Monday, April 19, 2010

Knitting bits

    Started to teach myself to knit Continental style as opposed to English style - the way I was taught as a girl. So far it is slow and my tension is all over the place.  I am told it is actually faster to knit this way, but I think I need a bit more practice!  I want to try a small piece of Fair Isles knitting before summer's end - just a scarf or hat to get the feel for the style. I am told knowing how to knit Continental style will facilitate keeping my yarns from tangling. I must admit I have never been fond of Fair Isles sweaters - that is, until I started reading Alice Starmore's books and patterns.  The woman is such an artist - using incredibly complex palettes to make gorgeous knitwear.  I still am not certain I would have the stick-to-it-ness to knit one of her sweaters, but I might - one never knows.  My real goal for the year is to knit an Aran style fisherman's sweater.
     Years ago, when I was 14 or so, my godmother - a true Irishwoman - had one made for me when she was in Ireland. She had wanted to bring one back for me from the time I was very small, but my mother kept putting her off, saying it was too expensive for me to outgrow.  Finally she gave me the sweater she had had made for me.  It was gorgeous and I have treasured it for more years than I care to admit.  Due to the loose style of this sweater, I can still put it on - and I could wear it if 3/4 sleeves were popular in this style sweater.  My son has worn this sweater.  My daughter is the latest owner of this wonderful garment, and in a few years, I am certain it will be passed down to my youngest child.
      So now I am going to try to create my own fisherman's sweater.  It will be my big knitting challenge for the year - heck,  it might be the challenge of the decade -  because, you see, I have never even knitted a cable, much less some of the bobbles and cross patterns involved in this sweater.  But, if one does not set challenges for oneself how would we ever grow?

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