Sunday, February 24, 2008

Musing on Starting My First Fair Isle and KAL

I'm working on my first knit-a-long with the Ebony Elite group that I joined through Ravelry. The KAL started February 15 and runs through March 15. After some hiccups with my first selection, the Sunrise Circle Jacket from Interweave, I settled on trying a new technique, a fair isle! I'm very excited to knit a fair isle vest.

Fair Isle has been something I wanted to try since I first learned how to knit. And, I've loved this vest since I first saw it in the Fall 2005 Vogue Knitting. The upside to the piece is that it's a good opportunity for me to get my feet wet with two strand knitting without pulling out my hair. (Please note: the picture above is not mine, it is property of Vogue Knitting Magazine).

Today, I'll show you the four colors I'm using. Proudly, they are all from my existing stash! The base color is a beige from Jaeger Extra Fine Merino. Cascade 220 in fuschia, a green Lornas Laces and I can't find the label for my electric blue yarn. I do remember though that it was purchased at Nana's this summer.

Looking at the hand wound yarn collectively, each ball is unique. The color is beautiful yet its raw shape is odd and potential unrealized. Though photographed together, each one exists alone, vying for space and attention. Check out the green ball, blurred into the background, or look at the spaces left between them. I've seen that void before, haven't you? Amazing that the strands will be woven together to create something new, different, lovely, unified and complete. Or, they can stay in the stash, beautiful but alone without a purpose. Knitting is more than technique or craft, it can be a good lesson in community and potential. I needed to remember that today.

Anyhoo, musing aside, I've also included a picture of my swatching. The base of the sweater is done with 8 needles and the fair isle is completed with size 10. Swatching the pattern was crucial for me to see how the colors went together. I settled on the blue/green mix and will pull in the fuschia as the tertiary color. When I started the pattern, I knit the strands with one hand, but once I got in the groove and watched a tutorial on, things worked more smoothly. Namely, I started knitting with both hands, utilizing the Continental and English methods which helped get the stitches more even. Although I'm on gauge, I will have to work carefully to make sure my stitches stay consistent and not too tight or loose. I'm very excited about posting my progress regularly. See you later.

1 comment:

Virtuous said...

What a great project for the KAL!
I can't wait to learn that technique! I hear I am 1 step ahead with already continental knittng!

You will do FAB on your fair isle project!