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A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Location: Texas

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blocking Fair Isle

Basted both sides of the button band closed to help it uncurl and to support the cardigan during blocking. I used a smooth sock yarn to make it easier to take out later. Gave it a nice warm bath with just a bit of dishwashing liquid. Rinsed in warm water. No agitation, no wringing, no direct pouring of water onto the wool. After all this I'm not about to risk felting it. Rolled it in towels a couple of times to remove the extra water and then strung it up on the wooly board. Foam board cut to shape is a good alternative - but the wooly board sure is nice to have! Being an open framework, the air can flow through and the cardigan dries much faster. Other alternative is to pin it out on a padded surface to the dimensions needed.

Final details on this tomorrow!

Mail Call!

My Frangipani gansey yarn got here yesterday. That's fast service from Jan in Cornwall. This yarn color is well-named - Claret is a deep wine color, just what I was looking for.

Traditional fisher ganseys are knit very tightly with this 5-ply yarn so I'm probably going to use a 2.25 or 2.5mm needle to get the effect (and gauge) I want. Gauge should be 7 or 8 stitches to the inch.

I'm writing my own design and using Michael Pearson's Traditional Knitting book for inspiration. The only break with tradition will probably be with the neckline (maybe - I haven't decided yet). I may put in a placket and collar instead of the usual plain ribbed crew neck.

This got here, too! That's 800 yards of 100% cashmere 2-ply laceweight from Jojoland. I cast on last night - it is totally yummy. I'm debating whether to post progress photos of this, since it is for gifts. I'll decide later.

The lace patterns I got from the same source are very nice, but aren't charted. I spent some time charting both of them using Stitch Maker so I wouldn't go insane trying to follow the line-by-line instructions. Guess I'm spoiled - so many designers use both the line-by-line instructions and charts, or charts only. At first I found charts confusing, but now they're much easier for me to follow.

Only thing I'm waiting on now is the Shetland yarn for my swatching exercises. I've been working on my Pictish Fair Isle design; the main design is fine, I just keep fiddling with the background design that goes with it. I'm also fiddling with the dimensions and general shape; this is the more non-traditional of my two Fair Isle designs and I'm trying for a definite look.

The bottom of the jacket, the sleeves and the front and neck openings will be faced rather than having bands and I'm wanting a v-neck that echoes part of the central design. I'm debating whether to use a drop shoulder or a more fitted shaped sleeve....The fitted sleeves will probably look better (but require more arithmetic to figure out, darn.)


Blogger Marina said...

Are we going to get the modelled pic tomorrow? Do I keep my praises for then?

So tempted to buy the cashmere even though no one here deserves it! Lovely color.

Hey, "line-by-line instructions" are the only way I can knit, even Fair Isle!

5:58 PM  
Blogger Holly Jo said...

I love that you knit such "traditional" type knits. I am going to check out the Pearson's book. The cashmere is DIVINE.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Brigitte said...

Fearless looks great! I'm with Marina, I want to see a modeled shot.

That cashmere is wonderful! Only I'd have to put up a force field around me so that the cats wouldn't get too close while I worked it. I'd never get them off!

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Rebekah said...

I think I'm going to have to invest in a wooly board one of these days.

It looks wonderful by the way, love the buttons you picked out.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful sweater, and what a perfect shade of red!
I am still working on your sock (frogged it a couple times, changed has been a tempermental lil sock!)
Anyways, I just wanted you to know I am out here working on it. :-)

11:21 AM  
Blogger Lorraine The Knitting Hammy said...

Cynthia- Fearless is a great success and blocked out beautifully.
I can't wait to see what the gansey yarn becomes- I'm also partial to a placket and buttons design.
And a new FI- wow!

10:46 AM  
Blogger sillyewe said...

Wow, Fearless DOES look great. And that color of red is just beautiful-just the perfect shade of red. I can't wait to see it become a design.

4:14 PM  

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