Return to MDK

Bang Out a Kiki Mariko

I’ve never felted either! (Intentionally, that is) I’m a little nervous but not going to let that stop me!


Looking forward to kiki mariko ball gowns…and tiaras!

I’m so excited for this! While waiting for my kit to arrive, I’ve practiced with some yarn I have hanging around, and have a few questions. (I’m new to strand work, and steeks.)

  1. From what I’ve read about strand work, it is important to keep one color yarn above the other while stranding, not to mix them up and down as you go. So, the yarn from the motif color stays above the yarn of your background color. So my question is: when you switch a color from position A to B, do you keep it in the motif spot (yarn on top) or move it to the background spot (yarn on bottom) in holding the yarn while you strand?

For example, in the original color way pattern, you’ve got the blue yarn in position B for rows 5-8 (and brown in position A), then in rows 9-12 blue jumps to the other color position (position A) when you add the grey. (Blue takes the spot of brown in the pattern and grey comes in where you had been using the blue.)

When you make that switch, do you change where you’re holding the stranded yarn in relation to the other color, or does it stay in the same spot? So if you’re holding the blue above the brown yarn while stranding in rows 5-8, does it stay above the grey or do you move it under the grey in rows 9-12? Does it make a difference?!

And— the steek is messing me up! I’ve never steeked before so I think I need more guidance on the steek pattern. After the first steek, are you alternating colors so it’s a one-stitch-of-each checkerboard, or are you doing the edge stitch, then 4 of one color, then alternating colors for 4, then edge stitch? The pattern says “on the next and subsequent rounds, you will create a checkerboard by knitting the eight center stitches in the opposite of the stitch below it”— so if you’ve got 4 of one color set up from the first row, it would seem like that would carry on forever?

And… I’m definitely doing something wrong on the steek color change when the color jumps to the next position, but maybe that’s because I’m steeking wrong and the clarification above will help.

I hope those questions made sense… hard to explain in writing! Thank you! This project had invigorated me and I’m so excited for it.


Thanks for posting this, I have the same question about the steek… I’m confused about what the steek pattern looks like…


These are the 10 steek stitches with colors changed at stitch 5.
I am (trying to be) consistent with the dominant color- all of the blue was held in my Left hand.


thanks, this helps!

1 Like

Here is what my steek is looking like. The first and last stitch always match the color the pattern row either ended or is about to begin with. From there I occasionally have a duplicate color stitch to get it back to the alternating checkerboard.

I have found a routine with my stranded knitting (took a few inches) where as long as the two colors aren’t twisting, I know I am holding them in the right positions. Occasionally they get one twist but I correct it on the next pair of stitches in that color and carry on. I am not being super strict with so hopefully it’ll turn out ok!


A few more thoughts/questions…

  • It looks like at one time (November 16, 2008 to be exact!) Anne posted a steek chart on the Kiki-Mariko discussion board on Ravelry. That’s no longer available, but it seems like that would be a great thing to have. Is it possible to bring that back?
  • Also, the discussion on Ravelry does help clarify some of the issues regarding the steek
  • I am knitting this using the pattern in the book and picking up tips from Ravelry posts -I’m wondering if I should purchase the new and updated pattern?

Thank you for your help @nellknits ! So, just to be clear, the alternating starts at stitch 5 in all the steek rows? It sounds like that’s what you said, but it looks like the stitches are alternating each stitch in the photo. But I am also super new to all of this! Thank you.

@debcomly where is the ravelry discussion?! I did a search but must be looking in the wrong place.

I agree, a steek chart and a bit more insight into color changes would be super helpful!

I have the new pattern, and I’ve got the same confusion that you do…

@MDK-Allison thank you! So it does look like after the first steek row (with one edge stitch then 4 in color A, then alternating B-A-B-A, then edge stitch in A), you alternate the steek stitches (I understand about the edges being the same as the last / first stitches next to them). I’ll take apart my practice piece and start practicing again with this clarification— and thanks for the stranding placement info too!

That does sound like what I said, but what I really meant is -
at the same time when you alternate the colors in use over the 10 steek stitches, and it is time to change one of those colors, do that after the 5th steek stitch. : )

1 Like

Hopefully this will get you there :smiley:


Fruity Knitting podcast Episode 4 has a tutorial on steeking it’s a jacket not a rug but basically the same thing.

1 Like

I’ll look into trying to find that steek chart from the archives! I’ll update the main post if I can get it tomorrow :slight_smile:


Great news! We were able to dig up the Steek chart and it’s live again on Ravelry. I am also posting the link to the main post of this thread :slight_smile: Hopefully that will help! Thank you for pointing this out @debcomly !!


@MDK-Allison thank you so much for sharing this! One small correction, I think— the edge stitches aren’t 100% accurate if they’re supposed to match the pattern stitch preceding or following each.

I believe the edge stitch pattern should be the following in that case:
Blue … blue
Brown … blue
Brown … brown
Blue … brown row 5
Green … green
Brown … green
Brown … brown
Green … brown row 1

Right? Your post above confirms this— I think!

“The first and last stitch always match the color the pattern row either ended or is about to begin with. From there I occasionally have a duplicate color stitch to get it back to the alternating checkerboard.”


Yay Allison, THANK YOU!
You’re the best! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Hi! So excited to begin this project and my very first KAL. (Seems like this is a lovely group to be joining🙂) Loving seeing peoples colors!
I’m putting together my colors and using as much stash as possible. Two questions…
Is it necessary to use a single ply yarn for felting better?
Will two strands of worsted work generally?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts about this.

1 Like

Just double checking, but each time you add a color you have to cut the yarn you are no longer using; correct?