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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Please try to contain your excitement...

...at the 28 new rounds of sleeve you see here compared to yesterday. Yep, 28 rounds knitted yesterday. (I'm counting rounds as I knit this sleeve so I can get the second sleeve to match. It seemed like a good idea - matching sleeves.) I think I've got about 2 or 3 more inches before I start the cable edging (that takes up 2 inches), but I've got to try on the sweater again to double check. I have pretty long arms and almost always end up adding a bit to sleeve lengths as patterns are written, but that's the great thing about knitting, you can make your projects fit your body the way you want them to fit.

Yesterday wasn't a total loss, I'd just like to say. Those of you who read Wendy Knits know that she is currently working on Cromarty from Alice Starmore's The Celtic Collection. I have that book (its not hard to find or crazy expensive like some of her other books) but in my opinion, it hadn't really grabbed me with any one project. I think now, its more a function of limited color palettes available than any bad design choices on Ms. Starmore's part - I mean, have you seen what she can do with the full color range of her own yarns? I think, but I'm not sure, that the book was done by Rowan Yarns or for Rowan yarns because that's all she uses in the book. Now I do love Rowan yarns (at least the classic, traditional yarns they make - we will not discuss their designs lately), but the color range is not as complete as some of the yarns more traditionally used for stranded color work*. Because of this, Ms. Starmore makes some "unconventional" choices for yarns in some of her projects, I'm assuming, to get specific colors. (Cotton chenille for stranded color work, really?) Even with the additional color palettes offered by these more non traditional yarn choices there are some designs that just don't seem to work well to my eye. So, after seeing Wendy's Cromarty, I decided that maybe I needed to take another look at this book. After really taking some time looking at the designs, I came to my above conclusions about the possible design constraints imposed on Ms. Starmore when she was designing for this book and have realized that while there are some yarn choices that I would not personally make, I am not under contract by Rowan and can choose any yarns of any colors that I please. Looked at in this new light, I have realized that some of the designs are not shown to their fullest due to color restrictions -several of the designs just get lost due to background and foregrounds being too close in value. I have found a number of designs that I would like to knit, but in my own color and yarn choices. The three that really popped out at me are Rosemarkie, Dalmore (scroll down to Oct 11 to see one in progress), and in the category of Epic Knitting Adventures, Erin (click the third picture at the top - the lady standing beside the tree). I've pretty much decided that I will do Rosemarkie sometime this year, but in colors that I can wear and that work with my wardrobe.

*By "stranded color work" I'm referring to the technique used where two or more yarn colors are used in each row and the colors not in use are stranded behind the knitting until its time to use them again. This technique is used in the traditional Fair Isle style of knitting (with no more than 2 colors per round) and is sometimes referred to as Fair Isle knitting, but not all designs that use this technique can be called Fair Isle. The yarns used are typically a two ply jumper weight (fingering weight) Shetland wool yarn. Jamieson's and Jamieson and Smith are two brands that manufacture this kind of yarn, both of them have extensive color ranges.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, those are all pretty. I love the vest. I haven't been brave enought to try a fair isle pattern yet. But that one is tempting.

Your sweater is lookin' good!

11:39 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I have that book (Celtic Collection) and I LOVE IT...I still can't decide which one I want to do first! Everytime I browse it I change my mind...

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Vanquis Credit Card said...

I was able to contain my excitement, but just barely.

8:24 PM  

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