And I’m happily knitting along on Frida.
Meanwhile, Lucy is helping with the laundry.
Yes! More Q&A!
Will you post or link to the baby blanket pattern your new knitter is using?
The pattern is here. But as I said, I’m eliminating the knitted on lace border and rewriting it to add a garter stitch border all around.
Hey, where didja get the cool Wallace and Gromit clock?
I got it off eBay a few years back, I think from a seller in the UK. It’s battery run, and the alarm plays the Wallace & Gromit theme song, and the figures move. Shaun even goes “baaaaa!”
I’m such a child.
Ahem. The second part of Angie’s question:
I have noticed when you are making something with a large gauge (say a booga bag, bucket hat, or the multi-directional scarf) it seems to take much longer than your gorgeous multi-color, teeny-needle sweaters. Is it because you don’t work on the large gauge item as much or do large needles truly slow you down?
All those projects are done only on the train going to work (and sometimes a bit at lunchtime if I have a chance) so I spend far less time on them. Hence the longer time to complete.
From whence did all your knowledge of steek-i-ness come from? The part about 4 or 5 stitches per side still eludes me- they’re not formally part of the color pattern, are they?
My steek knowledge? I picked it up in the streets. No, seriously, it’s just stuff I picked up along the way, from all the fair isle patterns I’ve done. The Alice Starmore fair isle book (now out-of-print) has great steek explanations, as I recall.
A “whole” steek is usually about 10 stitches — 1 edge stitch which is always worked in the background color, 8 steek stitches, which are worked alternating the two colors, and 1 edge stitch in the background color. When you cut the steek down the center, you have 5 stitches each side of the cut edge. You pick up your stitches for the sleeve (or the collar, or the front band, depending on which steek you are working with) between the edge stitch and the first pattern stitch.
Another steek question from Lisa:
Just a few rows into my first Fair Isle (Rosemarkie from The Celtic Collection) inspired largely due to your incredible knitting and your blog! I am feeling a little stressed out because my steek stitches don’t appear to be as tight as yours look in your tutorials. I am trying to reassure myself that I am still only 3 or 4 rows in and not to freak out…..but should I be concerned about this?
No, no, don’t freak out.
Are you getting the gauge called for in the pattern? Yes? Then worry not. Photographs can be deceiving anyhow. If your gauge is correct and everything else looks good, you’re okay. And besides, the first couple of rows of a steek always look a bit smarmy, I think.
Yet another steek question, from Kristin:
When you are knitting a pullover, how do you handle the ends BEFORE you get to the steek portion of the armholes and what do you do with all the ends on the sleeves?
I know you mentioned that you knot instead of weave. If you’re using Shetland wool, do you just knot and cut the ends or do you still weave them in after knotting? I’ve been knotting on Luskentyre, but I’ve held off of doing anything with the ends.
At the beginning/ending of the round, I knot them, using a square knot. And trim them. No fuss, no muss!
And Chandra asked:
I have an “over and under” question for you. When I started doing fair isle, I recall seeing a lot of instructions stressing the importance of always having the lighter color come underneath the darker, or vice versa, but I’m not sure what the point of this is. I can see in intarsia where it would be important, to prevent your motifs from becoming separate little potholders.
But in fair isle, it doesn’t seem to make any difference that I can see. Which color is over or under in any given row for me depends on where that ball of yarn is in my organizing box. Do you know why this over/under business is important in fair isle?
I always carry my background color on top and my foreground color on the bottom. Always always always. The way you hold your yarns affects the way the pattern “pops out” so you always want to be consistent. The difference is very subtle, but there is a difference, so you wanna be consistent in what you do.
New Haircut Girl!
My trip to the ritzy salon was a success!