Showing posts from July, 2011

Insert tongue firmly in cheek....

the Ministry of Magic!

Yes, I have seen The Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Twice!  I am frankly a little depressed that it is all over!
But, thank you to J.K.Rowling we can look forward to.......Pottermore - coming in October!

Knitting content coming soon!

Every year, about this time

Hibiscus July 2011, originally uploaded by fairislefanatic. My Hibiscus starts blooming....and this year is no different.

This was the plant that inspired my Hibiscus Cardigan.

I need to tweak...

Recently, I upgraded to Flickr Pro - and in doing so somehow lost a lot of the photos that I'd uploaded to Flickr to use here on my, I'm going back and doing some tweaking to add back photos that have disappeared into Flickr heaven somehow.

I am sorry if this brings up a lot of "new" posts from Shades of Shetland....but I used this blog as my personal diary to remember what I was doing, thinking, knitting at the time.....and it's important to me that the photos are all there and intact.

It's summer's hot hot hot....and I've got some knitting I'd like to I've decided to put on "hold" the FI 101 posts for now.  I'll continues FI101 in the Fall, probably October - but if you have any questions in the meantime - feel free to contact me.

Happy Knitting!

It's so darn hot....


I do stray off the path sometimes....

The path of Shetland yarn or Rowan that is......

Pattern:  Asymmetric Cable Wrap
by:  Adirondack Yarns
Knit it:  Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky

This is a belated Applöse post - I actually finished this in a two week period - while playing around with other things.  I purchased this kit at the Ontario Fibre Fest Week back in May -  not realizing that the kit contained Cascade yarn - you know what a yarn snob I am LOL!!!

I was delighted with the yarn - it's soft and wonderful to knit with - and knitting with chunky yarn was a nice change from my usual fine gauge knitting!

Photo credit:  the hubby of course!

Celebrities who knit!

Thanks to Heather - I found this through her blog.

Fabulous show!


Guess where I am?


Just what is a steek?

A steek, in knitting terms, is a group of extra stitches that are added in areas where you'd like to be able to go back and cut open - like cardigan fronts, armhole openings, even neckline shaping.

If you are a sewer, they are sort of like seam allowances.

A "steek" is usually 8-10 stitche s - I like 10.  Knitting in the round, stitches 1through 10 - right to left - with stitches 1 and 10 being the "edge" stitches - these stitches are adjacent to the body of your knitting and are knit in the background shade of the row.

Stitches 2 thru 9 are the extra stitches that are there to protect the body of your knitting.

So when knitting "the steek" - the round starts and ends in the middle of the steek - so when knitting say a cardigan in the round, all of those pesky ends of yarn are just hanging there in the middle of the steek - no weaving in because the steek will be cut open eventually.

If you are knitting a pullover, and you've finished the body in the r…

Applöse - My Caller Herrin'

Pattern:  Caller Herrin' by Kate Davies  (Read about her design inspiration - at Needled, her blog. )

Yarn:Virtual Yarns Hebridean - original shades as per pattern


One full repeat of the motif on the round (as suggested in the pattern) with additional increase stitches (as per the pattern) with an additional 6 rounds added to the main body of the hat before starting the decreases for the top.

I also did a little I-cord celtic knot (rather than the loop as suggested by the pattern).

I did NOT do the lining on the corrugated rib or the I-cord edging - I may still go back and do this after I've done a little research with the other knitters on Ravelry that have done this hat.  I'm worried that it would make the rib too tight for me.

It is suggested that if you want to make this more of a tam shape - to block it on a 10" plate.....well, I went bigger than that and used a 14" pizza pan LOL!!!  I think it is a bit oversized - but when it's washed again, i…


My Caller Herrin' will be a tam - washed in Eucalan and blocking right now.

Almost done.....

I'm at the very top of the hat - it's finished off with an i-cord loop.
I love this mobile blogging - quick and easy - sort of like tweeting with photos.

A better view.....

Of magic

Magic Loop

I used to do "the" magic loop method before I knew it was "magic"......very useful when you're at the top of a hat

Knit Advisors

While out on the deck this morning - trying to get some outside knitting time before it got too hot - I had some supervisors.

Please excuse this blog interruption......


New Favourite Blog....

While doing a big of Ravelry research on Caller Herrin.......looking at all of the projects, reading notes (I wish more knitters put more notes in their project details).......I came across this blog......

It's now on my bloglines list.

My swatch is done - it has been washed in Eucalan and is drying right now - I will measure it and go from there.

Starting a project......

This post got buried in my post list as a draft - it should have announced the start of my Caller Herrin' knit - and here it is July 12 - a bit late as I am ready for the Applöse post!

Stranded (fair isle) projects usually use many shades of yarn.  One of the subtlties of "fair isle" knitting is the multitude of shades available in the traditional yarns.

So, the first thing to do when starting a multi-coloured project is to wind the yarns (if they come in skeins) and to make yourself some kind of shade legend - make it easy for you to see which shade is which.
So I'm ready to start Caller Herrin' - in this case the yarn used in Alice Starmore's Hebridean yarn.  This yarn comes in 35 luscious shades - and you'd think that with "only" 35 shades it would be easy to tell them apart - but these yarns are gorgeous heathered yarns - and the shades used in Caller Herrin' are to make it easy for me, I took lengths of yarn and threaded them…


For first time fair isle (stranded) projects - hats are great - circular knitting going round and here are a few suggestions.......


Fair Isle Tam in Patons Classic Wool - from the Patons site

Winter Forest Tam - knit in traditional Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift - gorgeous traditional tam - a Ravelry download

Béret généreux by Isabelle Allard - a tam in worsted weight - a Ravelry download
If you want a lot of practice- try my Nordic Sweetheart Hat - done in Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift - or fingering weight - this is a double layered hat - that when folded up provide 4 layers over your ears - a traditional Norwegian design.
If you are on Ravelry (why not, it's free) you can do a pattern search for a hat, stranded, knit in the round and look at all of the choices -- I would suggest something with small repeat patterns - not something that has bigger motifs (like skulls or other alien beings LOL!) because you want to learn how to strand with this exercise.  

Does it really matter?

When doing two handed stranded knitting, does it really matter what yarn you carry in which hand? decide.

Your practice knitting - when holding yarns in both hands - knit with the yarn from your right hand - then when you knit with the yarn in your left hand it automatically comes from underneath - and when you knit stranded (aka fair isle) you knit along like that, never all you have to do is decide which stitches on your chart you are going to knit with the right (top) yarn.....or the left (bottom) yarn.

Some knitters decide round by round - knitting the shade that is most used in the round with their dominant hand.  This means that they will be changing the position (top or bottom) of the yarns depending on the motif.

What I'd like to demonstrate here is that it is your choice - but you must be aware of the position of your yarns and maintain that position throughout your project.

For these two swatches, I used Jamieson's Shetland Heather in Cha…

Poll Results

As a "Fair Isle" Knitter - I consider myself to be....

Experienced - I know it all! - 3 (7%)Intermediate - I do knit fair isle - but I'd love some tips to refine my technique - 30 (76%)Beginner - I've never tried or have tried and gave up - 6 (15%)
Thank you to all of you who responded.

Next subject - which hand hold which yarn - does it matter?
What do you think - comments welcome!