Wednesday, November 7, 2012


No, not on the loom yet (I've got to get this sweater finished first), but a million ends on the Jester sweater.  I now think there's a way to do this as you go, but I didn't know that at the time.  Always a day late... 

I used the "percentage pattern" from one of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books and made up the color design as I went along.  In hindsight, probably not the best way to attempt your first Fair Isle sweater.  So much maths.  So much maths (slowly shaking head). 

You pick something you like, but then have to make sure that pattern's stitch count fits the number of stitches you have and/or the amount of inches tall you are wanting to fill.  Between decreases of course.  Gotta throw in some decreases on top of everything.  Add in aesthetics and just because it fits the counts/inches doesn't mean it looks good.  I've probably knit this whole sweater three times.  At least parts of it.

I did try to add a Jacob element.  The top half of one of the standard patterns looked to me like big, sweeping sheep horns, like Jester's.  I thought "Why not?" and modified it and added it in.  In retrospect I should have changed the two dark "ends" closest to the "head" to white, but it's not terrible.

What I'm worried about is the buckling around the lowest patterning.  I possibly probably went overboard on "Make sure to keep your floats (the back side of the patterning - see top pictures) loose" so they don't draw in and pucker.  Elizabeth Zimmerman warns that it's impossible to fix that after it's done and that it's nearly impossible to knit them too loose.  I'm afraid I've pushed that envelope :-/. 

To top it off, there's a decrease just after that section, really emphasizing how sloppy I knit it.   She also mentions to not panic about those decreasing puckers.  That they'll block out just fine.  I've really had to  trust that and "Knit on with confidence..." but will be holding my breath as I block it tomorrow.

Yes, I am almost done and hoping to finish and block it tomorrow.  I have the underarms to weave together and all the ends to weave in, but that's just tedious, no maths ;-).  I'm also a little concerned about how the neck looks, but am going to give that the ole "by light of day" waiver tonight.

Because of how old this beloved sheep is and the horrible "lesson" of Handy's passing, I'm working as hard as I can to finish this sweater before the unthinkable happens.  Sorry, it's been a long summer and fall :-/.  I'd much rather be motivated by fun prizes at the end of a month long weaving challenge :-).

So, how's everyone doing?  Weaving on with confidence?


  1. Elizabeth Zimmerman and the Jacobs would be proud of your first Fair Isle sweater. Only you would be able to find some issues. It's a marvelous creation and even more awesome in light of the trauma's you've had this summer/fall with the farm family.
    Now block that sweater, stand back and smile with pride and give yourself a silent pat on the back. Well done, Sara, well done!

  2. It's going to feel so good to finish it, isn't it? I feel that way when I finish a drawing that I shove to the back burner for years. (yes, years.)

  3. GREAT sweater. Do we get a photo of you wearing it?

  4. I have enough trouble with one color, one ball of yarn, congrats, can't wait til it is blocked and you model it for us.

  5. Good luck and I can't wait to see it finished before the summer Olympics begin.

  6. You are so out of my league I don't even understand the lingo. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  7. Be proud ms. Sara! Wear that sweater with love. Love for the sheep whose fleece went into it. And for Handy. No doubt that that a few grief filled tears fell from your face and onto your knitting work.
    It's a beautiful sweater. Good work!

  8. I've never attempted multi-color knitting. Feels VERY daunting. Kudos for undertaking it, actually seeing mistakes AND knowing enough to fix them, tweaking the pattern (ye gods!) and finishing. Congrats and can't wait to see it being modeled. Saw a great T shirt..."Don't worry, that $&%^! will block right out!"

    Good job! On to the next project with no lingering UFO guilt!

  9. I love the colours and design of your sweater and I can't wait to see the finished product :-)

  10. Post me some pictures of your beautiful sheep tomorrow. In the morning I will lost another sheep! She is number 4 in 2 months...and I'm really done!

  11. It looks beautiful! Can't wait to see the finished product--just in time for the cold weather. Enjoy.

  12. It's beautiful! I hope to see a photo of you in the sweater with Jester.

  13. Amazing work. It's beautiful.
    I'm so limited as to what I can knit. Weaving is like another concept that always looks so good. Your's do anyway. We happy with it. You are very good at this.

  14. I love the looks of your sweater. This is a lovely and encouraging post.


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