Well, it's not tomorrow, it's the day after. Things keep happening......
Time for an update on Foxtail. I still haven't got very much done. Currently I have just started the second sleeve.
The two sleeves and the upper back are all worked in one long section, as you can see.
I do love this colour - it's called Moorland, shade number 175. Rowan Tapestry - I can't recall whether I already said this. As usual, it isn't such a bright blue as my camera makes it look. The colours shade from a deep slatey blue, through a soft brown in one direction and shades of grey in the other, to biscuit colour. Very subtle and pretty.
Although I love the colouring, I am not so enamoured of the yarn, which is of course a softly spun single - it wants to split,and because of this I can't knit as fast as I'd like. I have actually had one split stitch and I didn't notice it until I was about thirty rows past it - I laddered it down, sorted it out, and picked back up again, so no harm done. But I have learned my lesson, and am checking along each row as I finish it.
Now, the Marianne Isager book, Japanese Inspired Knits.
This book is just gorgeous. I have heard so many good things about Ms Isager's work that I decided to buy this book without seeing any sort of preview or review, and despite the fact that I wasn't very taken with the cover design - and I certainly don't regret it.
This book is not full of Japanese knitting patterns, let me make that clear. It is in fact titled very precisely. The patterns - twelve of them - are inspired by Ms Isager's experience of living in Japan. There is one pattern for each month of the year. For each pattern, there is a page of associated images, and an explanation of the inspiration. There is a glossary of terms and techniques at the back, and a page of Japanese ideograms used elsewhere in the book, with their meanings.
It is a pleasure to read, and out of the twelve patterns given, I am interested in knitting no less than six - this may be some sort of record for me.
Ms Isager likes fine yarns and small needles - so do I. She uses interesting techniques - I love this. Her patterns are beautifully illustrated and carefully explained, and the garments are all shown both modelled and laid flat, with more photographs showing the details.
The first pattern in the book is a kimono-shaped jacket. The main part of the garment is Aran work, patterned with moss stitch and honeycomb stitch, and the lower border is worked in double knitting combined with intarsia. You realise immediately that this work does not come from any average designer!
Next there is a long tunic worked in garter stitch entrelac, in three colours. I love this one - Winter in Tokyo.
The shaping is done by changing the size of the entrelac squares.
This is one of the pattern that I am interested in making - I might leave out the bobbles, though. Or perhaps not. I'd keep the contrast edging at the neckline, I love that.
After that, there is a pattern called The Fan - a total contrast. More garter stitch, but with lace this time, and an interesting construction, not dissimilar to Kate Gilbert's Sunrise Circle Jacket.
This one is worked with a fingering weight yarn and a laceweight yarn held together throughout, and the needle size is larger, 3.5mm.
Then there is The Carp - worked in two shades of fine cotton and linen/viscose, using mitred squares.
Delicate and beautiful.
The Sun - two versions, Large Suns and Small Suns.
I love the Large Suns - I think I might substitute greys and blues for the rose, coral, and tomato....
There is more lace; there is more Aran, worked in fine yarns in the round; there is more intarsia; there is fair isle colourwork in very non-traditional colours; there is some amazing tailored shaping - the whole book is full of absolute gems.
If you like fine yarns and detailed work, this book is for you. Except that this particular copy is for me!