Monday, 2 June 2014

My Weisdale Tam

I don't want to seem pessimistic, but I've just finished knitting a lovely, warm Fair Isle hat. I don't expect to be able to wear it any time soon, but you never know.
It's from a pattern called Weisdale Tam by Catherine Vardy, and I got it as a kit from my parents for Christmas, so all the yarns I needed were included. It's a Jamieson and Smith kit, so it's 100% Shetland wool, and the design uses traditional Fair Isle motifs and colours to make a very traditional Scottish tam shape.
The thing about Fair Isle knitting is it's incredibly warm. Each row switches between two colours, with the unused colour running across the back between stitches.
 So in effect you've got two layers of fabric, making for a very toasty knit.
If you want to know more about Fair Isle knitting there's a brilliant book by Alice Starmore that covers everything; from the history of Fair Isle traditions, to comprehensive charts of motifs, patterns for garments, instruction on technique and colour studies for creating your own Fair Isle designs. I got mine in a charity shop, but it should be pretty widely available in book stores.
Another great resource is the blog of Kate Davies, one of my favourite contemporary knitwear designers.

 I'll leave you with this none too brilliant hat selfie. Spice rack included.

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