Julie knits and writes and knits.

Archive for fair isle

Twin Fair Isle Sampler Vests

At last!

Finally finished these little buggers...

The short version: Started a small child’s vest. The child outgrew the vest before I could finish it. Then I realized I did have another child coming up who would fit it…. but this child had a twin sibling…. Reasonable people have stopped following this story…

We pick up half-way through the second vest before discovering that the yarn brand has been discontinued, and the red yarn, in particular hard to find, but finally found it through good old (I wouldn’t complete anything without

And so, at last, these babies went off with their Lala to my great-niece and great-nephew in Pittsburgh today. Very fun little projects. Maybe if my desk clears, I’ll fix the currently-imperfect Stitch-Painter paper pattern, below, though there should be enough in this schematic for you Fair Isle Freaks to go by if you want to reproduce one for yourself.

I really got a kick out of the huge difference in gauge between my first vest– my first Fair Isle project, and the second, several projects into my knitting life. I actually decreased the second vest by one full medallion in circumference (doesn’t match up nicely in the pattern that way, so I don’t recommend this if you’re taking it on.), but it ended up matching the first vest in width, perfectly. I’ve loosened up that much! Crimey!

I used these color patterns, but not the exact decreases to make these vests. See below...

This vest knits up to about a size 4T. I used Digit (which is JaggerSpun 2/8 Heather), and would do it again in a proper Shetland Jamieson’s.

I started decreasing for the neck and the armpits at the same time, actually, choosing a centerpoint of a medallion for the v-neck’s center stitch. Put 12 stitches on yarn holders at each armpit, 1 stitch on holder at neck. Backward-cast-on 5-stitch steeks at each armpit and neck, then decreasing 1 st. every other row at each side of each armpit, and one stitch every third row on each side of the v-neck.  All of that is to say, I ignored the whole top of the pattern except it reminded me to be careful to keep my medallions aligned as I knit on up the steeks. Shoulders are joined using three-needle bind-off on the outside, having ended the work in the middle of a gold perie pattern.

I locked the steeks in place using slip-stitched crochet before cutting them. They are barely tacked into place using just the threads that needed to be worked into the work. Blocking the vests already had those little steeked facings sticking nicely in place. That would be more the case if you used a real shetland wool, which I would do next time. The merino is soft and pretty, but it doesn’t hold as strongly as a proper shetland would.

Right. There’s another set of twins in my future. I think they’re getting blankets, though. Safer….


Twin Fair Isle Sampler Vests

Posted via email from JuJu

This is how the knitting fates will get you…

Recall this project from, well, ever so very long ago? A cute little project that started out normally enough. Coneived to be a fair isle sampler of peries and medallions in a lot of fun colors of a size big enough and construction complex enough to get a really good feel for traditional Fair Isle knitting. So I knew, before investing in a larger project, whether this sort of thing would work for me, or not.

I targeted a nice young man to receive the results of this little experiment. And then the project…. lagged. Not because I didn’t love it. I do love it, but because other knitting, as it will, jumped to the front of the line. By the time I cut the steeks and added the arm and neck ribbing, the child had outgrown the vest by… oh… 3 years or so.

Luckily, there are always new babies around. The right kid at the right size in our family happens to be a twin…. so… the second Fair Isle Sampler Vest is screaming along, really trying to make it before the two-year-old twins turn four.

Meantime, the yarn has been discontinued. More or less. But good hearts at Ravelry saved me there.

I think I will make it, puling off the second vest in a month or so if knitting, and clearing the size 3 needles for the next project. One inspired by the Atlantic and granite and fog:

Say, want to keep up with this? I’ve just added the new WordPress email subscription feature, right there in the next column at the tippy top. Subscribe, and you’ll get the posts as I add them, sporadically, sure, but, you know… as they come…

Peacefleece Tunic Update

So close…

Barb modeling

Barb modeling

Here is Barb modeling the Peacefleece Tunic. It’s come a long way from its beginning... which was just a bunch of yarn in my stash and a sketch:

Peacefleece sketch

Peacefleece sketch

Of course it’s a Zimmerman yoke sweater with lots of modifications. I am not happy with the neckline, which I’ll rip back, bring in more closely, and work up the standing collar in a color pattern, as I had envisioned it. It’ll be a bit tricky to work those patterns, but I’ll figure something out.

Once again, I’ve knit the hems, and everyone at my knitting sleepover likes the idea of the brown rolls showing rather than stitching the hems back. We’ll see.

Here my friend Barb is modeling the thing, because, my hips are not the same size as they were when I started this sweater. That’s a problem. I’ve contemplated steeking slits into the sides, etc., but it looks so great on Barb, that I’m thinking I’ll take the Zimmerman high road here… This tunic fits her the way it was supposed to fit SOMEBODY… right? So maybe it’s Barb’s.

On the other hand, I’m redoubling my intention to meet my goal of getting in the pool every morning….

Let’s see how long it takes me to make that neckline look the way it should… If you have any brilliant ideas for this project, I’d love to hear them!

