Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Still here, still knitting.

I would usually be at work today, but a fairly daft happening means that I am at home with my feet up.

This involved a sleepy wasp on the floor of my bathroom, and me getting up to visit said bathroom at about 2 am. Unfortunately I didn't see the wasp, and so I now have some 4 or 5 wasp stings on the sole of my left foot, which means that I cannot actually put any weight on that foot at all. Daft, yes?

However it does mean that I should get plenty of knitting done today, because I can't do anything that involves standing up.

The wasp lived to tell the tale, by the way. At least, he flew off out of the window perfectly well.

From the comments....

Gabriela - I won't be starting Meredith just yet, I haven't got the yarn for it at the moment, and I need to finish what I have on the needles. Soon though, I hope!

And you raise several other points as well.....

Meredith uses fair isle, not intarsia. Fair Isle colourwork is when two colours are in use alternately all across the row, so there is always one colour stranded across the back of the work. The finished fabric will have a slightly different tension from normal stocking stitch, because of this.

Intarsia involves no stranding at all, this is the technique that is used when there is, for instance, a single motif, a section worked in a different colour. Or perhaps several motifs - anyway, you drop one yarn completely, and pick up the contrast yarn to work the motif - then on the other side of the motif you drop the contrast yarn and pick up the main yarn again, from a separate ball of yarn. You don't carry the main yarn across the back. You do need to make sure that at the transition points, the main yarn and the contrast yarn are linked around each other, so that you don't get a hole. The tension for a piece with intarsia should be identical to the usual stocking stitch tension.

Fair Isle is best worked with a yarn that has a fair amount of 'grab' to it, a tendency to stick to itself. Something like Rowan's Scottish Tweed yarns is absolutely ideal. Slippery, smooth yarns are difficult. And Meredith is worked in Cashsoft 4 ply, which is beautifully soft and smooth - but I know that it isn't going to be the easiest yarn for Fair Isle. So I would not usually recommend this project as a first Fair Isle.

You might want to consider a pair of Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts first, just to get used to colourwork. This is an ideal first Fair Isle project, really. Small, simple, a free pattern, and a really pretty result. I did make a pair, but I gave them away..... must make another pair for this winter, I think.

I used Jamieson's Spindrift in Seaweed and Sapphire, if memory serves. And you cannot see the pattern at all in that photo.... never mind. Look at Eunny's instead!

Kate - the sizing on Meredith is much the same as Kim's previous pattern sizing, somewhat restricted. From memory, I think the largest size is 43", designed to be worn with zero ease. The current Rowan patterns are given for a much wider range of sizes now - The Cocoon Collection goes from 32" to 50" bust for all the patterns, and the Colourscape Collection is the same. There is a gorgeous Fair Isle pullover in Cocoon, called Coco. In fact, I worked a swatch of this.....

Front right, of course. I hadn't worked with Cocoon before, and was surprised how soft and silky it is. Still excellent for Fair Isle, though.

And yes, Meredith is worked flat and seamed. I used to absolutely hate this method, but I am finding increasingly that it isn't a problem any more. I guess I've just got used to it.

Lakes - well, I have started the first sleeve. And that's what I shall be doing today. I am working with skein number 6 now, out of 20, so there is a fair way to go.....


Kate said...

Poor foot! :-( I'm not so mobile either, thanks to walking around London all day Saturday in unsuitable shoes. You'd think I'd learn at my age. :-P

Thanks for the Meredith info. Really can't be doing with knitting flat fairisle, so have crossed it off my list. :-)

Gabriela said...

Hmm - It would be the first time attempting mittens, so I'm more inclined to start Coco, which I agree is absolutely gorgeous but it will probably take me ages to finish it and it costs a fortune - it takes about 9 balls of 100 g I think and at £7 a ball, I have to be sure I'll be able to make it beautifully. I could try to do a swatch of Coco pattern but with a more inexpensive yarn until I get used to it - any idea which yarn would fit the bill?