Wendy, thanks for your question about the ribbing.Â It is called corrugated ribbing: 2×2, using one color for the knit sts and another for the purl. The colors change along the way.Â AS rarely changes both colors on the same round in order to soften the color changes.Â It is terribly slow to do.
July 31, 2006
July 30, 2006
This looks like the other picture, n’est-ce pas?Â You’re wrong!Â The trees are starting to emerge!Â I’ll keep doing this for 20Â more inchesÂ with a stop along the way to add armhole steeks and do the neck shaping.
The fabric is very thick, but lightweight.Â You can see the nubbiness and multi-colored nature of the yarn.
July 29, 2006
Thank goodness bunions aren’t on the thumbs — Sally can still knit!Â I just talked to her and she sounds great.Â So far, so good.
I really did miss my knitting peeps on Thursday, but it was well worth it.Â My kitchen (as old and outdated as it is) looks the best it has ever looked.Â It has inspired us to move on.Â
I have been working on Oregon and my American Beauty scarf.Â The scarf just gets longer so it doesn’t look any different (just look at the oldÂ picture).Â I received my latest issue of Interweave Knits and Kate Gilbert (Sunrise Circle designer) has a bolero pattern in it made with the same silk yarn as my scarf.Â Tres cher (French for ‘mucho bucks’).Â It’s kind of pretty but you can’t see how gorgeous the yarn is from the photo.
The other thing I’ve been doing is finishing up my State Fair entries.Â Everything must be turned in by mid-August.Â I’ll do a State Fair post then.Â
July 28, 2006
I’m feeling better today, but last night I would have traded every inch of yarn in my stash for about five minutes of pain relief. Whew.
But right now I’m actually able to knit on my feather and fan shawl (in between dozing and taking my medication). Thanks for the well wishes.
July 27, 2006
Sally called and sounded good — the nerve block had not worn off yet!Â The surgery went well and now she just has to get through the recovery phase.Â Thanks for the kind thoughts.Â Keep the pain meds on board, Surly!
PS — not much knitting today andÂ I did not even go to my knitting group.Â We decided to paint the kitchen.Â Â I’ll be having my head examined sometime early next week.Â
As you read our blog today, please send your positive thoughts to Sally as she undergoes her surgery and starts a very lengthy recovery.Â She is having bunion surgery, which always sounds easier than it is.Â Both Sally and my brother have suffered from this — I was spared, thank goodness!Â The surgery is incredibly painful with a long and cumbersome recovery.Â Her surgeon is supposed to be the best, so we are hoping that all goes well.
GOOD LUCK, SURLY!
July 26, 2006
I have been knitting like a fiend because I wanted to get done with the bottom border of the sweater.Â I have six inches complete in four grueling days — IÂ am on vacation this week so work has not interfered with my real job!Â The pace will slow down now.Â
Here is a progress picture:
This sweater will never look as good as Henry the VIII because the gauge is not quite as fine, but I love the rich colors.Â The little white things you see in the picture are my expensive stitch markers (cut up drinking straws), marking off each pattern repeat.
I was going to upload some of my fair isle sweater pictures, but I am rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off due to my surgery tomorrow. But then I realized I do have a photograph that shows me wearing a finished sweater AND is one of my favorite photographs for other reasons. Some of you will know why. The sweater pattern is called Mary Tudor.
July 25, 2006
Knitters are intimidated by fair isle because of its perceived complexity.Â Yes, these are challenging projects, don’t get me wrong.Â However, they look harder than they are.Â The time consuming part of the process is the gauge: usually 30 sts andÂ 36 rows to 4″.Â Â AS’s new yarns knit up to a larger gauge: 28 sts and 32 rows per 4″ — still not what I would call bulky!!Â For my size sweater, I am knitting 347 sts every round and each round takes forever!
Facts and fiction:
- Oregon uses 17 colors and looks extremely complicated, but in true fair isle, you never knit with more than two colors in any given row.Â In Bohus and Norwegian knitting, there are times you knit with up to 4 colors at once.
- People are scared off/confused by steeks.Â Steeks ( a word that roughly means “gate”) is used to bridge a gap, such as a center front in a cardigan or a sleeve opening, so you can knit in the round while doing color work.Â The benefit is that you always knit to create stockinette stitch.Â Also, the design pattern is always facing you — you are not trying to figure out where you are in the pattern from the wrong side where the stranding occurs.The steek itself consists of 10 sts of stockinette stitch.Â It is just a ~one inch wide strip of knitting strategically placed for cutting after the “tube” is done.Â Shaping is done on either side of the steek and magically appears once cut.Â As I get to the v-neck shaping on Oregon, you’ll see what I mean.Â You carefully cut the steek up the middle (leaving 5 sts on each side) and then finish the cut edges.Â
- If done correctly, the yarns will not get all twisted together (as in intarsia).Â As you knit, you carry one color above and one below.Â The yarns run parallel and do not cross each other.Â There is no need to twist the yarns together — in fact, DO NOT twist them unless absolutely necessary.Â I only twist the yarns for carries across 8 or more sts. I have seen sweaters where the knitter twisted all through the sweater and it looked terrible — the sts get very distorted and the color that is being carried shows through.Â
To keep track of the colors, I made a color card with the name and symbol of each color next to a small length of yarn.Â Some colors are very similar and difficult to keep straight.Â To keep track of where you are in the pattern, useÂ sticky notes — place the sticky edge along the TOP line of the row you are on.Â Another thing people use is a magnetic board.Â Either way, you need to have a visual line to follow to keep track of your work.
There you have it: Fair Isle 101.Â Once you’ve done one of these, it all makes sense!
Wendy asked to see the inside of the color work.Â I thought I’d share a picture from an already finished sweater because this design really shows the reverse image of the stranding.Â Here is the outside (public) view:
And the inside:
This design is Henry the VIII from Tudor Roses.Â Now I must knit!
July 24, 2006
I’m sure some of our regular readers have noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. I’ve been distracted. I’m having surgery on the 27th and that has taken up some of my mental energy.
It’s just outpatient surgery on my foot, but I know the recovery period is slow, frustrating, and painful. I expect to get LOTS of knitting done then.
In the meantime, scroll down to my sister’s post below and look at that gorgeous Starmore design. I’m also a big fan of Alice Starmore and of her daughter, Jade. Susan and I have knit many fair isles between the two of us; maybe during my convalescence I can try to finally get around to photographing some of my completed ones for the gallery here.