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Knittin' Gal
trials & tribulations
of a newbie knitter

Fair Isle...

Friday, August 19, 2005
It's been a while since I last wrote... what can I say? Life got in the way and has a strange way of turning in the blink of an eye. So here is a short update of what I've been doing on the knitting front.


Well, my hodge podge blankie is finally done AND in time for my dad's birthday. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the final product yet (will definitely take a picture when I do). My mum got a lady friend of hers to do the backing and apparently, it turned out very well. It was supposed to be ready by the 13th, heaps of time for my dad's birthday but it was only completed on the 16th... the day itself. Mum picked it up and snuck it into the house and spread it out on their bed when dad was getting ready for his birthday dinner. It was a nice surprise and very sweet of her!!


Since all the drama with the blankie i.e. only knitting and purling, I was in the mood to so some lace knitting!! So, I started the Cozy for my friend. I'd done one for her birthday in April but she didn't really care too much for the colour and I loved it (plus I was a little sad about giving away my first ever lace project) so I offered to do her another one. She picked the colour herself this time.





It was a breeze doing the Cozy this time round and truth be told, it was a little boring after a while. Well, I've almost finished it... just need to weave in the ends and send it to the cleaners before I hand it over.


After the Cozy, I started my Fair Isle Rug and progress on this hasn't been as quick as I had hoped it would be. I knew that it was going to be a challenge but how much of a challenge, I had NO IDEA! Believe you me, my left hand wasn't built to follow specific instructions from my brain. I KNOW what I am supposed to do but my left hand just doesn't seem to understand the signals coming from my brain. Knitting in continental style is a challenge and I can no longer watch telly whilst knitting... I am now listening to the telly as my eyes can't leave the knitting.


So, the BF got me the yarn for the rug when he was in NZ. As they didn't have the stock, they posted it to me and I recently realised that they stuffed my up order. They gave me two extra balls. Whether this was an honest mistake or they just wanted more business, I have no idea. But the fact that they forgot to send me the package until after I emailed them doesn't really work well in their favour. But on the other hand of things, they didn't have the needles I wanted but they gave me an extra pair to make up for it.


So anyways, I started my rug a few days ago. It took me a good two days to work out what I was supposed to do. I used three reference books to get an idea of what to do but that still didn't help. Thank gawd for Amy of knittinghelp.com. Laura pointed me to it. The knitting videos helped a lot! Learning how to knit from books isn't easy!!!


I tried a couple of times using some extra yarn I had and frustrating is an understatement!! My hands just wouldn't do what my brain was telling me. But after HEAPS of false starts, my "swatch" started taking shape:





Admittedly, it is a little short but by the time I got the hang of:

1. Knitting in the round and
2. Fair Isle knitting

I was sick of it! So I casted on for real and I am real glad that I did! The yarn I used for my swatch was just a little too soft and thin. The yarn that I am using for the rug is a little stiffer and thicker so it is heaps easier to work with.


So, my Fair Isle Rug is supposed to look like this:





It now looks like this:





A close up:





Knitting in the round... apparently, Fair Isle knitting was meant to be knitted in the round. This rug is being knitted in the round. To finish off the project, after I bind off, I am to cut the cords in the middle, to make the fringe. Interesting huh? But it is a pain to work with and is so easy to forget to wind the yarn around the needles on every row. Here's a look at the mess that is growing on my needles:





I've finished the first colour repeat and for some strange reason, I have heaps of extra yarn left over. I am using smaller needles though (7mm as opposed to the recommended 8mm) but I didn't think it would make THAT much of a difference. The pattern suggests that I should have finished 2 balls of yarn per colour repeat. After finishing the first repeat, I still have 1.25 balls of the blue left over. I might have enough for two rugs! Or I may just rip it out and make the rug wider. It is a little smaller than I had pictured it to be. Decisions, decisions, decisions... *sigh*.
4:48 pm :: ::
19 Comments:
  • Looks great! Good on ya Jackie. Go go go! :D

    By Blogger Laura.Y, at 4:55 pm  
  • Wow, good luck!! It looks like a complicated pattern, but it's gorgeous anyway ;)...I'm talking about the rug here..

    By Blogger yuvee, at 11:35 pm  
  • Oh wow. What a cool use for wrapped steeks! These colours are beautiful too!

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  • Can you tell me where I can find the pattern for that rug? It is lovely and you did a great job. grumbles

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