Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Trip to the Beach and a Finished Fair Isle Hat

This week the sun has been shining and the relentless wind and gales that seem to have battered us all winter seem to have subsided.  We headed down to the beach, it is only a few minutes walk from our house but it is the first time we have been there this year.

It is always a place of inspiration with it's beautiful colours and patterns

Lately I have been struggling to get my orders done and out in time so I have closed my Not On the High Street shop for a couple of weeks for a breather - yesterday the last parcel I put to the Post Office came back as I had addressed it to myself - definitely time for a rest!

I have been knitting though, mainly in the evenings. I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. There have been several reports lately of how knitting is good for your health, such as this one from the  Mail Online .  Studies suggest that it can protect the brain from ageing.  Here's hoping!  It's a good excuse to knit more anyway.

My latest FO is the Fair Isle beret from Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting. The yarn is Shetland jumper weight wool from both Jamieson and Smith and Jamieson's of Shetland.

I dressed it on a dinner plate to stretch and even out the stitches on the crown.  Once it was dry and off the plate I damped the edges again and stuffed it with a couple of muslin cloths to make it less like a flying saucer and more like, well, a hat.

The colours were inspired by a green Seasalt rain jacket that I bought from Smith and Robertson's in Lerwick.  I tried a few colourways, its always amazing how patterns can look completely different just by changing the colours around.  

I have added an email subscription link to the sidebar of this blog so you can be informed by email whenever I write a new post.   When you enter your email you will be asked to type in the figures you see on the screen and you will then be sent an email link, which when you click on it will then be subscribe you.  It would be lovely if you would!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Stasis Jumper - another FO

I mentioned in the last post that I had two FOs: the second one is this Stasis Jumper I made for myself.

The pattern was designed by Leila Raabe for Brooklyn Tweed and can be found here on Ravelry.  If you are a knitter or crocheter and haven't yet been on Ravelry, I urge you to do so now - you will need to create a user name and password to sign in, but after that you can browse through squillians of patterns and designs (many of the patterns are free), although be prepared to lose hours and hours of your time!  I am often amazed at the number of knitters I speak to that don't yet know of this amazing resource.

Getting back to the jumper, I knitted it in Shetland jumper yarn, specifically Jamieson's of Shetland Spindrift with the main colour being olive and the pattern being chartreuse (one of my favourites).  The pattern was very easy to follow and it really was a pleasure to knit.  I usually would wear a 33/34" but after swatching I decided to knit the 42.5".  The size came out exactly as the measurements should be and although it is slightly baggier than I would normally wear I know I will get lots of wear out of this one (I have already). 

In other news, I was recently asked to write a blog post for Lets Knit magazine. I have been thinking a lot lately about Shetland traditional knitting, and how it is sadly in decline out as patterns and techniques generally weren't written down in the past but were passed on from knitter to knitter.  Nowadays the younger generations do not have to knit for their living so these skills generally aren't being learnt.  I was inspired by a photo of my late Granny who knitted Fair Isle gloves and berets when I was growing up to earn some money.  I always regret not taking the time to ask her how she made them.

Lately, I have been trying to recreate the gloves I remember so well - that will be another post I think!

You can read the article, My Family and Fair Isle Knitting here.