Yay! First arm finished in under a week! In what I can see is going to be an increasingly hard task of finding interesting ways of photographing this project, here’s the sleeve on one of my Victorian handmade quilts.
Going to bed now. Too much happy juice – I blame Anne.
I’m loving my Autumn Rose – it’s such as satisfying project to work on. The colours are luscious, and watching them come together row by row is really lovely.
I started the sleeve using the magic loop method with a Pyrm 100cm circular needle. These are not my favourite needles, as I find the cord too inflexible, but it was the only 100cm 3mm needle that I had. Having re-read Eunny Jang’s tips for Fair Isle knitting, I noticed that she said it was much easier to maintain an even tension with wooden needles rather than metal. So, last night I swapped over to a set of 3mm double pointed Brittany needles. I deliberately haven’t tried any harder to make it better, as I wanted to see whether there was a noticeable difference. But, guess what? My tension consistency has immediately improved!
Something else I have changed is the dominant colour. In the first cross-hatch section I had port red as the dominant colour, and sage as the background colour. I didn’t like the result, so on the next repeat I swapped and made sage the dominant colour. This is the first repeat:
And this is the second one:
Can you see the difference? (Go a bit crossed eyed – you’ll see it then!) It’s subtle, but makes the sage look more crisp and coherent. If you are doing colour-work with two hands, you want the dominant colour to be coming from underneath the background colour, when seen from the back of the work. This makes the stitches very slightly bigger, and therefore dominant. In practice this means holding the dominant yarn in your left hand. If you are holding both yarns in one hand, then the yarn that is held furthest away from the needle will be the dominant one.
The thing is, my stitches are always squashed.
That is to say, if I get the correct number of stitches per inch for the specified gauge, I will have too many rows per inch, and if I get the correct number of rows per inch, I will have too few stitches per inch.
If a pattern instruction is to knit until the work measures a certain length then fine, my squashed stitches aren’t too much of a problem. But there are certain kinds of garment where row gauge is critical: namely, those that have raglan sleeves, are a Fair Isle pattern, or where the entire piece is charted and the chart dictates the finished length. Autumn Rose ticks all of these boxes, which means I really need to get it right. Continue reading
Here’s my swatch (more on that later):
I love how my colours work in the ‘wheel’ part of the pattern. But I’m not so keen on the top bit. The problem, I think, is that the sage and raspberry just blur into one another, giving the impression of a generally pinky stripe. It’s quite a nice pinky stripe, and if it wasn’t for the wheel bit it could work well. Continue reading
I love Autumn Rose: the Fair Isle pattern and the modern, flattering shaping are sublime. But the colours are just not me. It’
s quite tricky substituting colours on a design that incorporates eleven different ones and, frankly, uses them so well. I started thinking about colours that I wear a lot, and dragged various items out of my wardrobe. After some playing I came up with this combination:
I love all of these colours, and I wear them all. I think the combination looks great; I like the almost-complimentary lime and purple, and think the teal goes well with both. My next step was to get a shade card from Jamieson’s of Shetland, and to pull a strand off for each of the ‘original’
colours: Continue reading