OK. I admit it. I was not convinced.
I know Elizabeth Zimmerman knew her stuff. I am prepared to say that hundreds of Scottish women can’t be wrong. I just didn’t think I could cope with steeks. They were my own personal Rubicon.
But yesterday I finally made it and cut the steek.
I have been knitting this really pretty blue and white short-sleeved cardigan. I chose the pattern deliberately because it called for steeks and I actually got to the critical stage months ago (I started knitting it around April 2013, just after my heart bypass) – and then I wimped out.
I am not quite sure what I thought I was going to do with a cardigan than didn’t actually have a front opening – just a checkerboard stripe running up the centre where the gap ought to be. There was nothing rational about my fears. I bought my first knit-in-the-round cardigan kit over 20 years ago direct from Alice Starmore and I still have it in kit form because I couldn’t conquer the steek thing. (Actually, given the Starmore name, it’s probably worth a fortune – but it’s mine, all mine and I can do steeks now!)
Anyway yesterday I stabilised the steek with lines of double crochet and I cut. Then I blocked and now I keep going to look at my beautiful cardigan because I really, really, REALLY want to do the button band – and I promise I have NEVER written that before! But my chef-d’oeuvre is still wet, which is a real bummer.
All of which just goes to prove that you have to face your fears head on. I have spent over twenty years being scared of steeks, despite all evidence to the contrary, and now I think every home should have one.
And I’d like to think I have learned my lesson but I suspect I will find something else to avoid.
But, in the meantime, I am celebrating both steeks and blue and white cardigans.