When last we spoke, I had promised to show you what a sewn steek looks like, so that maybe you wouldn't be intimidated out of using a non-Shetland yarn such as Classic Elite's Fresco for a steeked design like Little Birds. Here's the swatch, unharassed.
The first thing I like to do is choose a stitch width and length on your sewing machine that matches the size of your knit stitches. Rumors that sewn steeks are stiff and compromise the drape of the fabric are paranoid nonsense. If you use a machine stitch that matches your knitting, you won't be over sewing on the knitting, and the thread does nothing to stiffen the knitting. I suppose if your machine has tension issues, you could make a mess of it, but you won't because you'll do a test swatch like I did here when I was checking out the zig zag settings.
Obviously you wouldn't do this in red thread. It's for visibility. Obviously.
Line up the row of stitches you want to secure according to your steek panel. I didn't knit an official steek panel on the swatch, so you need to pretend there is one. Here it is sewn,
And here it is cut. Wow. Just like that. No hyperventilating, no shots of Scotch. Just zip and clip, baby.
I'm heartless, I know.
Then you can pick up the stitches, two stitches for every three rows on the vertical and diagonal edges.
After the knitting of the border, you may find the yarn ends from the cut to be a little raggedy. I tinked them out to reduce the bulk.
And then I gave them a trim. It looks a lot tidier, and it does not (repeat: DOES NOT) compromise the security of the steek. Everything will be fine. I promise.
Never mind that the left edge is all wonky.