Sunday, 29 January 2012

A New Beginning

A number of years ago at a family gathering my sister and my mum were bringing their knitting to me off and on during the evening, just  to sort a few little glitches, or to ask for advice. My sons were very Star Wars at the time. One of them said, 'Mum, you're like the Jedi Master for knitting in this family, and Auntie Issie is like a Paduan Learner.'

I am ashamed to say, I did think of myself as a pretty fair knitter. A few years later we moved to Shetland for work reasons. When I got here I soon realised that I was just an apprentice - everyone here can knit, and not just to a fair standard. You can't throw a stick without hitting a wonderfully skilled knitter. Lots of people my age made money when still at primary school, selling Fair Isle gloves they had knitted, through local shops.

Although I have done lots of projects since we moved here in 2008, I have avoided knitting Fair Isle, apart from this cowl I knitted the first year I was here. I felt I was not nearly good enough. Though I still do not think I am anything like as skilled as the local craftswomen I have met, I will not get any better by not trying. So, the time has come to make a full-scale, stranded colourwork sweater (gansey) from scratch and to my own design and choice of colours. My friend Karen M, a skilled and experienced knitter since childhood, is going to join me and we'll see if we can't persuade a few others to make a group up. I'll blog about it as we go along.

Today I started getting kit together - let's see what I have already...

Jumper weight yarns in my stash - Jamieson's mainly, some Smith and Jamieson

Books for ideas, tips and tricks - Christmas presents I helped my husband choose for my Christmas gift.

Colour charts for planning. This one is Jamieson's. Their names for the different shades are spot on.

Other kit - grid paper for designs, circular Addi Turbos, colouring pencils.

Time to get started then.....