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Fair Isle February

I've never been part of a Knit-along before bu
t was particularly attracted to this site, Fair Isle February because I was struggling over my colour work recently. Not the technique, just making the decisions about what to make and which colours to use and how to chart them so they are Traditional but totally original at the same time. Not easy either when I decided it was going to be a beret/Tam design so needs a mind like a kaleidoscope.

Then I realised.....Oh my giddy aunt I have turned into a 'design' snob! Instead of admiring the skill and the beauty of a technique like Fair Isle, I am constantly thinking "Yeah nice colour work but did you really design it yourself or did you just get it off a chart in a book?"

Who cares! Unless of course you are hoping to publish that design. I must now abandon those nagging thoughts which are inhibiting in my knitting and just knit...well, something that I would truly like to own and
wear, regardless of how it comes about. I think my nerves about colour work have come about due to the fact that my favourite book Enchanted Knitting has been the source of some of my colour work borders and motifs and that it makes me feel like a fraud as a 'designer' because someone else charted them. You can see some of my first attempts at those Fair Isle designs scattered around here.

I do have plenty of charts I designed myself as well, but am inhibited about knitting
them up because I want to save their debut for something really special and this current garment might waste them.

How I wish I could discipline myself into following other people's patterns without going off at a tangent. How comforting and orderly it would be to sit down and know where I am in a project as I am following the pattern line by line. However, that could also be dull.....................

I'm off to knit an extremely colourful hat with very simple Fair Isle patterns. I am going to make somet
hing I would truly love to wear in as many colours as I can get my hands on!

I quite like this sort of thing though, little kaleidoscopic patterns working out into a perfect mathematical beauty.


EGJ said...

Sorry if you felt pressured by my gushing over at FI Feb - as far as I'm concerned just managing to design one truly beautiful thing in a lifetime is accomplishment enough... I know what you're saying about "original" vs "other" patterns - but I have convinced myself at least that the originality and design lies in the combination. Inevitably, most patterns will be found somewhere or other. I think of them the way I think of words and phrases.

Good luck with your tam design!

Liz said...

That tam is awfully pretty! Regarding decreases in fair isle, the pattern I'm using tells you when and where to put all the decreases, so as long as I count right I can make the designer do the work for me. The chart for that pattern is a square, and I mark my row with a post-it with a little line marking the stitch where my row begins. With every decrease I just move it over, no worries.

I have some ideas for how I'd work out a decreasing FI pattern in a hat or something, but I don't think my tired brain can express them just now. You may have some success posting the question to the FI Feb blog where everybody can see it. Good luck!

Oh, and I totally relate to the design snob thing. I went for about a year and a half where I knit almost nothing from others' designs. But recently I've discovered that there's nothing like a well-written pattern that you don't have to do tons of thinking about.