Here's the thing. Do you see where I cut? That's the "seam" at the beginning of the sleeve. Also notice that it hasn't unravelled. The Shetland yarn "sticks" to itself, and prevents it from running amok. Not a stitch has come undone.
When you knit traditional Fair Isle using good quality Shetland yarn, steeks are inserted at the start of an armhole, at the neckline (when knitting a pullover), or started at the very bottom if knitting a cardigan, and then incorporated until the end of the piece. I usually give myself 8 stitches, with an edge stitch either side for a total of 10 steek stitches. Everyone has their own method that works well for them - I like to alternate my colours across the steek. If you go have a peek at Marina's site, you'll see her Rona, complete with a really nice front steek (it's a cardigan).
Then, when it comes time to cut - you just center your scissors in the centre of the steek (between stitch 5 and 6), and snip away. And trust me - nothing unravels! And, you know what else it great? Minimal finishing! Despite what it may look like, Fair Isle knitting does not require alot of weaving in of ends. As long as you are diligent and neat about changing your colours along the way, you'll be fine! And - when you knit a Fair Isle cardigan? Even better! You can switch your colours as needed in the centre of the steek. After you've cut open your armhole steeks, you pick up your stitches as indicated around the opening, and you're on your way to knitting up your sleeve. And there is NO seaming, which makes this little knitter very happy. :D
What could be better!?
Just remember - good quality Shetland yarn! That's what makes the difference. If you are going to put that much patience and attention to detail that knitting a Fair Isle deserves, you really should use the best quality. Just sayin'...
But hey - this is my opinion and method. If you check out Anne's online shop - She Ewe Knits - she has an excellent tutorial on Fair Isle knitting.
And Wendy has a lot of Fair Isle examples as well, and she has a great tutorial on Norwegian steeks. I've only ever worked Norwegian steeks twice - they are done differently than Shetland yarn ones. Again - no need to be afraid! As long as you trust that thousands of knitters can't have been wrong when doing this steek thingy.
And here's my progress on Amphora -
"I just came over to say hi to Mom, and I end up getting used as a prop..."
Birthday boy Gandalf would like to thank all his wonderful friends for all the wishes he received. He may be classified as a "cat" now as opposed to a "kitten", but try telling him that. He's still as goofy as ever. And sleepy. So Mae graciously agreed to pose for today's kitty cheesecake photo.
"No I didn't."
I think I'm going to 'fess up next post, and introduce you to my oldest WIP, a poor sweater that has been patiently waiting to be completed for over 2 years now. Or maybe it's 3? Anyway - you will meet her and I'll hopefully get the virtual kick in the pants I need to finish her up.