Another successful day, knitting-wise.
I’m decreasing for the toe of the second Whiskey Barrel sock – nearly done. The new skein makes a distinct break from the old one, but fortunately the line will be hidden well within the wearer’s shoe. Such breaks are a danger, with madtosh.
I got my five rows of Uncia done. I would have liked to add a sixth, so as to start today with a wrong-side row. They’re easier. But it’s wiser not to press on when tired (which I am, most of the time).
And I added another point to the edging of the Hansel Hap. I would have liked to get a bit further forward with that, too, but bedtime beckoned. Prince Albert has still not appeared, although much discussed. The Queen has offered her heart and hand to Lord Melborne but he has sensibly declined them.
The big knitting news of the last two days has been the arrival of two books – “A Shetlander’s Fair Isle Graph Book”, from Jamieson & Smith; and the Feral Knitter’s “The Joy of Color”.
The Shetland Guild of Spinners etc set about to publish a book of members’ Fair Isle designs, a companion to their brilliant lace book. Then one of the group remembered that she had two Fair Isle graph books, given her by the son of the knitwear manager for Anderson & Co (a broker, still there in Lerwick, which bought knitters’ work and sold it on). She was a lace knitter herself, and had forgotten about them.
They are enchanting. Page after page of Fair Isle patterns, broad and narrow, carefully coloured in on graph paper. There is an introduction by Carol Christiansen, the revered curator of textiles at the Shetland Museum.
Interestingly, on an early page there is a row of swastikas. It is a Hindu symbol of good fortune. I have used it myself, in lace, knitting shawls for the Little Boys. But I have never seen it before on Shetland. Christiansen says in the introduction that it doesn’t appear in Shetland knitwear after 1934 – which probably helps date the pattern book. (My father’s mother had a little silver spoon with good-luck symbols: a rabbit’s foot, a four-leafed clover, a swastika. Striking, to a child – me – seeing it during the war.)
The Guild is still working on that book of members' Fair Isle patterns, you'll be glad to hear.
“The Joy of Color” is another self-published book, and another triumph. It’s not a pattern book, but a distillation of the workshops Janine Bajus – the Feral Knitter -- teaches on how to design your own Fair Isle. Meg herself contributes a forward.
I haven’t yet progressed beyond the chapter on colour, and am, as usual, feeling bogged down in shades and tones and colour wheels, as I do even when Franklin tries to help in his Craftsy class. I’ll report further.