Sunday, March 12, 2017

Today was quite productive on the knitting front. I finished the first of the long seams on the half-brioche sweater, enabling me to try it on, after a fashion. I think it’s going to fit rather well. I have embarked on the second seam. It’s slow work. I’m doing something between mattress stitch and a simple overcast.

I got a bit anxious about not having any actual knitting to hand – unusually, I don’t even have a pair of socks on the go. My Tannehill swatch has emerged from the wash, so I took gauge from it again (virtually unchanged) and then ran the figures through the Sweater Wizard and printed out a pattern for my husband’s plain-vanilla v-neck sweater. And cast it on. The SW is an excellent program – it’s a pity nobody has picked it up and run with it. It’s a pity computers keep changing all the time and rendering good programs obsolete. Like the British Quicken.

It is a great pleasure, knitting with madtosh DK.  I showed my husband the swatch, and he thoroughly approves of “Tannehill”. And I’ve got plenty. It’s been discontinued, so that’s an important fact. (The Sweater Wizard estimates how much you’ll need.) So we’re set fair.  

I’ve gone on thinking about Fair Isle. I can’t knit Alexander his vest without the Calcutta Cup, but I can knit a swatch-scarf and at the moment, fully intend to do so. I might even make it long enough to give to him, thus using up all the yarn. I’ll keep the ball bands carefully. Here is my yarn:

And here it is with the iPad’s “tonal” mask applied. I still don’t know what that achieves:

I think my plan for the immediate future, once the half-brioche is finished, will be to have my husband’s sweater as No. One WIP, with perhaps two days a week for frivolity: either Mary Lou’s baby sweater, or the swatch-scarf.

I wish I had asked Hazel Tindall exactly how she knits. I know that a knitting belt is always involved, and I suspect, from something she said, that she knits on three needles rather than four (or five). So knitting a sock would be exactly the same as knitting a sweater, except that she’d finish a needle and have to switch over much sooner. I’ve got her knitting video but have never watched much of it. Some of the answer may well be there.

I’ve also got Meg’s Fair Isle Vest video and have never even unwrapped it.

I have been surprised, going carefully back through “A Shetlander’s Fair Isle Graph Book”, to see that a great many of the patterns change both colours in the same row. I thought that was never done. Hazel said that she prefers not to.


  1. Great tonal photo. The idea is that but looking at the tonals, you can see which colors will have a good contrast so that the pattern will show from a distance. If the colors are too much the same in tonal, you won't really be able to see the designs. In your case, it looks like you can pair just about any of the yarns on the left with one on the right and have a good match.

  2. Alice Starmore's FI sweaters have, many times, exchanged both colors in a round. Since I have mostly knitted her designs, I have done this many times although it is usually done with colors that are slightly darker or lighter...only a shade different sometimes.

  3. Echoing Joni's comment - in this case you wouldn't want Fair Isle with only the colors on the left. It wouldn't show up. I posted some pictures on my blog today of the same problem in a log cabin blanket, not enough contrast.

  4. As someone who never knits other people's patterns (I am too lazy)I find the Sweater Wizard extremely useful. I worry that it will eventually fail to work for some reason because it is so much nicer and faster than doing the maths myself!