well and good until I misread my chart. I only realized what I’d done about 2″ later, and decided that that one design detail wasn’t important enough to me to rip back 2″ of colorwork with yarns carefully interlocked every 4-5 stitches.

Going from this to the actual garment should be relatively easy; just a few snips here and there, and everything will be freed and should fall nicely into place. I’m really excited to see how it turns out. I’m also a little terrified that something will be wrong. This has to be one of my craziest garment projects yet.

But then, just look at how nicely knitting in the round has preserved the color changes in the yarn:

A result like that has to be worth some risk, right?