Plugging along

reknitted body

There’s not as much progress as I’d hoped due to a false start and one major fix. Also since I’m not using “fresh” yarn, I have straighten out the previouisly ripped out otherwise stitches would tend to have a puckered look.

Until this week I straighten yarn by hand washing it gently and letting it air dry overnight. This week, while waiting for a few balls to dry, it dawned on me that I could get quicker results by just steaming the yarn.

I just wind the balls into small skeins then put a kettle of water on the stove and when steam comes out the stout I pass the skein back and forth over the steam being careful not to burn my hands. In just a few seconds the yarn is no longer kinky and is ready to knit.

On another note, have you ever wondered what designs are in The Scottish Collection? I finally got a look at this elusive book. Here’s what I found.

Allover – Traditional Fair Isle diced pattern in 2 designs; a button down vest in browns and light blues or a pullover in pinks and oranges.

Azeri Jacket – It’s the one on the cover.

Brocade – Vest or pullover with large pink and purple flowers outlined in gold, regularly staggered on a black background. Also has a large zig zag motif around the bottom edge in same color scheme as the flowers.

Catriona – Tradition Fair Isle cardigan with main motif being vertical Nordic stars alternating with traditional X motifs in light turquoise, purple, pink and blue on a white background.

Cold Duck – In this picture it’s the one she (the designer) is holding. She’s wearing the Oregon cardigan. Instructions for either a cardigan or pullover.

Entrelac – Designed by Carol Lapin. Jewel toned pullover with large entrelac squares.

Five Triangles – Designed by Nancy Marchant. No instructions included just a picture. Originally appeared in Threads Magazine Aug/Sep 1992.

Luskentyre – Pullover in yellows, golds and pink.

Mara – Cardigan or vest

Mardi Gras – Cardigan or pullover

Marina – Cardigan or pullover. Photo in the book has a very dark background compared to other versions I’ve seen.

North Country – Designed by Nicky Epstein. Pullover with large  white silhouettes of bears, reindeer and trees in rows that alternate with snowflakes on a black background. Between the large rows there are smaller ones with abstract motifs in red and black.

Oregon – Cardigan or vest

Plaid Jacket – Jacket with either red or orange/yellow background. Stripes are grouped in threes with each group being several inches apart.

Quartz – Vest which is very similar to Mara but in  blues and reds that are more toned down. Large border pattern has flower type motif.

Rannoch – Traditional Fair Isle pullover in green, brown and oranges. Large border pattern is same as in the Quartz vest.

Squares and Diamonds – Designed by Nancy Marchant. Large squares with diamonds in the corner where the squares meet. Has two color ways; blue or red.

Thoroughbred  – Vest with Nordic stars running vertically down center and trellis on either side.

Tokyo Rose – Large abstract roses in an allover pattern with gold lines that link them together. Reminds me of tiles.

The more traditional designs are made with Shetland jumper weight yarn which I gather means J&S. Some of the motifs in these designs look very similar to ones in the book “Charts for Colour Knitting”. Of course the most popular ones are available as kits from Virtual Yarns.

6 thoughts on “Plugging along

  1. That’s a great tip for unkinking that kinky yarn. Thanks for the overview of the Scottish Collection. Since I was introduced to fair isle knitting late last year, I realized that I really love this method, and I’m always seeking new sources. Alice Starmore certainly seems to be a great one. So, how on earth does one get their hands on the book? I couldn’t find it available anywhere :\


  2. Thanks for listing the sweaters in the Scottish Collection. I have some reasonable success in getting AS books from interlibrary loans, but some have been elusive. I have to try again for Stillwater. I’ve tended to favor the cable sweaters, until now. Do you know where the one on the cover of The Book of Fair Isle Knitting comes from? It is not in that book.


  3. I just lucked out finding your blog. It is one of the nicest and most informative ones I have ever seen. Thanks so much. I am a big fan of Judith McKenzie- she taught me how to spin more than 20 years ago.
    I already used the steam trick to straighten out some unravelled wool.


  4. It looks wonderful and I was lucky enough to see it in-person! It was nice getting to know you more at Madrona! What do you think you might do out of The Scottish Collection?


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