I had a fun time with 4 new steekers this afternoon. Every last one of them ended up catching on, and fearlessly chopped their projects right down the middle. We only had one person end up with a small hole, but luckily she was practicing on a swatch, and I think she may have accidentally cut a bar that wasn't supposed to be cut. Sometimes with the single crochet reinforcement, it can be a little tricky to see exactly what you're cutting!
Most of the knitters brought fair isle coffee cozies to cut as their practice projects. I was pleasantly surprised that all 4 ladies already knew how to crochet. So I didn't really have to spend any time going over the slip stitch or single crochet stitches, I just had to show them how to use those stitches to create reinforcing chains on either side of their "cut line".
I think the biggest hurdle to get over when learning to steek is just the fear that the project that you spent so much time and money creating is just going to unravel once you start to make the cut. So I kicked off today's class by chopping a swatch of 100% wool right down the center with no reinforcement at all. Stitches really do not want to unravel along a vertical edge. If you pick at the edges and really manhandle the edge, you can get the edge stitches to work free, but you would really have to put a little effort into making an edge really come apart. I think that once you get over the fear factor, it's a lot less intimidating to take on a steeking project.
So thanks to Liz, Faith, Debbie & Michelle for joining the class today! And thanks to Melinda & Erin, the best yarn shop owners you'll ever meet, for recruiting me to teach this class in the first place!