Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Yarn Along........Shwook Fair Isle Hat

Hello, my friends, normal service has resumed, I'm back home after spending nearly four weeks with my daughter and grandson. I'm missing them like crazy but thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime.

This week I've cast on the Shwook Hat by Hazel Tindall in honour of Shetland Wool Week and is a free pattern which you can find here. Melody has created a Ravelry group for a Shwook Hat KAL which started on the 1st October so I'm a little bit late starting but better late than never.

I did a Fair Isle workshop a few months ago and really enjoyed this traditional form of knitting and couldn't wait to cast on this project. It's not as complicated as it looks, it maybe a bit off putting when you see all the different colours that make up the pattern but traditionally only two colours are used in a row. I also find it a lot easier to knit Fair Isle in the round, I was taught to purl but I was very caggy handed and prefer to just knit if I can.

I'm using Jamieson & Smith 2ply Jumper weight in Light Aqua (75), Dark Brown (5), Mustard (121), Dark Aqua (FC34) and Off White (202).

I think the hardest part of Fair Isle is choosing the colours, this pattern calls for three dark and two light or three light and two dark. They can't be too close in colour tone as the pattern won't show up, I knew I wanted aqua, brown and mustard in my colour scheme. I looked at the colour range and looked to see what would work with these colours and decided on off white and a dark aqua, which seemed to work well together.

I picked up a great tip to make sure the colours would work for Fair Isle knitting over on Jared Flood's blog, you take a photo of your yarn and change it to mono with photo editing, as I did in the above photo. If you can see that they are all different shades on the black and white photo, the pattern will show up nicely, if the colours are too similar the pattern will fade into one.

Coincidently, I listened to Curious Handmade's latest podcast episode, yesterday and it was all about colour theory. If you want to learn more about choosing colours that work well together and a more in depth lesson about colour, check it out, it's very informative, I learnt a lot so definitely worth a listen.

This is the inside of my hat, you don't want the floats between the colours too tight as it will pucker but you don't want them too loose either. Practice makes perfect and I think the tension and how tight you hold the yarn becomes second nature after a few rows, if its your first time doing Fair Isle try knitting a swatch first just to get the feel for the tension.

I've been reading The Very Easy Guide To Fair Isle Knitting by Lynne Watterson, it's full of great techniques and photo tutorials broken into bite size lessons. There are Fair Isle designs starting from very simple to the more complicated that you can practice before starting a full size pattern, though there are some gorgeous projects too. I would highly recommend it if you wanted to try your hand at Fair Isle knitting.

I've also cast on the Leaf Collectors Mitts by Sarah Knight, a pretty, delicate fingerless mitt pattern. I'm using Skein Queen Blush in Dipped Rosewater, a beautifully soft merino and cashmere blend. They are knit flat and then seamed rather than the traditional knitting in the round.

I'm taking part in Little Bobbins first KAL which is a Mitt Along, Dani has just started video podcasting, she is such a sweet person and I love all her projects, she has very similar tastes to me. I really recommend you check out her podcast, she's on episode 7 but she keeps them quite short so can quickly be caught up with.

I'm also going to cast on another pair of the Global Nomad Handwarmers as part of the Mitt Along, this time in two tone colours. I've decided to knit them in black and grey as part of my niece's Christmas present, she's going through the teenage faze of wearing everything black so I'm sure she'll like them.

In the knitting world, Anne of Green Gables seems very popular at the moment with lots of references and patterns relating to this story. I never read it as a child so decided to buy the collection for my Kindle, the ten books cost 77p, it also has links to the audio version so I've been switching between the two. I'm only a few chapters in but really enjoying the simplicity of the story, it's comfort reading and the vivid descriptions of Avonlea transports me to a place of times gone by, just beautiful.

I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO.

Here's my little man wearing the Small Cable Cardigan by Vibe Ulrik Somdergaard, that I knit for him, isn't he a cutie?

Thank you for stopping by, have a great week.




Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Look how PRECIOUS he is in that sweater!! Gorgeous!!!!!!

Mitzi said...

Hi Deb

just dropped by to say hello. Your grandson is gorgeous. It looks like you have been very busy awaiting his arrival with lots of knitting. I read Anne of Greengables as a child and it is on my list to revisit sometime soon.

harknessangels said...

Your grandson looks so handsome in his sweater! Love the Fair Isle hat. Beautiful mitts.

Ana BC said...

Lovely WIP's. All beautiful in their own right

Joyful said...

Wow! I love your hat! Since I am a beginner this seems really difficult to me! Most impressive!
I loved teh Anne of Green Gable series. Actually I will be starting book 5 in January with an LM Montgomery reading challenge.
Yes, he is adorable in his cable sweater! :)

Evelyn Hender said...

Love your fair isle, and the back of your work is so neat! I think I over compensated by leaving really big floats rather than risking it turning out too tight lol

Jo said...

I tried fair isle but I got the wools all tangled and then I couldn't get it to lie flat it got all puckered. I love those colours though. Jo x

DesertSnowdrop said...

My goodness! You have so many beautiful projects going on. I love fair isle,but have not attempted anything to The fair isle books you mention sound very interesting and educational, I will have to check our local library.
I also have never read Anne of GG , but like you, so many have mentioned their love of it I will have to pick it up!

Donna said...

You chose some great colors. I will have to go check the podcast out.

Lucy Bowen said...

Wow your colourwork is gorgeous!! Hope you had a lovely time with your family, your grandson is a cutie.

Irene Jackson said...

Lovely seeing your latest projects including your dear little man .

Monica Gullesen Hansen said...

What a beautiful hat you've knitted. Reminds me of all the nordic patterns. I am from Norway and used to knit like this. Your blog is new to me, but loved it. I'll put you on my bloglist in my blog. Have a nice day.

thesnailgarden said...

Sweet little grandson in his hand knit! Love those mitts you are knitting. I have been thinking of doing some colourwork with the wool I bought on holiday, but I must finish the KAL first! :) Best wishes, Pj x

Ira Huberts said...

Your grandson looks gorgeous in the sweater you knit for him, Debs! Also love your other knitwear, so pretty! Ira x
Ira’s Crea Corner

elns said...

He looks so adorable in the small cable cardigan! I'm still too intimidated by Fair Isle, and my already long laundry list of wannabe knits. But thank you so much for the reference and link to Jared's color theory. Very helpful for the lost souls like me :)

Sarah said...

Just gorgeous! Love stopping by your blog!

Kepanie said...

My mum bought me all of the Anne series when I was a girl. Still have 'em. Love your fair isle. I have learned to make sure the fabric on the right side is flat and not scrunched up.

Caffeine Girl said...

What a beautiful baby. The sweater is just gorgeous on him!

It was so sweet of you to help out for a month. My mom never helped after my babies were born and that always made me sad.

I love Fair Isle. The tip about the black and white photo is brilliant.

CathieJ said...

He is so adorable. I love your colorwork. You gave some great explanations. Thank you.

Juls said...

Love Anne if Green Gables,!! ... Have read it so many times & have that collection on my kindle too :-) xx