Joining Ginny’s yarn along today. http://www.gsheller.com/2014/01/yarn-along-160.html
Since Christmas I have been knitting the “Sixareen Cape” by Kate Davies http://katedaviesdesigns.com/2013/02/28/sixareen-cape/. I ordered the kit from Jamieson and Smith Yarns for my Christmas present and duly handed over the box to the kids and husband to wrap and then I patiently waited for Christmas.
I am thrilled with it so far. I love that I have real Shetland wool from the Shetland Isles. The pattern also has quite a bit of fair isle colorwork and that has been fun to learn more about. I have done stranded colorwork before, but never fair isle with multiple colors. I ordered from the library Alice Starmore’s fair isle book and Mary Jane Mucklestone’s 200 Fair Isle Motifs http://www.amazon.com/200-Fair-Isle-Motifs-Directory/dp/1596684372/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1389733725&sr=8-3&keywords=mary+jane+mucklestone as well as using my own copy of Color Knitting by Margaret Radcliffe http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Guide-Color-Knitting-Techniques/dp/1603420401/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389734289&sr=8-1&keywords=color+knitting. These have been helpful in explaining the history behind the fair isle patterns (fascinating) as well as giving tips and advice. I’ve learned for instance, you can have longer floats with Shetland wool because the yarns mesh together well and traditional fair isle knitters sometimes just knot the ends of the colors and let them felt. I am going that route instead of weaving in all the ends, especially since this cape is for me.
So far it is going relatively fast considering that it is fingering weight yarn and size two needles. Here is a picture from last week that I didn’t get posted
You can see really visually see the progress I made in a week. I am trying to do at least two rows a day. Sometimes it is one and half, sometimes it is three. Of course, the fair isle draws you in to keep knitting as you want to see how the pattern develops with just one more row. I am really excited about this. It is easy knitting, but at the same time there is a depth to it. I really just want someone to come over to me and say that is awesome knitting. I tried getting my husband to do that and it just wasn’t the same. I think I need a knitting group for that kind of affirmation.
I really enjoy Kate Davies designs and blog as she incorporates the history of knitting and its traditions. There is always so much to learn about knitting: how to turn a heel, how to shape a sweater, different ways to cast-on, etc. Which makes knitting a craft that grows with you. However, there is also so much history to knitting, connecting us to places and people of the past that I love to learn about as well and which, for me at least, enriches the knitting experience.
As for reading, right now I have lots of books going at once, which is unusual for me. I have my bedtime reading of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and during any other breaks during the day (rare!!) I am reading through A Lantern in her Hand and High, Wide and Lonesome both books I saw on Yarn Along. I love getting book recommendations and this is such a great resource for it, thanks Ginny! I liked A Lantern in Her Hand, but there were parts that I wished I could have discussed with a book club, like did you agree with all the sacrifices the protagonist made for her children and do you think she should have made them work a little harder on their own to achieve their dreams or to see the beauty and satisfaction in day-to-day living. I haven’t gotten that far in High, Wide, and Lonesome, but so far I like it a lot, it reminds me in a way Little Britches.