Steeking: What It Is, Why It’s Fun

Steeking is a unique technique in knitting that allows you to create seamless garments by cutting open a knitted tube.This method originated from the knitters of the Shetland archipelago and is particularly associated with Fair Isle sweaters, although it can be used for solid colors as well. The word “steek” comes from the Scots language and means “to close” or “to shut.”

In steeking, you knit a tube in the round without interruptions for openings or sleeves.After completing the tube, you cut a straight line along the center of a column of stitches to create an opening or attach another piece.The steel itself is a bridge of extra stitches, typically 6-10 stitches wide, in which the cut is made.

Steeking for sleeves

Step by Step Guide to Steeking: How It’s Done

  • Knit a tube in the round with the desired pattern and color changes.
  • Secure the edges of the steek by sewing or crocheting along the cut lines.
  • Cut the steak open along the center of the column of stitches.
  • Reinforce the cut edges by taking them down on the wrong side of the fabric or by sewing or crocheting adjacent stitches together.
  • Finish the garment by picking up stitches along the cut edges for sleeves or necklines and by sewing on separate pieces.

Why Steeking is a Knitter’s Delight: Advantages and Benefits

Steeking offers several advantages that make it an attractive technique for knitters:

Faster knitting: Many knitters are faster at the knit stitch than the purl stitch, and steeking allows you to work with the right side of the fabric facing you all the time.

Easier pattern following: With steeking, you can follow an intricate pattern more easily without the need to purl.

Maintaining even tension: Steeking makes it easier to maintain an even tension throughout your knitting.

Fewer ends to weave in: Color changes can be hidden in the steek, resulting in fewer ends to weave in.

Securing Your Steek: Tips for Preventing Unraveling

The key to preventing unraveling in a steek is the choice of yarn and securing method. Woolen yarn that is not superwash is the preferred choice, as it has a tendency to feel and become durable.Shetland wool, the traditional choice, is a good example of a sticky, hairy animal yarn that works well for steeking.


Using frequent color changes, such as a 1×1 rib or a check pattern, can also help secure the yarn.The sides of the steek can be reinforced by crocheting or sewing.

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Embracing the Joy of Steeking: Making Knitting Exciting

Steeking adds an element of excitement and creativity to knitting.By cutting into your knitting, you are challenging the traditional notion of knitting as a delicate process.Embracing steeking allows you to explore unique design possibilities and create seamless garments with intricate colorwork.

The satisfaction of successfully steeking a project is unparalleled.It is a testament to your skills as a knitter and a reminder that knitting can be a bold and adventurous craft.

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Steeking what it is why it is fun youtube

Steeking: What It Is, Why It is Fun on YouTube offers insightful tutorials on this knitting technique, explaining how to cut open knitted tubes to create seamless garments.The videos demonstrate the process of steeking, from securing the edges to finishing the garment, making it accessible for beginners. 


Viewers can learn about the origins of steeking, its advantages in knitting, and how to prevent unraveling, enhancing their knitting skills and creativity.These engaging tutorials showcase the joy and excitement of steeking, encouraging knitters to explore this technique for a fun and rewarding knitting experience.

How to Steek a neckline?

Steeking a neckline is a clever way to create a seamless, finished edge on a knitted garment. To steek a neckline, first knit the body of the sweater in the round, incorporating the desired neckline shaping.Secure the edges of the steek by sewing or crocheting along the cut lines, then cut the steek open along the center of the column of stitches. 

Reinforce the cut edges by taking them down on the wrong side of the fabric or by sewing or crocheting adjacent stitches together.Finally, pick up stitches along the cut edges to create the neckline, shaping it as desired.Steeking a neckline eliminates the need for seaming and allows for a clean, professional finish on your knitted garment.

Picking up stitches from a steek

Picking up stitches from a steek is a technique used to continue knitting or create new elements on a garment after cutting open a steek.To pick up stitches from a steek, insert the needle into the edge stitches along the cut line, picking up the desired number of stitches evenly.


This method allows you to seamlessly add sleeves, necklines and other elements to your knitted piece without the need for additional seaming.Picking up stitches from a steek provides a clean and professional finish, maintaining the integrity of the garment while adding versatility to your knitting projects.

Mastering Steeking Techniques: Insights from Knitting Experts

  • Use mostly wool yarn
  • Steam block before cutting
  • Reinforce with crochet or sewing
  • Practice on a swatch first
  • Use traditional Shetland techniques
  • Machine sew for slippery yarns
  • Needle felt for a rustic look

Final Thought

Steeking is a fascinating technique that adds excitement and creativity to your knitting projects. By understanding the process, benefits and securing methods, you can embrace the joy of steeking and create unique, seamless garments. 

Learning from experts and challenging yourself to try new techniques is part of the rewarding journey of becoming a skilled knitter.So, grab your needles, choose a wooly yarn, and get ready to cut into your knitting with confidence.Steeking is a skill worth exploring and the results will be well worth the adventure.


What is the purpose of stealing?

The purpose of steeking in knitting is to create seamless garments by cutting open a knitted tube to add openings or attach pieces.

Is steeking difficult?

Steeking is not inherently difficult, but it does require some preparation and knowledge of the technique, including choosing the right yarn and securing the cut edges to prevent unraveling.

How does steeking not unravel?

Steeking is prevented from unraveling by using wool yarn, securing the edges with sewing or crocheting and reinforcing the sides of the steek with additional stitching

How to set up for steeking?

To set up for steeking, knit a tube in the round without interruptions for openings or sleeves, then secure the edges before cutting along the center of a column of stitches to create openings or attach pieces.

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