Last week I must have run across some bad karma because my tension didn’t seem to be up to snuff so mid week I rip out a whole lengthwise repeat. So, even though I anticipated finishing the neck shaping this week, it didn’t happen. Today, I’m just now at that point.
Traditionally, knitted items such as this one are dressed on some type of frame. I did a bit of searching and came up with these pictures.
- Here’s a Japanese website called Shaela that shows the two most common frames, “Woollie Horse” and Jumper board. I can just make out from one photo that the Woollie Horse is from Tulloch of Shetland.
- The Shetland Museum’s website had several old photos of jumper boards.
- Knitting Beyond the Hebrides has instructions to make one.
- There’s a website with the URL www.jumperboard.com that appears to be located in Shetland that is selling them.
There’s several online yarn suppliers that are offering some version of this frame with the cheapest around $90. That seems like a lot of money to plunk down on a knitting device that can only be used for sweaters with drop shoulders. Generally, I don’t like sweaters with drop shoulders but overlooked that fact when choosing Firebirds. The colors and pattern was just irresistible.
Your comment about the wooly board intrigued me, because now that I’ve decided to adopt your yarn-holding method in my right hand with mine for my left hand, I’ve embarked on some two-color stranded projects (although not as ambitious as an Alice Starmore sweater). I didn’t think a wooly board was needed, and I checked two knitters extraordinaire. Wendy (of WendyKnits) has an old post in which she says that she merely steam blocks her Fair Isles, and Eunny wet blocked her stranded knit (see the very good posts on steeking on “SeeEunnyKnit”. If you’ve done a swatch, you may want to try one of these methods on it to see if it would work without investing in the wooly board.
Okay, I think I need coffee. By “woollie horse,” I thought you meant Shetland pony. And wondered why you would put a sweater on a Shetland pony. From Japan. (Maybe I need something stronger than coffee.)
The pattern (written by Jade Starmore) actually says press the carment very lightly on the wrong side using a warm iron and damp cloth.
But, I’ve read several books on Fair Isle knitting and they always mention using a woolly board. In Stillwater, AS even shows a picture of one.
I think that the sweater is usually put on the frame so it is stretched a bit. This helps even out the stitches.
I’ve considered the other methods but really want to try a woolly board to see if it makes a difference. I hoping it would dry much faster.
Anne: That’s too funny. Perhaps I should give a warning not to read this post too early in the morning.
Yes, Starmore does give washing and drying instructions in some of the books. It does dry much faster on a woolly board, a couple of hours indoors.
The cheapest I’ve seen is the one imported by Lacis. It is a bit flimsy but does the job!
I think a wooly board would be nice to have, but I tend to ration my dollars for knitting, and yarn almost always wins out. In fact, I knitted for decades without the benefit of having a swift. When I lived in a Manhattan apartment, one of my male neighbors inherited one when he was divorced, and he gave it to me. It was only then that I realized how much better it was to use it than to put yarn around the back of a chair. I think I’ve seen wooly boards in the Patterworks and Woolworks catalogs. At present, I’m trying to justify the purchase of some Colonial needles for shawl knitting (with silk yarn)–and I haven’t quite managed to convince myself that the cost is worth it. In any case, your sweater is beautiful, and it would be nice to hear about your experience blocking it.
Firebirds is beautiful, dropped sleeves and all. I’d like to hear about the Wooly Board experience if you decide to use one.
The sweater is beautiful! :o)
if i lived closer you couldborrow mine 😉 hey, do you belong to the ferals, or any of the seattle knitters groups? i’m sure someone would lend you one.
I’ve been meaning to catch up with the ferals. Last month I joined the guild so now I just need to figure out where the ferals meet.
Something is wrong with your links for the Wooly Boards. They have added letters, and words, and don’t connect to anything. Not sure if you put them in that way, or there is something gone wrong with the translation, but they didn’t work for me.
Did you Copy&Paste them? That’s usually the best way to go, to make sure they are correct.
Sorry about the links. I do cut and paste them but as you found out I don’t always do it correctly. I corrected a couple of them but others are no longer valid.