Finishing a Needle-Felted Steek

By Ann Shayne
January 21, 2020
Field Guide No. 13: Master Class + Kaffe Fassett's designs + Felted Tweed = A season of great knitting

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  • Hi, Ann. Did you consider using Kate Davies’ “steek sandwich” technique to finish the edge of your blanket? And if you had done that, would you have still felt (no pun intended) the need to stitch the steek? I’m wondering because I will soon embark on the (standard size) Kaffe throw, and I’m already thinking ahead, with some trepidation, to this part of the project.

    • I WILL make this blanket – when I have time!

      • I have found myself reading my MDK email 1st thing each morning and feel that I have gazillions of soulmates! The blanket is a lovely dream come true!!!

    • Cool idea! I hadn’t seen Kate’s steek sandwich and it looks delicious.

      I am wondering whether it would provide enough energy to keep the stockinette of the blanket from curling—my blanket curled like crazy when I cut the steek, and the 2″ garter stitch border solved that problem. I just don’t know how the stockinette would behave. It might be great!

      Another thought: if I did do a steek sandwich on the steek, I’d want to fake up a steek sandwich on the top and the bottom to create an even border all around the blanket.

  • That is one gorgeous blanket!! It will make you smile whenever you walk by !!

  • Seeing this draped on you makes me want to do it in a way I really didn’t before. Good call, wearing it as a shawl. I suppose all good throws *should* work as a shoulder throws, too, but this is a fairly spectacular example.

    • I think my wardrobe just expanded by six blankets that are now going into the category of Shawls.

  • Absolutely gorgeous. I might have to try this wonderful blanket.

  • Can I just say Ann, you are one amazing woman. Your throw is beyond gorgeous. You have brought Kaffe’s pattern to life. It’s one thing to see it in your Field Guide but there it is, actually created by you. I could go on but one other quick thing: the way you write. Your daily little snippets are warm, funny and instructive with a lovely personal touch. You really do make my day!

    • I can’t stop looking at your blanket! It’s spectacular!

    • I am rarely at a loss for words; but, ISLANDJAN71 you have said everything that I was thinking. ❤

    • 100% agree with everything IslandJan71 said. Loved your book, too.

    • Thank you for the kind words! You just made MY day.

      PS Go make a blanket! Such fun.

  • Love, love, love this blanket. Just finishing a “coin pillow” and adore Field Guide 13. Wait! Is there really such a thing as the Michelin Guide to Knitting Projects? If not, there should be.

    • A coin pillow is definitely on my list–I’m thinking of knitting in the round, making two steeks, then cutting them apart to make two pillow tops that I’ll stitch to an existing pillow. (I don’t sew, so this may be as close as I get.)

  • This blanket has so much that makes me smile. Bright colors! Variety! Mesmerising patterns! And reminds me of Ann’s piano bench cover in one of your books (don’t have my copies nearby to check which one). So much fun!

    • The Big Dotty Piano Bench Cushion! Hubbo sits on it every single night. The Euroflax linen is holding up much better than the cushion inside . . .

  • From one Anne to another Ann—it was lovely to meet you in person! and I feel like a celebrity as I made it into the last pic! Thanks for inspiring all of us!!!

    • Thank you for connecting your name to your photo! It was great to meet you, too. What a weekend–I’m still knackered, but a good kind of knackered!

  • Such a great blanket and now I want one.

    • Just cast on 252 stitches and go! Easy peasy!

  • Bravo!!!! It seemed you ‘cranked this out” in no time….it is beyond gorgeous!

  • How long did it actually take you to knit this? And a very impertinent question: how much did it finally cost? I would live to knit this but I’m not sure my budget will go for it. I knit one of his sweaters years ago and still get compliments on it. They are timeless.

    • Hi Linnea,

      I started this blanket on October 30 and finished it December 15 or so. The steeking and edging came after the holidays, a couple of days to finish those steps. I was in such a zone on this thing.

