Originally published Sunday, March 29, 2009
Yes, I’ve found a new love. Jamieson and Smith’s 2-Ply Jumper Yarn, Shetland wool. Perfect for Fair Isle knitting.
You may recall that, having been kicked around by Fair Isle knitting for years, I finally conquered my nemesis, thanks in large part to the help of one Elizabeth Lovick, who offered her stupendous Fair Isle Workshop to we members of the EZasPi Yahoo! Group. I was able to complete a Fair Isle beanie that I am actually proud to wear.
I bet you’d be proud to wear it, too.☺
I used Jaggerspun Maine Line fingering weight wool that I had in my stash. I had just the right colors to make the beanie using a colorway I borrowed from a sweater in Madeline Weston’s book Country Weekend Knits. The end product exceeded my expectations by light-years. LOL
Anyway, I enjoyed knitting the beanie so much that I decided I just had to do another. And some more practice before I take on a big Fair Isle project like a sweater couldn’t hurt, right? So I decided to do another hat, only this time I purchased J & S, to do it up right, doncha know.
The J & S colors are very rich, especially compared to the Maine Line solid colors. They are heathered in a way that adds a lot of depth to the color, something that is lacking in the solid color of the Maine Line. At this point, I must interject that Maine Line is available in a limited palette of heathers, but I don’t have any in my stash, nor do I have a color card, so I cannot comment further.
I don’t know whether you can see the difference in the depth of color from this picture, but here is the ribbing of my King Harald’s Hat done in J & S.
Working with the J & S is a dream. I am a right-handed thrower, but I taught myself to do stranded colorwork with two hands. That means that I hold one of the colors in my right hand and throw it as usual, and I hold the other color in my left hand and scoop it, a la “Continental” knitting.
The most difficult part of two-handed colorwork for me is to get the proper tension with the left-hand yarn. I normally wrap the yarn around my pinky before looping it over my index finger in order to maintain a good tension. But with the J & S yarn, I can hold the yarn in my left hand exactly as I do in my right, with the yarn going over rather than around my pinky, under my ring and middle fingers, then over the index finger. Tensioning is much easier.
As my King Harald’s Hat progresses, dear reader, I will post more pictures. I know you are waiting with bated breath. LOL