One last bit of The Shetland Experience
In making my booking with FlyBe, I chose to sit on the left-hand side of the plane so that I could see
Fair Isle as we came in to
land. I forgot that airplanes have wings which stick out in the middle.
It was a small plane, not many more than a dozen of us – my dears, it had propellers. We asked the stewardess about
Fair Isle and she
promised that the captain would let us know. The announcement, if it came, was
completely inaudible. But the man sitting in front of me turned around at the right moment and
said, “That’s Fair Isle”.
I don’t have a PhotoShop program (or the skills) to draw a circle around it, but there it is, on the horizon near the tip of the wing, rising to a height on the right. Here's a close-up.
What Comes Next?
I began by looking at the yarns for the Rams and Yowes blankie. An immediate problem: Kate Davies identifies them by their wonderful Shetland colour names. The ball bands have only numbers. The J&S website has put that right.
Two shades are missing, I was told, and will be sent on later. So today’s job is to work out which two. Do I have the yarns to get started with? Do I have a sufficiently wonderful circular needle of the right size?
I hadn’t at all grasped how J&S has moved quietly into the 21st century. All their yarns are now balled – knitting a
sweater used to involve a week of skein-winding. The range of Shetland Jumper
Weight colours is somewhat reduced, but
the new (to me) lines more than make up for it – the Shetland Heritage yarns
with their old Fair Isle colours; Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight, in the undyed
colours as they come off the sheep; Shetland Supreme lace weight and 2ply lace
weight. There are heavier yarns, too – I don’t think they were offered at all,
in My Day.
The other thing I want to think about is my
Fair Isle vest.
Shall I sign up for Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Craftsy class, now that I have gone
in for stashing Craftsy? I think I will probably order a Shetland knitting
belt. I thought about it while I was there, but decided that that was an easy
enough thing to order later.
I gather from a bit of internet exploration that using a belt doesn’t have to dictate one’s knitting style. In fact, they are used sometimes to help stroke victims knit again – an encouraging discovery for me. In the brief demonstration we had, Doreen knit with both yarns in her right hand – “One above and one below,” she said. I always knit
Isle with one in each hand, dropping-and-throwing as usual with my
right hand, and knitting-continental with the left.
So I could get a belt, and proceed in my own clumsy way, while trying to learn a better technique. Mucklestone discusses the holding of yarn. She’d have to. But the pattern that comes with the class Won’t Do At All – because the
Fair Isle patterns repeat. They ought to change each
time, even the peerie ones, while remaining so harmonious that you have to look
closely to determine that fact.
Meanwhile, Milano proceeds. It is hard to keep winding skeins fast enough. I’ve done six – six more to go.