It’s impossible to just swatch “a little” when it comes to Fair Isle. Once I started this hat, I did not stop. Gauge is a touch off, but I think it will work to my advantage. I *adore* the pattern, colors and yarn. Jamieson’s Double Knitting might be my new favorite yarn EVER.
I’m getting ready for a fun fair isle holiday knitting project – MJM’s Fair Isle Vest via her Craftsy class. I’ve already done a few fair isle projects, and this Spring I made my first steeked project, but I have yet to made an adult-sized fair isle garment. So here we go.
Step One: Yarn Acquisition
I decided to be somewhat uncreative/safe and go with the pattern-suggested colors. [Aren't they lovely?] The yarn base is Jamieson’s Double Knitting which is quite exciting for me because I’ve only ever knit with J’s jumper weight.
Craftsy was selling a yarn kit for this project, but sold out before I could purchase one. Thankfully, Camilla Valley Farm sells this kit, plus a few others using Jamieson’s. The pattern does list which yarn colors are required so you don’t need a kit, but I think I saved a few bucks going with the kit. Also, the Double Knitting base was a little more challenging to find online. This is the first purchase I made from Camilla Valley Farm and I would definitely buy from them again.
Step Two: Study Pattern Materials and Preview Class
In my Craftsy experience, I have found that it’s a good idea to watch the entire class all the way through before beginning my project. And study the pattern. But that could just be my Type-A-ness bubbling up. Anyway, between the clearly-written pattern and the details/demonstration via the class, I think this should be a fearless project.
Step Three: Swatch
OK, I really shouldn’t start swatching this until I’ve progressed much further on my current WIP, but the happy balls of Jamieson’s are staring at me from over there on my project table and I just want to play with them a little bit….
I purposely purchased a larger kit size so I would have plenty of swatching yarn. I plan to make a swatch cap (a la EZ). MJM doesn’t give stitch counts or guidance for making a swatch cap (even though she does encourage you to do so), so I’ll wing something here. Probably 6 repeats of the 16-stitch pattern, so cast on 96. That sounds about hat-right.
In the meantime, I’m still working on my Secret Sweater which is coming along slowly but nicely. Suspicion has not yet been aroused. Surprising? Slightly.
I have some lovely hand-knit items up for sale on my Etsy shop. So, if you want to give hand-knit items for Christmas this year, but are too busy/lazy/have too many other WIPs going on, then feel free to purchase some of mine – and you don’t have to tell the recipient that you didn’t make it. Your secret is safe with me. (wink, wink)
Here are a few teaser pics – head over to Etsy to see the rest!
A knitter-friend of mine recently recommended that I try Pierrot yarns (based in Japan). Once a year, they have a sale where you can buy a bulk offering of winter-based or summer-based yarns. You pick the season, they pick the colors. Risky, I thought, but that’s how I live my version of la vida loca. I ordered up the Winter Lucky Bag (of course it’s lucky, there are 30 balls and 3 cones of yarn inside!) for a little over $100 (free shipping). I tracked my order daily. After 2.5 weeks of suffering, my Lucky Bag arrived – YES!!!!
The peachy colored yarn is their Soft Merino Fingering yarn. Very soft to the touch, and a heathery quality to the color. I got ten 40g balls, enough to make a sweater for myself.
The black yarn is called Jewel and has strands of silver and gold metallic fibers spun throughout. I don’t usually go yarns like this, but I really like it. I can’t find it on the website, but I *think* it’s 55% wool / 45% acrylic (I have limited Japanese-knits reading skills). With ten 40g balls, I’m thinking a holiday sweater for myself…
And then there is Chiffon, the baby alpaca. Oh. My. Word. This yarn is so soft, I thought it was cashmere at first. Ten 30g balls is enough to make yes another sweater.
Last but not least, on a cone, is their Super Wool. 50% wool / 50% cotton. Three 100g cones would make a nice summer tank or sleeveless top.
And just to make this Lucky Bag even luckier, they included some awesome stickers.
This was easily the best yarn deal I’ve ever got in my knitting life, so I’m reallyreallyreally excited for some warm heart handicrafts. Oh yeah.
Wishing you a lucky knitting weekend!
Fall is finally here in Northern California! Time to start knitting fall accessories and start on Christmas gifts. Here is a perfect pint-sized project that would make a great gift.
This petite blanket is perfectly baby-sized or lap-sized, whichever you prefer, or both! Squooshy garter stitch edging around a simple stockinette pattern makes for both a timeless design and soothing (and quick) knitting for you.
It takes about 450 yards of worsted weight yarn on US 6 (4mm) needles. It only took me about a week to make – knitting an hour or two each evening while watching baseball.
I knit my Color Block Blanket using Knit Picks Comfy Worsted yarn. It’s a cotton (75%) / acrylic (25%) blend that is so incredibly soft. And machine washable!
Pattern available at Ravelry or materialsciknits.com. $2.50
I have been doing two really fun things lately.
1) Re-watching all of the original Star Trek episodes on Netflix. I watched them as a kid (re-runs), and it’s so fun to see them as an adult. Seriously, this show is good. I can’t believe it only ran for 3 seasons?! Now I understand the nerd outrage at the time.
2) Learning how to use an HP 25 calculator, and Reverse Polish Notation. Tee hee!