Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I proved

To myself that if I put my mind to something I can do it.

I knitted something I never thought I would...This might give you a hint:

Color-work knitting always eluded me. I keep telling how I grew up seeing my mom knit, but I don’t remember her doing many colors in one piece. The only stranded sweater I remember her making was a blue and white summer sweater. I fell in love with the pattern and asked her to make it for me. She did it, and then nobody would believe it was handmade. Unfortunately the last time we left Miami we still planned to go back, so a lot of things stayed there, including this last thing my mom made for me.
Anyway, as much as I looked at them in awe, and always oh-ed and ah-ed how gorgeous they are, I always thought they are way too complicated to make.
I though I will have happily knit my lacy and cabled projects forever when a couple of things happened … I listened all the back-episodes of the Sticks and Strings podcast, in which David keeps mentioning his Henry sweater. Then Dinara knit this gorgeous Alice Starmore pattern. Then incidentally in a second hand store I pulled out from the pajama/lingerie bin a very nice red shirt (my favorite brand, perfect size). As lovely as it was I have to admit is was red. Very red. So I kept thinking about how could I tone it down a little bit and Dinara’s vest kept coming into my mind. Yeas, a black and red, or a charcoal and red vest, but I still wasn’t sure I would dare to venture into the land of Fair Isle, but it kept bugging me. I looked on the net, checked some videos, how people do it. Throwing, or knitting the continental way, or with a yarn in each hand. I did small swatches. I went yarn shopping, found black, red, orange and maroon yarn in the same brand. I kept looking into patterns. By then I knew that Fair Isle is not as complicated as it looks, especially because it never uses more than two colors in a row. I kept looking at patterns, but they either used more (or less) colors than I had, or they had many stitches in one color which meant long floats in the back, and I didn’t think I was up to dealing with those for the first try.
It seemed I can’t find what I wanted, so I sat down with an excel sheet and started to design my own “Fist-Isle” pattern (Thank you Angela for pointing me to this excellent tutorial!). Most probably it is not very original, but I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, for a first timer.

Then I knitted the vest up in one week! OK, I admit there was a night when I went sleep at half past three, because I couldn’t stop knitting, but still I am still amazed how fast it went. I decided not to steak it. Steaks are scary and I don’t want to scare anyone from doing color-works. Besides looking up on steaking I found it works best with small gauge and yarn that is sticky, or even felts. I used DK yarn because I didn’t want it taking forever (and because that was the yarn I found readily available).
So, may I present my first “official” design: The First Fair Isle Vest:

Modelled picture and pattern is coming soon.


Isis said...

It looks great ! I love the colours. I have done similar things in the past (as you know) and always enjoyed it very much. The results are spectacular, generally !

herr_dr_nuss said...

its very nice. the charcoal and red vest colors would be a good choice or for the school i went to it was called scarlet and grey (Beat Michigan!!!) you should have modelled it! you're a perfect model for you works. .oO the lingerie should be modeled too hehehehe