I get it.
Steeking is scary.
The idea that you'd drop a chunk of cash on the perfect yarn, then devote 30+ hours of your life to making something, only to be told "Get a pair of scissors and cut it down the middle" just doesn't sound right to a lot of people. I used to be one of them.
But I've always been a "I'll figure it out" sort of person. I operate under the assumption that if there are people out in the world that have been able to do X, then there's no reason I wouldn't be able to do it, too. I had to be reminded of this myself, when, about 5 years ago, having just mastered knitting & purling, I was still making scarves, dishcloths & simple hats because I thought, "No WAY would I ever be able to follow a pattern." My knitting guru said, "You can follow a pattern. Just read the first line, do whatever it says, then go on to the second line."
When she put it that way, it wasn't so scary. I no longer thought, "I could never make a sweater that fit a human, a blanket with a fancy stitch pattern, a shawl where I'd have to keep track of lace repeats, or insert scary knitting challenge here..." Instead, I remembered that I am a reasonably intelligent person, and if The People of Yore knitted sweaters without a pattern beginning well before they hit puberty, then I, a college educated woman with access to the World Wide Web, could certainly read a few pages of instructions, follow them, and end up with a decent result.
Still, hearing that reassuring "You can do this" from my knitting guru was the the push I needed to take it to the next level. And now, I have been given a great opportunity to help a new group of knitters get the push they need to take on one of my favorite things: Steeking. I know that with a little explanation and someone to say "I promise, this will work", any knitter can learn this simple yet amazing skill.
The fantastic ladies of The Fiber Universe, my favorite LYS, asked if I would teach a class on the topic. The date is set and registration is now open. If you're in my area (Peoria, Illinois) and would like to spend a fun 90 minutes learning a new skill that will forever cut down on the amount of purl stitches you have to work, come and join us! You'll find the yarn shop's class schedule here, and if you go about halfway down the page, you can sign up for "Learn to Steek: with Nicole". Bring a swatch or two and even a finished project that needs to be steeked if you like, and I'll show you a couple options for how to reinforce your knitting, we'll practice those stitches, then we'll cut those swatches right in half so you can experience the magic of steeking first-hand. It'll be a fun afternoon, so don't miss it!