I’m known for being a bit of an enabler through this blog and my various social networks. I have an overwhelming urge to share lovely knitty and crafty things with my followers – it’s a compulsion, I cannot help it! However, for once, I have been the victim of some serious enablement! (Is that even a thing?)
Chloe, from Sparkly Shoes are Faster blog, has joined me in getting excited about all things fair isle. First she knitted Sheep Carousel by Kate Davies (a fab tea cosy) and then she started knitting the Rams and Yowes blanket, also by Kate Davies. The blanket uses all 9 shades of Shetland wool and is just gorgeous. I knew I had to have one!
So I treated myself to a kit which included enough yarn to knit the blanket and also Kate Davies’ Sheep Heid hat. I have started with the hat in order to learn the pattern and make sure I have my gauge under control. Then I’ll move on to the blanket.
Strangely enough, my gauge IS under control. I think this is something to do with the wool. I am knitting the hat using Jaimeson and Smith Shetland Supreme Jumper Weigh Wool. This is “proper” fair isle knitting yarn, and now I know why. The wool has a sort of “sticky” quality making fair isle much easier. Also the natural colours are simply gorgeous. The hat and blanket use all 9 natural shades of the yarn. The 9 natural colours are made from fine Shetland fleeces, hand-sorted in the J&S wool room in Lerwick, Shetland. They are completely dye free. You can see 7 of the shades photographed above (these are the colours I have used in the hat so far, there are 2 more to add).
I cannot recall a time when I have knitted with 100% wool and loved it this much. I have always been drawn to soft, squishy yarns such as Malabrigo worsted. Baby alpaca and merino blends are more my thing. But I am am really in love with this yarn and I expect to be a bit more experiment with pure wool in the future.
You can buy Jamieson’s yarn from my lovely blog and podcast sponsor Great British Yarns: Jamieson’s Wool.
If you want to learn more about fair isle knitting I can highly recommend Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Craftsy class Fair Isle Vest – Stranded and Steeked.
Expect a few more progress photos on Twitter and Facebook and a finished item blog post soon. But for now, I am off to queue the vast majority of Kate Davies’ designs on Ravelry… cheerio!
PS this is what the final hat will hopefully look like (photo by Kate Davies)…