I’m sorry its been a bit quiet around here, I have had a busy couple of weeks with nothing much exciting to report EXCEPT what I’m about to show you. I have another finished jumper to show, this is my version of the Puffin Sweater by Kate Davies, but I chose to make it in natural shades of Shetland Wool and into a Cardigan.
The first time I met Kate was when she was up in Shetland taking photos for her book Colours of Shetland and she took in the original Puffin Sweater to show us at Jamieson & Smith. I hadn’t been working there very long and although I was doing machine knitting at college my hand knitting skills were pretty non-existent… but when I saw that jumper I fell in love. At Wool Week in 2012 at the Trunk Show Kate held at J&S with the pieces from the book I couldn’t help fondling the jumper longingly and trying it on, Kate told me I could definitely make it. I smiled and nodded but thought.. no way.. because the construction looked quite complicated to me at the time. Its really very cleverly written and once you get the pattern into your head it actually makes for very easy knitting.
A bit later on, about this time last year, my skills were getting better and probably bolstered by Sandra that I work with (who can knit anything) I deceided I would make it!! But me being me, I thought, ill make it into a cardigan.. then.. ill also do it in natural colours! I love the original colours and would still love a jumper in them. I cant remember now where i got the idea from, Isnt that terrible? But I also deceided that I would make the body and sleeves on my knitting machine. So in one day last year, I did the whole lot.. in one day! There really is no excuse as to why I’m finishing it now.. but i made a mistake when picking up the yoke which i ignored for a while.. until October last year when I ripped all that out.
I chose to use Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight, which is beautiful wool to work with, as its totally undyed the wool has a very nice bouncy feeling to it and when its washed it settles really nicely. I did a lot of swatching for the yoke colours and I’m glad I did, as a result I’m very pleased with my blending..Through my swatching I couldn’t get to the seven shades I needed so I ended up using six, but I think they look really good together, I went for Shetland Black shade 2005 as my main shade with 2009,2003,2008,2006 and 2001 being my contrast shades. So in just under a week and a half I have done the yoke and finished my cardigan, I am so happy with it. I think Kates recent blog about all the Puffins people have made gave me the kick up the bum to finish it off, I will say though, I do become rather efficient when I’m nearly finished something.. It can just take me a while to get to that point, but I’m sure knitter everywhere understand that.
As usual Kate’s pattern writing is so easy to follow and well written, I often pull my sleeves up so I went for three quarter length sleeves and it was very easy to turn it into a cardigan. I made the fronts flat on the machine and when i was picking the seperate pieces for the yoke I casted on 10 extra stitches for the steek, I did all my colour changing in the middle of those stitches so when I sewed up either side of the steek and separated the front all the ends were cut away!
I have recently aquired a chunky knitting machine (thanks ebay) so I’m hoping this will speed up my progress for all the icelandic style yokes I have planned, and plain knitted jumpers too, Really my knitting plans are never-ending.. but I currently have two on the needles that I think will be all hand-knitted.
The nights are getting lighter in Shetland but the weather has been pretty poor so I’ve not had any chance to take photos outside, hopefully that will change!
Happy Knitting x