Steeking a thumbhole

Some of my mitts patterns (e.g. San Marco and San Donato) involve working a tube of stranded colourwork in the round, then creating a thumbhole using steeking.  Additional columns of steek stitches are created as the mitt is worked.

I prefer the crochet method of reinforcing a steek, and can thoroughly recommend the tutorial by Kate Davies which can be found here. I used this tutorial the first time I ever tried steeking, with total success. It is not really as scary as it might seem!

Anyway, for someone new to steeking these mitts are a great way of practicing the skill on a small project first, as the steeks are quite short.

The photo below shows the 7 columns of steek stitches worked as part of the San Donato Mitt:

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The technique involves first working a row of crochet stitches from the top edge of the steek down through the left side of each stitch in column 3 and the right side of each stitch in column 4. The crochet hook I used was 2.5mm (this works fine on stitches knitted with a 3mm or 3.25mm needle) and I used an fingering weight yarn which was stronger than the Spindrift used for the mitts (although for the San Marco Mitts I used the same Tukuwool fingering yarn throughout). See the Kate Davies tutorial for detailed explanations.

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The same steps are then repeated from the bottom to top, joining the right hand side of stitches in column 5 to the left hand side of stitches in column 4.

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Here’s a picture of the finished steek before cutting down the middle of the stitches in column 4.

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And here’s a picture of the steeks in the San Marco mitts, after a fair bit of wear, showing how the edges have not frayed.

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For greater detail on this technique, see the Kate Davies tutorial, noting that her example uses 5 instead of 7 steek stitches (therefore stitch 3 in my example equates to stitch 2 in hers).