      As for the cost, it’s a good question. I didn’t keep track of how much Felted Tweed I used. Maybe I can weigh the blanket and work backwards from that. It is definitely 16 or 17 colors. And I don’t know which colors used more than one skein. I’m guessing 2 balls of some of the colors. The border took 2.5 skeins of Felted Tweed in Treacle.

  • If you had made a wider felted steek, do you think you would have had to fold and stitch? It is a fantastic knit. I’m diving in.

    • This five-stitch steek was narrower than any I’d done before. 7 stitches is my usual, and I think if I were to do this again, I’d go with 7 stitches. I’d still stitch it down, given that it’s a blanket. Folding and stitching took maybe a couple of hours.

  • Ann, I spotted you wrapped in your beautiful blanket while you were also rapt with attention at the Rowan fashion show and so I did not say hello. Because it was _your moment_ to enjoy and reflect on the whole process that lead you there.
    Thanks for all the joy you and Kay bring to our world.

    • “Who is that dork in that blanket?” I would have loved to say hi! What a kind thought–I actually have been thinking a lot about what’s up with MDK, and what is ahead. Life takes many turns, doesn’t it? So much of all this seems surreal at this point. Grateful to hear from you!

  • Wow! Beautiful work.

  • What a beautiful work of art!

  • This blanket is an amazing accomplishment and so beautiful! What better purpose than to warm your shoulders and the hearts of all who saw it at VKL NY. Very well done Ann!

  • The blanket is incredible, but from a Nashville Zoo docent, that meerkat is fabulous!

    • You’re a Nashville Zoo docent! Wow. Your meerkats were the first meerkats I ever saw! I love them! My lads and I spent so much time watching their amazing antics. Ever vigilant . . . that’s why I had to take home Lauren’s necklace.

      • Come back for a visit and we can walk that blanket around!

        • I just have to say, this exchange is my favorite so far! Knitting is wonderful but, meerkats are a whole nother kind of wonderful! How can we order the pendant?

  • Ann, I had been watching youtube videos on steeking for a month or so when I read your post on needle felting. I ordered the gizmo from Amazon on Thursday and needle felted and steeked this weekend with great success. I also contemplated sewing the facings or not but on a sweater I especially did not want to see the stitches so I also needle felted the facings! I just did a light felting from the right side which amazingly does not show on the front and the facings are tightly sealed, no ribbon or stitching required. Thank you so much for instructions on this whole process, I love how it worked on my sweater!

  • Beautiful. You gave me the strength to start mine using some of your color choices. I too decided to make mine size of a throw. Had to unravel part of it due to ‘puckering’- sigh…

  • Dagnabbit! Now I want to drop everything and cast on this addicto-blanket. The rest of my evening is going to vanish into an epic stash dive. Harumph. And double harumph.

  • Hi, Ann! What a beauty! I also want to make it! And what a cool cold weather fashion trend! About having neat edges and the stick, I have been watching Arne and Carlos videos lately and there’s a three part series where they stick a whole sweater. They also came up with a really neat solution for hiding the stick by knitting several rows in each band in stokinet that are added just for that purpose, much like the stick sandwich mentioned already. The end result looks amazing and so professional!
    All of this leads to my suggestion that you and Kate should add Arne and Carlos to the fieldguide extraordinary list of creators because they’re much more than just those guys that knit christmas balls scandinavian style!

  • It was so nice to see you! And Kay. And your blanket. And your meerkat pendant!

    Your blanket is even more beautiful in person, and I was impressed by how light and airy that pretty yarn made it feel. Just flat out fabulous.

    PS: I ended up with a different necklace…from Porterness Studio. It looks like a little swatch. It’s just the right size for me! A great souvenir from the weekend. Thanks for the encouragement to find the perfect necklace!

  • I am at the finishing stage of stitching/securing the steek. In the 1st picture, the stitches look like decent size -very visible – but then in the following picture when the border is attached, they are barely visible…what am I missing? I don’t think the hem was folded over ?? different sides of the blanket were stitched differently? will smaller sts hold hem as well Just looking for best technique. thanks!