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.