Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Fair...? Isle


How "fair" it is remains to be seen. This is my first big fair isle project, and I am doing it from a vintage pattern from the amazing resource The Retro Knitting Company. So that means first big fair isle project and my first vintage pattern. Yikes!

The pattern only comes in one size, but luckily the person I'm making it for has a very "vintage" figure - meaning very slim. The other tricky thing is that the pattern calls for a yarn that no longer exists, in a 3-ply, which isn't so common anymore. I was lucky to come across the Jamieson & Smith range of yarns made from Shetland wool. Their website says that their 2-ply works for vintage patterns that call for 3-ply, and they have an amazing range of colours, so I went for it.

Before and after steam blocking.

My tension was great at first, but surprisingly in order to increase the width of the sweater, rather than increasing the number of stitches, it calls for an increase in needle size. Unsurprisingly, this messed with my previously beautiful tension. While completing the front (which is all I have done so far) I was pretty worried things were not going to turn out well at all. Ravelry research revealed that the puckering and other tension problems are normally worked out in the blocking, which gave me hope. So far I have only done a steam block, which has corrected it a lot, but I am still not completely satisfied. Perhaps if I do a full wet block things will perk up. Fingers crossed! I had better figure all this out before I knit on...
Listening to: Bon Iver, again.
Eating: Pizzoccheri


Nalamienea said...

wow, it looks beautiful!! I haven't tackled anything like that yet, for sure. :) keep up your hope!

rosemary said...

Wow, that sweater is looking really cute! The difference is amazing post-blocking. It's interesting that they had you move up a needle size for the increases... Has it been difficult to understand the vintage pattern? Old terminology to overcome? Can't wait to see it finished!

meghanaf said...

Thanks guys :)

Rose - there is a bit of out-of-date terminology; I like "w.r.p." which stands for "wool round pin" - basically just a yarn over! Also the instructions can be really detailed in some parts, which I have actually found really helpful, but not detailed in other parts - for example, for the "tension" (or gauge), it says 7 1/2 sts. to one inch, but it doesn't specify with which needles! The needle sizes are also vintage, but conversion charts for this were pretty easily found online. I just wish the pattern had a publishing or copyright date on it so I could know for sure when it was from!

Jo said...

Wow! You do knit fast! It looks beautiful so far.

I've just got to do the ribbed bottom cuff on my November Sweater and I'm determined to complete it by the end of the week!

meghanaf said...

Jo - I have been knitting like a maniac! I really wanted to get this done for my friend, so have been using every spare moment to get some stitches in.

So excited to see your November Sweater!!