Monday, March 20, 2017

I finished the motif and added a peerie and returned with some reluctance to Tannehill:

I am fully swept up in Mucklestone’s enthusiasm for swatching Fair Isle. I like this first result better than I thought I would when I was half-way through, except I don’t entirely like that yellow in the middle. Next time I’ll try a pattern with the dark colours in the background and the pattern in light. Kate Davies in her Macrihanish pattern alternates two such patterns, light and dark, with peeries in between. She uses only six colours altogether. Maybe I’m trying to squeeze in too many:

I’m not going to “design” the scarf, beyond centering the motifs and separating border patterns with peeries. I think the colours will hold it together. I might as well try different peeries each time, too. I think I had vaguely hoped that the stitch repeats in 15-row border patterns would all be the same, so that each repeat could be different (as I read somewhere that traditional Fair Isles are) and still line up. But they’re not.

I bought Mucklestone’s book, “200 Fair Isle Designs”. It arrived today. It offers a good deal more than the title promises – general instructions on all aspects of Fair Isle knitting, to begin with. The patterns are photographed life-size, with an accompanying chart and another chart offering an alternative colour-way. In some cases the pattern is also photographed with another pattern from elsewhere in the book, showing how they might be combined. In others, a chart shows how a border pattern can become an all-over.

She illustrates a stunning sweater from the Shetland Museum which seems to have a different pattern in every lozenge – that is, the “O’s” of the famous OXO – even within a row. And the peerie pattern in between reappears as the neck edging. Genius.

And speaking of books, thank you, Chloe (comment yesterday) for suggesting that good old Ravelry will show me the patterns in Sally Melville’s “Styles”. I am mystified by the absence of that book. I haven’t looked at it for a long time, so it is unlikely to have been left lying around somewhere (although that is possible). I will keep looking where it belongs, with the Melville’s on the “design” shelf or with the outsize knitting books elsewhere. Maybe it will re-materialise the way Gaughan’s cable book did recently.

The Tannehill sweater is coming along nicely. It can’t help being boring, and the yarn is beautiful.


  1. I like the swatch continue on for another repeat or two before rejecting.

  2. I really like the yellow against the green in the O, but it fades a bit against the mid grey in the X. I agree with Theresa, give it another repeat (maybe offset it so the O is above the X) and see how it looks.

  3. I think choosing motifs, and peeries, and colors counts as designing!