Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fabulous Fair Isle

I can hardly stand how much I love this wild fair isle dress! What about those sleeves? How about that scoopy neckline with a turtle neck on top? Maybe it's a turtle neck dress with a vest over it, I love it just the same. And the girl wearing it...I love her too.

Imagine you were born in the Shetland Islands.

Imagine Jamison's was just a skip down the block
Imagine that the designer of this fabulous garment was your mother!

It's all true for Gudrun Johnson, the talented designer and hostess of The Sheland Trader blog. She's back home for a long visit, lucky girl.

Some day I'll make the trip myself. My first question will be....which pattern is called "creepies" and next, which is "mices teeth"? I can't even recall where I read about these but I've been dying to know for a good 10 years now.

As many of you know fair isle knitting is my favorite thing. I simply find endless fun in mixing colors in a rhythmic way. I love the cleverness of making a few colors look like many, however I also find it satisfying to be able to include a billion colors in a single piece... This obsession always allows me a valid excuse to buy "just one ball".

So visit Gudrun, she's posted some enticing photographs of her home, which includes a beautiful woodstove (or peat burning stove?) and a huge vintage photograph of a fair-isle sweater being "dressed", I wonder if it is the same one that has fish drying in it...Also, be sure and read the nice interview with her at Knitting on the Net.

Review Susette's Fair Isle entry in her Knitted Abecedarium, (but don't stop there, she's up to letter Q).

For a little technical advice, breeze over and peruse Kathy's compilation of Fair Isle Knitting Tips and check out her links.

Scared to Steek? Eunny will make you brave.

Thinking of taking the trip to Shetland? Read the local paper and visit Fair Isle's Website

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

But Will it Itch?

An important question for those who fear wool. I've got a picture here ( ...well, as my favorite radio station is what is in focus, we'll call it yarn bokeh,...)
of what I do if I simply have no time to knit a proper swatch....Wrap the yarn around your, or the intended recipients wrist and wear it for a while.

I can state categorically that the exquisite Sunday Knits yarn do not itch one iota...divine. Can't wait to actually knit with them.

Order your color card today and be prepared to swoon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Amazing Textile Collection


Fiber College 2008 was lots of fun, I only wish I could have taken some classes in addition to teaching one. Natural Dying, Beading, Quilting with photographic images, Rug Hooking, Jackie Fee taught a class, the list goes on. Plus it is not too big, not too small but just the right size. I urge anyone who likes fiber and longs to spend some time on one of the most beautiful beaches in Maine, to sign up for next year's event.

Dick Johnson, has spent the last 20 summers at the idyllic Searsport Shores Campground. It was our good fortune that Fiber College came to him 3 years ago! Up until that time, no one really understood his life long fascination with ethnic textiles From his time in the Peace Corp through his thirty years spent in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other stan's he has amassed an amazing, carefully gathered selection of garments, caps,throws, tents, hats, camel bags and I'm sure countless other things. I only had a glimpse of his collection and it totally floored me. When he returns next summer I'll help him photograph it a start a blog to document his collection. Piece by piece we'll learn about the people who made the items and Dick's own stories of where, when and how.
The tent above is just a hint of what's to come next summer.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Nederland Opera Mitts

Sage and Nederland Opera Mitts

A secret revealed! I always intended my Nederland Vest to have matching armbands. For years I've been inspired by the knitted armbands found in Cynthia Gravelle LeCount’s book, Andean Folk Knitting: Traditions and Techniques from Peru and Bolivia, 1990, that men make for themselves, wildly intricate and stunningly beautiful. The armband here translated and simplified to harmonize with the Nederland Vest, proves to be a useful accessory in today's world of fluctuating temperatures.

The Nederland Opera Mitts are featured in this weeks Classic Elite's newsletter, follow the link to download the free pattern.

Many thanks to my gracious model, Russian Literature student Laura, who works next door to my office and makes a mean Caramel Latte. All the girls at Sage Market, in Camden Maine, can vouch for the usefulness of opera length mitts

Monday, September 08, 2008


Sweet Bunny captured at Fiber College 2008.

The weather threatened, but fiber prevailed.
More on this great event soon.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Class This Saturday!

Class Collage

I'm teaching a class this coming weekend Saturday September 6th at Fiber College in nearby Searsport Maine. It is in a beautiful location right on the water, at Searsport Shores, a great family owned, old-time campground. This fabulous Fiber Event is run by the lively Astrid who I'm so happy I can call a friend. She is just the best! I think there may be a few spaces in my class, called Photographing Your Work, so follow the links. I'll share with you everything I can possibly think of that will get you on your way to sensational images!

Above are some of my own images, while below area few of the images I styled while working for Interweave Knits, all by my friend Chris Hartlove, the talented portrait photographer who was for years, the lensman for Interweave Knits. His rich images capture more than just the knitting project, they capture the soul of the knitter. Really, I'm not just being corny, its true!


Clockwise from top left: 1.Robin Melanson's Huntington Castle Pullover 2.Kathy Merrit's Babette Blanket 3.Marta McCall's Weekend Getaway Satchel 4.Veronik Avery's Marigold Tote