I found this amazing “Rams and Yowes” pattern on “Ravelry” towards the beginning of 2014. The pattern is written and knitted by a Katie Davies from “Katie Davies Designs” She has the most amazing story.
She lives in Scotland and is in her late 30’s. In 2010, she suffered a serious stroke.
Apparently knitting is a good treatment in the recovery of people with slight brain damage and have the ability to use both hands, as you use your left and right hand and this exercises the right and left brain.
Well I didn’t knit my shawl with the recommended wool, as I had to order it from the UK and our postal service is not very reliable and I can’t afford to have it couriered as some time the courier fees are more than the items themselves. As the shawl is made up of naturally coloured wool I started looking for something locally.
This I found from Mukuti Stud Alpacas. After purchasing the required colours and quantity, I was ready to knit, more research revealed that alpaca is not recommended when knitting a “steek”, a steek enables you to knit in the round and you never have to purl, then you cut the tube open to make a flat item.
I’m sure you are all having a fit on hearing this, but think about it. How does knitting unravel, horizontally or vertically? Horizontally. Well you are cutting vertically. Why natural untreated wool works the best when knitting a “steek” is because it is “sticky” and wants to hold it shape. So when knitting a “steek”, you need to use natural untreated wool made up of short strands and not Alpaca that are made up with long smooth fibers. Oh sugar! Stronger words were used!.
Did more reading and research then decided I’m going to use the alpaca. The patterns “steek” is knitted over 5 stitches mine was knitted over 9 stitches then I crocheted on either side of the middle bar, then I got nervous and zigzagged next to either side of the crocheted rows using a sewing machine.
If you would like to read more about a “steek”, go to Katie’s blog and read the following posts; What is a steek, Steeks 1: introduction , Steek 2: reinforcing and cutting, Steeks 3: the sandwich and Steeks 4: your questions answered.
I absolutely love everything Katie knits. I’m a bit of a groupie.