Two New Patterns

These last few weeks I have hardly picked up a ball of yarn. But I have got two magazines patterns ready and on Ravelry.

The first is the Cockleshell Wrap. This was originally in Knit last spring.

Cockleshell wrap 001

The wrap is made of two pieces which are sewn together in an L shape. The wrap can be used like this or the ends can be seamed to form a cowl.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:07:19 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resize

Cockleshell wrap 002

The L can be worn in various ways, with the point at the front or the back.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:07:19 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resize

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:07:19 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resize

I used J&S 2 ply lace weight, but it could also be knitted in other lace weight yarns.

To buy the Cockleshell Wrap pattern click the button:

The second pattern was in Knit Now about a year ago. This is the Ferns and Flowers Cape.

P1010112 xm

For this, I took stitch patterns from both the Shetland and Estonian traditions.

Fern and Flowers Cape 2

The cape is knitted from the neck down. The body of the piece is quite short, but the lace edging is wide, consisting of several insertions separated by steeks with Fern Lace at the bottom.

P1010112 xm

This is also a lace weight pattern, this time knit up in Debbie Bliss Rialto.

P1010116 sm

To buy the Ferns and Flowers Cape pattern click the button:

Both patterns are sized for child (teen, adult, plus) and have charts and row-by-row instructions.


Feather and Fan versus Old Shale

Sometimes one person’s slip can cause decades of error.  This is definitely the case with the two separate and different Shetland patterns.  Feather and Fan is NOT the same as Old Shale. It never was and never will be.  Someone, somewhere, about WWII made the slip and it went to the States to be handed down from generation to generation.  No one seems to know who first made this error (and it was before the maverick who, in the 1950s, brought knitting to the fore but never let the truth get in the way of a good story!!).

I have been meaning to do a swatch to show the difference for ages, and as the topic came up on the Traditional Knitting Yahoo group I have done one!  I have deliberately done it in thick yarn so that the structure of the stitches is seen more easily.  Note that there are 2 repeats worth of stitches for each pattern:

If you look at the two patterns (we will come to names in a minute), you can see they are not very much alike at all (apart from the fact they have holes in rows!)  The left hand one gives a very definite VVV shape, while the right hand one gives a wavy line, with no sharp changes.  The left hand one has more holey rows and has definite columns of holes and solids, whereas the right hand one is more diffuse.

Now the names – the left hand one is Feather and Fan, the right Old Shale (which is really called old SHELL – shale is how the Shetlanders pronounce shell – the dialect form is probably shael)  The wavy lines of Old Shale look a bit like the pattern on a clam shell, while in F&F the solid decreases look like a feather and the open bits like a fan.  (The latter is more noticeable when worked in fine yarn.)

This difference in shape is caused by the way the stitches are decreased.  In F&F, there are TWO decreases for 6 yos – k4tog and k4togtbl.  In other words you have columns where you are stacking up a load of stitches on top of each other, and this results in the V shape.  The stitch between the two decreases is (usually!) a purl, and that forms the spine of the feather.  F&F is a 2 row/round pattern so has holes on every odd numbered row/round:

In OS, you have SIX decreases for 6 yos – k2tog six times.  This gives the long sweep of the curve.   The pattern has 4 rows/rounds, with only one holey row, so there are fewer holes in OS:

The actual way the pattern is written depends on whether it is being worked in the round or knitted to and fro. It also depends on whether you are knitting up the way or down.

BASICALLY, Old Shale  has an 18 sts,  4 row repeat.  Feather and Fan has a 2 row, 14 st repeat.

Old Shale:

Looked at from the RIGHT side, there is a row with holes, and BELOW this as used is a row of PURL BUMPS.  Above the row of holes there are TWO rows of ‘plain knit’

SO… if you are working it as a shawl edging from the INSIDE out, in the ROUND, you work 2 knit rounds, one holey round and 1 PURL round.  Working it TO AND FRO gives k 1 row, p 1 row, holey row (k) and KNIT the 4th row (forming the purl bumps on the right side. If working from the BOTTOM UP, however, (are you concentrating?!) you would work the purl bumps, the holes and the two ‘knit’ rows/rounds in that order.

In this sample I was working from the bottom up, and to and fro, so what I actually knitted was:

row 1 knit

row 2 knit (ie purl bumps on the right side)

row 3 *k2tog three times, [yo, k1] six times, k2tog three times.  Repeat from * as required

row 4 purl

If you are working OS as the border of a hap shawl (where it was usually used) you would be working from the top down and in the round. In this case the pattern would be:

round 1 knit

round 2 knit

round 3 *k2tog three times, [yo, k1] six times, k2tog three times.  Repeat from * as required

round 4 purl

This is the classic Old Shale – 18 sts giving 6 holes per repeat.  But on corners you can increase to 24 or 30 sts, giving 8 or 10 holes per repeat.