Bad Blogger catching up

Bad blogger, bad blogger, bad blogger. I won’t make excuses. There has been knitting. Plenty. And I’ve been *thinking* of making a record of it. But it takes having pressing deadlines at work and a looming income tax deadline to really give me the procrastinator’s push to spend my time blogging about knitting instead of meeting deadlines. Makes sense, right?

So a fast roundup of progress shots, many of them fuzzy, and then I swear I’m going to post about the adorable twins and their tomtens. Soon, soon.

I have too many projects going. Have had. For some time now. And so I’m determined to get them off the needles, or many of them, anyway, before I cast on this, which has been calling to me for ages now. Doesn’t help that my friend Lorilee cast one on and off in about a minute and a half last month. Still, it’s going to be so good. I know it. A good reward for finishing some stuff. So it’ll have to wait.

I finished these socks, which still strike me as a waste of Koigu, but I never worked up the gumption to frog them and do something more Koigu-worthy. They are comfortable, and handmade, and mine. And off the needles.

Started and finished ANOTHER zeebee one evening when I was feeling put out about my rule of not casting anything new on until I finished other things. Sorry for the fuzz photo. The yarn is a scrumptions hand-spun collected during a Hello Yarn spree awhile back. Take my word for its beauty. The sort of yarn you can fall into, get lost in.

Another project I started after vowing, profoundly, not to start another, is a new take on my ipod mittens, which I now think of as iPhone mittens (hee!), this time with a gussetted thumb and the prettiest Regia sock yarn… again a fuzzy mess of a photo, but a better photo shoot is coming…

Here’s a project I started BEFORE the boycott. It’s the Vogue anniversary scarf by Nicki Epstein, which I thought would be a challenge for me, but turns out to be so darn easy it’s deadly dull. This is meeting knitting, but not quite mindless enough to be TV knitting. And I knit in so few meetings that… it’s taking awhile…

Now here’s some juice, though, on three projects I’ve designed and feel enough love for that they’re taking too long just because I spend a fair amount of time just petting them…

Here is Shoddy, my daughter’s mohair t-shirt. Nearly done. We need to decide how to treat the neckline, whether to keep the funnel I’ve knitted or cut it down into a scoop, or go bateau, or what. Mohair will let you decide. Here’s the Shoddy Flickr set that will let you see the work in progress…

I started this little guy a good while ago to see how I felt about Fair Isle in a more traditional Shetland wool… Also to play with my new Cochenille software. I feel good about both. Quite good. We’re nearly close on this. A bit under motivated, because I’ll miss it when it’s gone, and because the little man it was intended for has outgrown it. Sigh. Flickr set here.

And the Peacefleece Tunic has been seriously languishing, but I have no idea why. Why? I suspect it’s because of the little vest. I like working color at that smaller gauge a whole lot better than with big, clunky yarn. When the color work is done, and I can proceed with a nice mindless bunch of in-the-round knitting, I’m sure it’ll go pretty fast…

Ummm… oh, there is another scarf, er.. two, that haven’t made it under a camera’s lens… Now the question… How many of these things must I finish before getting to the Hemlock? Hmm? Anyone?

Momma loves her new software

I knew I wouldn’t get much further on the little fair isle sampler vest until I got out and loaded and learned the Cochenille knitting software I’ve been sitting on for a couple of months. Tonight was my night. Amazingly easy to use, with much learning still to do, I plunged ahead to grid out the little vest so I could get back to work on it. So glad I did. It will still require some fudging about, since the vest is worked in the round, but I’ll fix the chart as I go and then upload the finals. Just having the palette and grid in front of me helped me plan out the finish of this little guy, avoiding all sorts of problems I would have had if I’d kept winging it…

Hooked on fair isle

Hooked on fair isleOriginally uploaded by juju&jackPardon the terrible phone photo, but wanted to share what I’ve been doing on vacation. Frogged my start at this to eliminate a pinky beige that did not play well with other colors. Using Nancy’s knit knacks Digit yarns I’ve had stashed for more latvian mitts to try out some Starmore charts just to see if I would enjoy the process. On boy I’m hooked. Will be stocking up on the J&S now. So much to learn….


It’s that blessed day. And to celebrate, I’d like to show off a few Jollyfish Hats that have been showing up around the globe as devoted FSMrs, pastafarians, or just people who like anorectic fish prepare their vestments for the coming of his noodliness.

Germany — The first hat to surface into our view is Carola-made, and featured here before, but bears repeating, here is Piratenfischmütze on Oliver:

We worry only that this pirate may post watch one day, in which case, perhaps, oh, never mind…

IRELAND — Rosknit brings us this beautiful example from Ireland, where the seas are rough and the pirates are rougher. For her grandson:

AFRICA — The Truly amazing, we bow before her, wicked geeky geologist Rockcosy’s DOUBLEKNITTED IN THE ROUND (horror!) Version. Yes, friends, she is reversible:

How can you not love the little white star at the top? Eh?

Keep up the good work, friends. The globe’s not going to cool off without you, and when it does, you’ll be ready.