Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something to aspire to.

Wow! Day Six of Knit & Crochet Blog Week (2KCBWDAY6) and I'm still here! If you listen carefully, you might be able to hear the sound of hell freezing over. I'm pretty surprised I've made it this far. Today's post is about aspiration, and for me, the technique I most want to try is Fair Isle. There are a few reasons I haven't attempted a full-on Fair Isle project.

Firstly, there's my indecision about which project to start with. The Christmas before last, my mother-in-law gave me a gift card to Joann's, which burned such a hole in my pocket, I had to spend it right away on the reissued Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting. Every last one of the projects is one I want to try, especially the Water Lillies jacket. I also like the girl's sweater & tam, as well as the boy's scarf & mitten set. See what I'm talking about?

Secondly, there's a problem with sizing, specifically that patterns (especially those from the time the book was written) just aren't written for women of my size. It must be 18 months ago that I began to try to adapt the Water Lillies Chart to fit me. It was not easy. In fact, it was so Not Easy, that the project has been hibernating for some time. I had even used colored pencils on some special knitting graph paper to chart one of the fronts of the cardigan. It looked lovely on paper. I had even taken the time to write out the instructions for a cardigan to fit me, based on the stated pattern gauge, from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. I wrote a lot.

Thirdly, there was the question of the yarn. I really want to use Jamieson & Smith 2-ply to knit it. That will certainly involve my ordering it online, which is a dicey proposition, as color is so difficult to judge on a computer's monitor. Which is why I actually ordered a shade card from the folks at J&S (they're currently sold out) for something like 5.99GBP. I'm also concerned about my gauge, which will make a difference in the charts, so I really need to do some swatching. I will probably end up ordering a ball of each color I want to use and do my best with the charts. I'm a little afraid of how expensive a project it will be for me to make myself a Fair Isle cardigan. I'm not a small woman.

And the last thing that's kept me from Fair Isle knitting: steeks. The mere idea of taking a pair of shears to my knitting makes me want to pee my pants. Seriously. I've heard from those who've done it that it's not so bad, but I'm not sure I believe them. They're nice people, my friends, but it may be that I have some Trust Issues in this regard. Maybe I can work my swatch in such a way that I can do a steek without throwing up.

So there it is. I aspire, one day, to complete a Fair Isle project. I'm not sure what or when it will be, but I suppose the best plan will be to start small and work toward my epic cardigan. Until next time, Friends.

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