Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Knitting Flora

Flora swatch

Way back when, when Threads magazine was new, one of the early issues had an article about Alice Starmore and Fair Isle Knitting. I didn't knit much then. I mean, I knew HOW, but I hadn't done anything complex. I drooled over the pictures and figured I'd never, ever be able to knit anything as complex as that.

The gauge swatch, about 2/3 done

Four years ago, I got back into knitting (thank the ladies on the beach in Michigan). My first project once I remembered how to knit - a Fair Isle sweater. Worsted weight, only 4 colors, reasonably sized needles, not really all that hard, once I taught myself how to carry a color in each hand.

Then I saw the Flora waistcoat. Oh my. Dither, dither, dither. I finally ordered the kit from Virtual Yarns (Isle of Lewis, Scotland). Finished up another sweater, some socks, some lace...

Flora waistcoat kit and pattern from Virtual Yarns

Looked at the pretty yarn (13 colors, I might add!). Wound the yarn. Knitted the swatch. Those would be 3mm needles, if you are wondering. This will take awhile :-)

Box of yarn, ready to go

Ok, can't put it off any more. Cast on 299 stitches (ack. you try that sometime.) and started out. The first row was torture (first rows always are if one casts on too tightly). I'm up to row 7 of the bottom ribbing. Assuming I don't screw it up, it will be spectacular.

And the yarn feels wonderful.

6 comments:

SMB tech geeks said...

My, you are adventurous - it looks like the waistcoat will take years!! We certainly need our winter woolies in the UK at the moment; the daffodils may have flowered but we've just got our latest batch of frost & snow.

lynnef said...

right now it is taking about 50-60 minutes to knit a round...

Jen said...

V. exciting! You must have been thrilled to receive the package of beautiful yarn!

beth h said...

A whole new kind of monstah.

I was so impressed I forwarded the link to my uber-crafty sister. You two really ought to hook up more than once a year at my birthday parties...

Paul/Sarah said...

Hi Lynne, Two great past times, knitting and cycling. Which is your favorite? Have you thought of combining the two? My friend Susie has just knitted a scarf while riding the back of my tandem, seriously, 03 May 09. We rode the 100k circular route of the Isle of Wight, on the south coast of England. Our blog is www.2knitsonabike.blogspot.com have a look and maybe come along next year !

lynnef said...

I've contemplated knitting while stoking, but my tandem captain and his bike moved out of state... I do take knitting ALONG on bike trips, and knit in the evenings.