Feather and Fan:

The holey rows are every alternate row and the ground is stocking stitch for thicker yarns and garter stitch for thinner ones.  The basic pattern is the same whether you are working up or down.

The usual pattern repeat is 14 sts and if worked in garter stitch would be:
row 1 *k4tog, yo, [k1, yo] five times, k4togtbl, p1.  Repeat from * as required
row 2 k

I was working to and fro in stocking stitch, so my second row was

*k1, p13.  Repeat from * as required

This gives a line of purl bumps up the centre of the ‘feather’.

So that is the Shetland version.  You will, however, never convince folk who have never been to the place that this is ‘correct’ and they are wrong…!!

Haapsalu Sall again

Good news for those of you waiting for an English translation!!

I had an email from Tiina, the person at the publishers who deals with international sales etc.  She says that they are well on with the English translation, and hope to have the book ready by the end of the year.  So put it on your Christmas list!!

I have been looking at it again since I got back from Aberdeen.  I had hoped to use some of the patterns in a project I am doing for Yarn Forward.  My idea was to do a ‘fusion’ project – a shawl with Estonian patterns but made up the inside-out Shetland way.  However, the patterns are stocking stitch based while most Shetland ones are garter stitch based, so that isn’t going to work.  So I am doing a separate Estonian stole for now.  The fusion idea will work for a future project, but the one on the drawing board needs to be flexible with easy maths….

This morning while I was out at the dentist, my Terrier Twin struck again!!  I know she is female (because all the folk taking part ARE) and that she is in North America (because all the folk taking part apart from me ARE!!).  I also know she reads this…  The only other thing I know is that she has been very clever keeping her identity quiet and keeping me guessing.  And that she is very generous…!!

This time a lovely skein of lace weight wool in subtle shades of purple – not quite solid.  If something else doesn’t come up, I will be spending time tomorrow starting to swatch for a scarf/stole/shawl using one or more of the Estonian patterns.  Until I get the skein wound into a ball and start to play I can’t be certain exactly what shape I will go for, and the shape will have a part in deciding which stitch pattern.

As they say, watch this space….

The Shetland Lace day

So after Fair Isle on Saturday it was Shetland lace on Sunday!  Several old friends were back, along with others to make a slightly bigger class.  Class was the operative word – they spent a lot of time with their heads down in near silence working on their assignments!  Very diligent students!!

knitting lace at The Woolshed

Again it was a group with very differing experience of both knitting and lace.  One mother and daughter pair were there, and half way through the afternoon I hard from across the room ‘Ha!  I have taught my MOTHER how to do something in knitting!’

looking at lace at The Woolshed

One lovely, unplanned bit was when one lady brought out an old, very well worn and washed shawl  at least 20 years old.  Lo and behold, another lady was presently working on the SAME shawl.  We had a good time comparing the two – the old one had been knitted at a tighter tension even before the washing, and it was a splendid example of the fact that there is no one ‘correct’ tension for lace.

After the class was over I had a chance to have a good nose round The Woolshed. They have some wonderful yarns, several of which I had never felt before.  I tied my hands behind my back when looking at the Manos del Uruguay silk blend (the colours were fantastic!!), but I couldn’t resist some sugar cane yarn in ice cream colours for a specific project for Yarn Forward.  You will have to wait until next spring to see the result!  I also got some brown-with-navy sock yarn for socks to ‘go’ with my FI jacket.

And today I did something I have never done before:  I bought a copy of Yarn Forward 18 in a shop!  The WH Smith in Inverness had it, along with the bookazine, and several other knitting mags.

CD-roms now easily available!

It’s my party and I’ll give an ad if I want to…

So I have finally got everything together and have put the CD-roms on Folksy and Etsy.  Lots more details (a page for each) here:

CD-roms by Elizabeth Lovick

The Fair Isle, lace and North Ron ones are really collections of previously published material, along with lots of photos of the places which have not been available before.  The gansey one is mainly the gansey workshop that I did a while ago on the Traditional Knitting list, and the spindle one is all new, based on the material I use when teaching.

The CD-roms are apparently reviewed in the new Yarn Forward (issue 16) which is due out next week.  I haven’t seen what they have written about them….

I did have an awful job putting the photos together.  I have thousands of pix of North Ron and Fair Isle, and hundreds of Unst.  Choosing was the problem.  Hopefully I have put together a mix which folk will find interesting, while not getting too bored!  And I simply used my favourites for the wall papers!