Fair Isle Pullover nearing completion

I’ve been in a big rut, just not feeling 100%.  I’m on the way back up now. 
Here are some photos of a Fair Isle Pullover sleeve, one in progress and one completed.

Although I don’t have any photos to show it, the pullover is now nearly finished.  It’s all sewn up, collar knitted, and I’m now in the process of weaving in ends.  There are tons of them!  I spent ages on it last night and there’s still lots to go.
I used Shirley Paden’s “Knitwear Design Workshop” to work out how to do a polo collar.  It’s worked out beautifully!  I’m feeling like an awesome clever clogs!!  🙂
I wanting to get this finished so I can get going on a scarf for this year’s Scarf Festival which is being hosted by the National Wool Museum in Geelong.  I haven’t done this before.  It should be fun!
Go on.  Take the plunge and design a scarf for this festival!  Entries close on the 6th of May.  This year’s theme is the Rhythm of Life.

Scarves are great to start designing with.  No shaping issues!  You can just knit till you’ve had enough and then stop.  Entry forms are available from the linked page.

Fair Isle back completed

The back of my Fair Isle pullover is finished!  Yay!  The allover nature of the pattern, with 5 different contrast colours makes it so interesting to look at.  I know I keep saying it, but I get a better idea of it looking at the photos than when I’m working on it.  I suppose it’s that big picture that I’m getting – standing back to observe.
In between finishing the back and really getting into the front, I’ve been knitting a little project as part of a KAL (Knit a Long).  I explain that, because you might be like me, and take a couple of years to work out what KAL stands for.  There’s a great monthly KAL happening in the Budding Designers Downunder group on Ravelry.  The KAL supports a different budding Australian or New Zealand designer each month.  This month it’s Christine Jeffery.  I’ve chosen her Tell Me a Tail bookmark.  I’m not sure that the  Regia 4 colour sock yarn that I’ve chosen is exactly letting this pattern stitch shine at it’s best, it’s still a fun and pretty project.  It didn’t take long to find a member of the family putting their hand up for this one!

Fair Isle continues

I think this is a pretty good effort for one week of non-concerted effort.  A tension square was absolutely necessary, especially in helping to select colours.  I’d initially chosen yarn colours from a webpage.  When I knitted up the tension square, I could see that a couple of them didn’t have enough contrast with the main colour.  So I went for a deeper version of those colours, and they’re working out really well.
All of the fair isle patterns I’m using have an odd number of rows, so the new colour starts at one end, and finishes at the other end.  Odd numbers of rows and stitches do seem to look better in a lot of designs.  Maybe that’s a standard thing with fair isle; I don’t know.  I suppose this means the ends will be woven in evenly along both sides, but I’m finding it a bit annoying.  I was thinking that having all the ends at one side would mean I could tie them off against each other.
The rib band wants to flip up, so I’ve had to weight it down with a couple of balls of yarn for the photo.
Both the Abundance Pullover and the Leafy Squares Fingerless Mitts are coming to the end of their test phase.  I’m hoping to have more news on them soon.
Exciting news:  I’ve had a design accepted with a magazine!  I’ll have to contain my excitement until June, when it will be published.

Venture into Fair Isle

The Fair Isle Pullover I mentioned in my previous post is now underway, as pictured.
It’s nice to see it at a distance like this.  When I’m knitting, I’m too close up to see how the pattern’s really looking.  Hmm.  Looks a bit narrow, now that I see it like this.  I’ll have to do another measure, to make sure its’s big enough.

My two current test knits which are underway, the Abundance Pullover and the Leafy Squares Fingerless Mitts, are coming along nicely.  One of each is finished, and they look great.  I’m not sure what to do with the pullover, as my testers are finding that it blocks bigger than it should.  When all are done, I’ll have to go over all the final measurements, and see if I can adjust the pattern to fix this.

Leafy Squares Fingerless Mitt – In test mode

My Leafy Squares Fingerless Mitts are up for test knitting at the moment.  They look very svelte.
I’ve had a couple of takers for test knitting already, and am hoping for just a couple more.  They don’t take long to knit, so I’m hoping the pattern will be all ready for release in a couple of weeks time.

As you can see by the shorts, it’s not really mitt wearing weather here at the moment.  But that doesn’t stop the knitting here, until my hands get sweaty.  Thankfully, it takes quite a lot of heat for that to happen to me.
In other news, I’ve just finished the calculations and rough writing up of a Fair Isle Pullover I’m desigining.  My tension square was interesting in helping work out which colours to use.  A couple that I’d chosen based on their colour on the computer screen, turned out to be too similar to my background colour when seen in real life.
I was desperate to get this written up, ready to start knitting at least by the end of this month, as I’ll be on camp for a little while and must have knitting.  It’s the ideal opportunity to get a lot done.

New Cowl Pattern Available – Hearts and Crosses cowl

My new Hearts and Crosses Cowl pattern is now available.
It’s a great way to practice your Fair Isle skills without having to knit a whole pullover. The carried threads of the Fair Isle really add warmth. Just what we want! I was a bit rusty, so it took a bit of practice for me to carry the threads loosely enough, no matter how hard I tried. Lightly pressing under a damp cloth got rid of those little stubborn bumps, and it looks lovely and smooth now.

The yarn I’ve used for the Fair Isle pattern is variegated and so has sparked up the whole look.

Hearts and Crosses Cowl
Knitting Pattern
Yarn suggested : Cleckheaton Country Naturals and Cleckheaton Country Prints or any other 8 ply/DK ply yarn
Gauge : 25 stitches = 4 inches in Fair Isle Stocking/Stockinette Stitch
Needle Size : 4mm circular needle 40cm (16 in)
Meterage : 140 mtrs / 155 yards Main Colour
65 mtrs / 70 yard Contrast Colour
This pattern is available to buy from Ravelry for $US 3.50