Just in case you wondered.
Stephanie asked in the comments:
Do you ever feel that AS’s designs are just too big and boxy? I love her patterns and colors, but just can’t get motivated to make something so wide and rectangular. Would I be nuts to try to remove a couple of pattern repeats?
There’s no reason why you couldn’t alter a pattern to suit you.
Some of the AS designs are large and boxy, even for me, who likes ‘em large and boxy. Happily, though, Mara is not one of those. The pattern has directions for three sizes and I’m making the middle one, which is about 42″ around.
And Mara has shaped armholes as well, so it’s not as boxy as some fair isles. Witness:
This is the start of the armhole shaping and steeks. You decrease on each side of the steeks for a number of rows, then every other row for a few more. I’m into the “every other row” part now.
And at the same time, I am decreasing every third row for the v-neck.
So, you have to keep track of where you are in the chart in several different places, as there are “holes” in the knitting for all this shaping. But it’s not really difficult. The chart pattern is pretty easy to follow, so you can see clearly where you are from what you did on the previous row.
As for recommendations for first fair isles, does anyone have any suggestions? I say to pick one you like and go for it. My first “real” fair isle was Alice Starmore’s Wave Cardigan, which, by the way, I substituted yarn for. Going by the picture in the book, I subbed Harrisville shetland for the Jamieson & Smith called for. I think it turned out pretty good.
That’s a photo of my Wave Cardigan from a blog entry from December 2002 — you can tell it’s an old photo because Izzy is in the picture. Awwwwwwww!
This segues nicely into a question from Priscilla:
I know from reading your blog entries that you often buy yarn online. Do you ever feel that the color of the yarn you bought is different than how it is presented on the site? Just curious because I have been avoiding buying yarn online because I never know if I am getting the exact color I want.
Short answer? Yes.
Sometimes it’s a bit of a surprise when yarn I ordered online arrives, as the color is different in real life from its photo online. Yeah, it’s a gamble.
I do, however, have color cards for a number of different yarns, and use them when ordering online.
The Other Knitting
Yep, still working on my sock in the oh-so alluring Falcon’s Eye colorway. I finished turning the heel on the train this morning, and decided to do something lacy on the leg.
This is “Fern Lace.” For those of you with the 365 Knitting Stitches a Year perpetual calendar, the pattern is “July 28.”
I think I like it, but I need a bit more progress to be sure.
There was a question in the recent past about what toe construction I use — I use a crochet chain and do a provisional cast-on, and execute a short-row toe. Always. I’ve tried the other methods, but what I really like about the method I use is that you are using two needles until you have the entire toe completed. I find it much easier to work on the fiddly little bits with two needles, rather than four.
Would you just put the freaking camera away and feed me? Sheesh!