Sunday, September 29, 2013

I still have a couple of rounds of k1p1 to do on the Milano, but I’ve wound the next two skeins. The pattern alternates 2-round and 8-round stripes. Maybe the thing is to wind a skein a day for awhile.

I’ve looked out Meg’s Fair Isle vest – it’s in the Fall, ’97, Knitter's, which turns out to be a well-thumbed issue from the glory days of Nancy Thomas’ editorship.

Back to Shetland

There we were in Jamieson & Smith. And a surprise – Kate Davies gave me the kit for her Rams and Yowes blanket for my 80th birthday, and I was presented with it on the spot. (I don’t mean that she was there – but the kit was.)

I will knit it as a blankie for Jenni’s and Theo’s new son. He’s due in little over a month now, in early November. I won’t have it ready by then, nor even for Christmas, but I must start soon so as to finish before he turns 21.

Oliver Henry said something in the little encounter I mentioned yesterday, about how much Gladys Amedro had done for the firm. She was the first to make fine lace knitting accessible, and the demand for cobweb yarn shot up. I imagine Kate Davies is having somewhat the same effect. More so, perhaps, because her patterns use a greater weight of yarn and are more quickly knit.

As well as the new Fair Isle yarn mentioned yesterday, J&S now does a “Shetland Supreme 1-ply lace”. I used their cobweb for my first venture into fine lace –Amedro’s “Cobweb Lace Wrap” for Rachel’s 40th birthday. That was a fair while ago. I found it rather fragile, and switched to Heirloom Knitting and their very fine plyed lace yarns. Italian, I think.

But Shetland Supreme appears stronger. It’s got a nice halo. I feel a hankering to get back to lace knitting. Perhaps I’ll have to assign different projects to different days of the week, Judy-Sumner-fashion.

Then Kristie persuaded me – it wasn’t difficult – to buy the yarn for Kate Davies’ “Northmavine Hap” from her "Colours of Shetland" book. We learned, by the way, always to refer to a hap as a hap, never as a “hap shawl”.

So I’ve got plenty of knitting.

I bought a squashy bag to carry it all in. Flybe accepted it as carry-on luggage the next day, with a bit of grumbling.

In the afternoon we visited the Croft House Museum – absolutely fascinating. Life must be hard on Shetland, even now, and until very recently it must have been very much harder. The croft house is two rooms (plus another for the cows), no water and of course no electricity. A peat fire on the hearth, and that was it. It was inhabited until the 1960’s. And from such a setting would issue knitting to dazzle the world.

And then we found Doreen Brown and the Shetland Knitwear collection. She’s the one who knit the sweaters for the ponies. 


  1. skeindalous12:33 PM

    Was glad to hear that you are thinking of beginning Rams and Yowes. It is a very satisfying knit. It took the advice of one of your readers and pulled out my attempt to graft the loops from the last row of the border directly to the loops of the first row. Never liked the spindly look that had. Have bound off the last border row, and am now stitching THAT edge as the hem. Far more tailored and firm.

  2. What a lovely birthday present :-)
    I have plans (someday) to make a Northmavine Hap, enjoy yours

  3. My friends in Manhattan tell me the very fitted look is on the way out, and styles like the Relax are cutting edge. You are a fashion plate after all.

  4. Duly noted about calling it a "hap", not a "hap shawl". So glad I titled my design "Hap-py" rather than "Hap-py Shawl". I've so enjoyed following your Shetland adventures :)