Sunday, 12 July 2009


First of all, thankyou everyone for your kind wishes, they are much appreciated. Blogger, as I'm sure you know, doesn't give me your email addresses, so I can't reply individually. I am thinking of changing to Haloscan for the comments if I can work out what to do, I've heard good things about this.....

Anyway - I have been reading as well as knitting.

My kind husband picked up the latest copy of The Knitter for me at Tesco. This is number 7, and includes a recoloured version of Kaffe Fassett's Damask Flower. The yarns that Kaffe has used this time are Rowan's PureWool DK and Kidsilk Aura. It looks completely stunning - but unfortunately I know that I wouldn't wear it because there is a such a lot of pink in it, and wearing pink makes me look rather more like a tomato than I am comfortable with. Not a good look.

Nevertheless, I have plans for this. I have in mind to recolour it using Rowan Tapestry, Kidsilk Aura and PureWool DK, using colours that suit me. I might reshape the sleeve tops, possibly - I don't know whether puffed sleeves are quite my thing. But that wouldn't be a big deal.

Previous issues of this magazine have left me slightly underwhelmed - apart from Issue 1, with Jane Gottelier's gorgeous Somerset Pullover - but I think that possibly I must just not have been in a magazine-reading kind of mood, because this issue really does strike me as an enjoyable read, much more so than most women's magazines on the market, let alone knitting magazines. And that's even though the theme is Summer Florals, and I am not really a Summer Florals sort of person at all.

It says on the cover - Inspiration for Creative Knitting - and I think that is exactly what they've achieved with Issue 7.

I still haven't subscribed, but I'm thinking about it again ......

I also seem to have rediscovered Patricia Roberts.

Back in the eighties I made quite a few things from her patterns - I remember a short dress in gansey patterning, using fine Shetland yarn, and also a cardigan in beautiful soft fine Woollybear something-or-other, with more bobbles that I ever want to knit again in my whole life. I gave both of them away many years ago. Neither of them would fit me now, and yet, somehow, nowadays I wish I still had them.

However, Patricia is still going strong, selling her lovely yarns from the same shop in Knightsbridge that I remember visiting all those years ago. I've still got her first and second Knitting Books - the first one was better, I always thought - and then the other day I came across her book 'Patricia Roberts Style' on eBay, and also 'Variations', both for a bargain price. 'Style' has now arrived (unlike my Nora Gaughan booklets - but I expect that Loop were inundated with orders during their sale week, so I'm not worrying yet) and I can't stop looking at it.

This was very much part of the huge knitting revival of the eighties, and although the styling can seem a bit dated nowadays, there are some absolutely lovely things in this book. Patricia Roberts has never been afraid of giving the knitter a complex pattern with minimal instructions - there is no hand-holding whatsoever in this book. She likes to use fine yarns, complex cabling, lace, and colourwork - often all in the same garment - and the results are simply amazing.

This, for instance, is a garment that I have plans for. Fleur is a cotton cardigan with a fisherman's rib background, cabling and stripy inset pockets. I wouldn't make bright pink, though, of course. More likely dark navy blue, with ivory stripes to the pockets.

There are, of course, a fair number of multicoloured mohair pullovers and cardigans. But there are also pullovers like this one, Greta, worked in fine cashmere - I love the scalloped borders and neckline. Absolutely timeless.

And this one - Plain Jane - worked in a single colour of fine lambswool. I like this one very much.

Although I might like this one - Zeta - even more. A sweatshirt shape with very unusual construction, made in fine shetland worked at 9 stitches to the inch over pattern.

And the cardigan version - Jade - is possibly even nicer, if you ignore the 80's styling, which is very Adam Ant, if you know what I mean.

Sheba is also lovely. Again, ignore the styling. I could make that, and I'd wear it too, if I could just find the right yarns .....

But I think that my favourite from the whole book is this cardigan, with texture, cabling, and colourwork.

And if that dates me - well, I just don't care.

I am very much looking forward to Variations arriving in the post soon - this one, I remember, gives summer and winter versions of different garments, using different yarns and changing the look completely with different colour schemes.

Now I think I need to get out my old Nancy Vale and Edina Ronay books. More ideas....

I hope my Nora Gaughan booklets arrive soon, before I get too thoroughly sidetracked.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I started that very cardigan (but as a sweater), years and years ago, with yarn from the wonderful (demised) Shepherds Purse in Bath. I completed only the back (it was knit on tiny tiny needles) and have no intention of ever completing the garment (in fact I sold the remaining yarn on EBay last year) but am going to make a cushion cover out of it as it is (a) too attractive and (b) evidence of much hard work to keep in a stowaway box. I must get a pic up on Ravelry. (I used very bright colours, being a teenager at the time!). UKHattie x