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Location: lake placid, florida

Friday, November 18, 2005

fair isle for dummies

reading janine's blog entry made me think back to my first fair isle project. even though i've been knitting since i was 6, i had never done a fair isle. cables, no problem, lace, a piece of cake! but fair isle intimidated me, until wendy started her fearless fair isle yahoo group, for which i will be eternally grateful :-) got my yarn from jamieson & smith (love getting that blue package in the mail), printed the pattern, knit the whole body of the sweater, but it wasn't perfect, blech, i think i was making the floats too long, being worried about having puckers.

so i started over, looked through the pattern books, found 3 flower patterns that each had the same number of stitches, and started a purse for my dd. it was the perfect project for a rank beginner like me, and at some time i had the eureka moment! and finally got the tension. really, as alice starmore says in her video, it's all practice, practice, practice.

finished off the purse with an i-cord bind off, making a little loop for a button closure, and being the packrat that i am, the perfect flower button was in the sewing box. lined it with fabric. i love it, and dd loves it :-)

holding a yarn in each hand did not work for me, neither did holding both yarns in my left hand. for me, picking up the yarn i need, then dropping it and picking up the next yarn works the best, and gives me the most consistent tension. it might not be the fastest, but it works!

donegal is at a standstill on the first arm, i ran out of a color. maybe it's a good thing the yarn didn't get here in yesterday's mail, as it forced me to fix the last 3 rows of black, a task that i was not looking forward to...

i'll leave you with fern photos, the sweater really turned out well, think i'll get much more use with a cardi rather than a pullover. the pattern is from alice starmore's stillwater, the yarn is her 3 ply hebredian in machair. did buy 3 of those norwegian clasps in maryland, just haven't had a chance to sew them on (or find which bag the are in).


Blogger melanie said...

Fern is beautiful. What gorgeous work you do! The fair isle bag is so nicely done with the lining and icord and button, and it's nice to know its background.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

truly lovely work! will spend more time looking at your blog...approved you for the aran ring, thanks for submitting your blog!

11:23 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

Fern is very pretty! Your purse is just stunning to me! I have put that link in my favorites and want to really look into it...Fair Isle has been calling me this past year..perhaps this is the main push for me to really do something! Thanks!

2:28 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

Maybe one of these days when I have a higher stress tolerance, I will take up stranded work again and really make it happen. When that day comes, I'll be on your doorstep honey.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Fern is just gorgeous! And I lied (though not intentionally!) when I told you that I had ordered the Machair. I actually ordered Tormentil - which is just as pretty except maroon instead of olive!

I love the story of your fair-isle introduction and the encouragement that practice pays off. The bag is really cute.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Kerry said...

You forgot to mention to the newcomers that you knit Fern in EIGHT DAYS, miss warp-speed-knitter. Love how the Fair Isle is turning out!

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Cassie said...

EIGHT days for Fern?!?

(Ok. Compose self.) Fern looks fabulous. Its on my lifetime achievement list of sweaters to get to. I had always thought I'd do the pullover as written, but your cardi is really stunning. Incredible work.

Eight days?

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Fern is beautiful! Interesting seeing it as a cardigan. You have astonishing knitting speed!

6:53 AM  
Blogger judy said...

I love Fern. It is much more wearable as a cardi, I agree. I'm curious, aren't those autumn leaves in the background?? Where in the world is...?
YOu're always on the go.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

Fern is just gorgeous. And what a fun fair isle bag. I'm thinking of doing one of those fair isle hats from knitpicks. They look like a fairly straightforward beginner's project.

Beautiful work, as usual. :)

2:53 PM  

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