Alcea Armhole Shaping -- Eeek a Steek!

My very favorite resource for Fair Isle Knitting is called The Art of Fair Isle Knitting by Ann Feitelson. I had checked this book out from the library so many times that I decided it was finally time to purchase my own copy.

Unlike most folks, I enjoy reading about the history of different knitting techniques and this book is filled with history. For instance, how many of you knew that 'fair isle' knitting was named for an island north of Scotland called FAIR ISLE? And, did you know that 'shetland' wool was named for an island north of FAIR ISLE called SHETLAND?

The Art of Fair Isle Knitting also has excellent explanations on armhole shaping and steeking. If you are interested in fair isle knitting I would encourage you to take a look at this book. That being said I have found that, like the Elizabeth Zimmermann books, I learned to appreciate this book more and more as I progressed in my knitting experience.

When I last posted about Alcea she was ready to receive some armhole shaping along with armhole steeks. If you are not much interested in steeking, now is the time to jump to your next blog site......... this may be a more tedious post than you want to read!

After two repeats (2 motifs equals one repeat) I got to the length where I wanted my armhole. I knit the right front sts in pattern and then placed 8 sts on a holder for the right underarm. I then cast on my 10 steek sts with backward loops. Continuing in pattern around the back I got to the left armhole point and put those 8 sts on a holder. I cast on my steek sts for the left underarm and continued in pattern across the left front.
And that is how I got my steek stitches in place! I then had 10 steek sts for each underarm and the front cardigan steek was already in place. Each steek is knit with alternating colors keeping the first and last st always in the darker background color. To shape the armhole I did decreases on alternating rows. The decreases slant inward toward the steek.
Next up...one more motif (24 rows) and neck shaping!