Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hang on folks, I'm taking this blog on a sharp shift of topic.

I decided a long time ago to knit a traditional fair isle sweater for a friend who's a sharp, if dated, dresser. I'm finally getting around to it: I purchased Alice Starmore's book of Fair Isle Knitting along with another couple of books, and found the next piece of inspiration I needed:

Prince of Wales fair isle jumper

This is HRH the Prince of Wales in about 1921, painted by John St. Helier Lander. The prince is wearing a fair isle sweater. It's been recreated before, but I'm still enjoying using it as inspiration.

My friend lives in San Diego, so I need to make it a vest. My next step was to take his measurements:

Sketch of dimensions

And try to design the actual stitch pattern.

Sketch of PoW fair isle

I wasn't very satisfied with the usefulness of using markers. It just feels so far from the way the yarn looks. At least I learned not to use very much light blue in the background, if any, because it makes the background much less fawn-coloured than it ought to be. I also found out how many rows the pattern would be, and at the row gauge I expected, calculated that I could get 5 vertical repeats of the pattern. That's not quite as much as I'd like so I may delete a couple rows (the top and bottom row of the large pattern.

I also ordered a bunch of Jamison and Smith yarn for the project. I ordered the Winterberry Ladies Slipover kit, as well as a bunch of extra pale colours. Oh and I ordered another kit to make for myself later.

As I waited for the Jamison and Smith to arrive, I purchased a couple natural-coloured balls of Elemental Affects yarn. There's not as many colours and certainly not as many heathered yarns, but if I need some I should be able to mix both brands. I used the Elemental Affects to make preliminary swatches, which I'll take pictures of for the next post.

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