Free Pattern: My First Steeks Sweater

I had never knitted steeks before, and I really wanted to try it. I was also in the mood for a sweater I could wear at the garden in the spring and fall that would be warm but not too hot. This sweater combines these desires. It was quick to knit, so when it came time to do the steeks, I wasn't consumed with fear over loosing my hard work. Steeking is remarkably easy! And, this is the perfect project to try out a new skill.

To be honest, I'm not well pleased with how the sweater has stood up to wear. If I would to use this yarn again, I would par-felt/full it before wearing it to make it, hopefully, pill less. If you are going to replace the yarn, choose a yarn made of 100% animal fiber, preferably not too smooth. The steek edges want to felt to the sweater a little bit to stop the whole thing from falling apart.

It also helps to make certain the neck is deep enough before BO the shoulders.

Yarn: Peruvian Highland Chunky from Elann.com

100% highland wool

50g - 70m/76yds.

15 balls is more than enough. 12 will do it.

15sts/22rows = 4"/10cm

6.0 mm needles

Sweater is worked in the round from the bottom up. Fits snug on 40" bust.

  • CO 140sts. Join and work in round. 1x1 rib. for 2inch/5cm.

  • Change to Stst. Next round. Inc 14 sts evenly (154sts total). Work even until sufficient length to begin underarms (around 12", but you know your size better than I do).

  • Divide stits in half and place marker for each half - ideally, at the beginning of the round and 77 sts from that marker. This is where the arms are going to be. The next round, you will place the 4 sts either side of these markers on a scrap of yarn (easiest) or st. holder so that you can use them later when you knit the arms. That makes 8 sts per arm, or 16 sts total. Where you put the sts on holder you will CO 5sts for making the steeks. (confused yet? Leave a comment and I'll do my best to clarify. Sadly there are few web resources on how to steek, but try these: Steeks, Knitty on steeks, and my personal fave. resource for this, And She Knits Too!.)

  • Dec 1st each side of arm steeks each round for 3 rounds.

  • Keep knitting stst until your are ready to begin neck. Place center front 23 sts on holder for the neck and CO 5 sts across the gap.

  • Dec 1st each side of neck steek every second round 4 times.

  • knit even until sufficient depth for neck and arms (give yourself more than you think you need).

  • Place back center 31 sts on holder for neck and 3needle bind off each shoulder (so that the ridge is on the inside).

  • Cut steeks for neck, pu sts around edge and ones on holders. You could use smaller needles for this if you like, I had to try a few times to get the neck right and I'm still not happy with it. 1x1 rib, until desired length. BO.

  • Arms: cut steeks, PU about 2 sts for ever 3, or 3 for ever 4. Again, I had trouble to get this just perfect, so try you might have to try it a few times until you get it right. Do the math (#sts picked up -( # sts want for wrist + 10) = how many sts to dec). Divide this number in two, that's how many decs you need to make. Knit stst until reach 1" short of desired length, decreasing every 8 rows or so. Dec 10 sts evenly around row. 1x1 rib for 1". BO and do other arm.

The pattern needs some work, but I think an experienced knitter can get the gist of this. Leave a comment if you need some help doing the math or just clarification in general.