Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fair Isle and Basketweave

I learned something new about Shetland wool today:

"Like most traditional Fair Isle garments produced before the 1940s, the yarn used to knit this cardigan was worsted spun. This process -- in which the raw wool is combed rather than carded, then drawn short, and spun so that the fibres sit parallel to one another -- produces a yarn with a smooth hand, and a very even finish. Many old Fair Isle garments have a slight 'sheen' that is the result of the smooth worsted yarns that have been used to knit them."

I've never made anything with a Fair Isle pattern, mainly because I find charts confusing to follow. I'm not an intuitive knitter - I need to have every step spelled out. But I'd love to try making a Fair Isle garment with this gorgeous wool:

"This is Shetland Heritage yarn. It is the result of an exciting collaboration between the Shetland Museum and Archives, the Shetland Amenity Trust, Curtis Wool Direct, and Jamieson and Smith -- the idea being to produce a modern yarn as close as possible to that which was originally used to hand-knit traditional Fair Isle garments."

Thanks to Kate Davies Designs for all this info!

Meanwhile, here are the promised photos of the basketweave scarf I finished last week:

What have you been working on?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bombing and Waulking

Yarn bombing!

I still haven't tried it, but here are a couple of posts with photos of various yarn bombs around Montreal:

Political Yarn Bombs, Solo Yarn Bombs and Les Ville-laines Collective.

Meanwhile, I came across a couple of funny patterns the other day. One was for a Canadian Cloud. I couldn't figure out what it was! A little Googling turned up this explanation: a cloud is a stole.

A Canadian cloud, according to Murray's Magazine in 1888 is explained this way: "Their tuques are smaller and closer, and generally almost concealed by the fleecy folds of a 'cloud'–that peculiarly Canadian wrap which, consisting of a fringed strip of loosely knitted or woven thick soft wool nine feet long and eighteen inches wide, is both comfortable and becoming."

Also, there's this:

Hardly seems worth all the work. Speaking of work, here's something I doubt is done by hand anymore, though I wish I could witness it firsthand:

Waulking wool in South Uist, 1970

I can't even use a drop spindle yet! But I have just finished a scarf. Photos coming soon!