From the late nineteenth through the middle twentieth century, masterpieces of stranded color work—Fair Isle sweaters, stockings, and caps—were handknitted with fantastic speed by knitters of the Shetland archipelago in northern Scotland. In addition to their considerable skill and experience, Fair Isle knitters often employed a shortcut that today’s color-work knitters can find just as useful: steeking.

Here’s a tutorial to show you how to work a steek.

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