I received Kate Davies’ new book Colours of Shetland (signed too!) as a gift this year. And I’ve spent some time pondering what to make out of it. Until I realised that pondering was pointless as I wanted to knit everything. This is very unusual for me, as normally there are patterns in a knitting book which don’t appeal, so to find ten patterns I liked in a single volume is rather fortuitous.
But what to knit them in? All the patterns called for the ever-lovely Jamieson & Smiths Jumper weight, which I do adore. Only the quantities needed would cause much pain to my bank account. So the logical thing was to consider what I had in my stash to start with and work from there. As it happened I already had a few balls of J&S yarn which can be saved for these projects, plus some Cashmere to replace the Angora that two of the patterns call for. Other than that my stash yarns were rather deficient. However a solution did come to mind.
Namely my new spinning wheel. Since I seem to spin a fingering weight yarn as a default, why not spin some of the yarns needed for these projects?
I picked up these silk bricks at the Glasgow School of Yarn and was planning on knitting them up as one project, so I think they’ll work well for this hap. The pattern calls for four shades striped together, but I’ll just stick with the two. I’ll use the Jumper weight for the gray sections though, I think the contrast in textures will work well.
As I said before, I have some Cashmere to use for the pocket linings but no real options in my stash for the rest of it. I think this may be the one pattern I knit as written.
I’m pairing this with some cream Shetland Supreme I have left over from another project. At the moment, I’m not sure whether to split the braid up into the different colours and spin each one up separately. There should be enough shades to match the stripes in the original. Alternatively I may spin and knit it up as a long colour transition. Decisions, decisions!
Another GSoY purchase, I’ve split the braids into their separate colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) and will stripe them in the yoke following the pattern instructions. I actually have most of this spun already – just the purple left to do. I’ll use J&S for the body and sleeves, unless the Rowan Cashsoft in the John Lewis sale gets reduced further – in which case I may substitute that.
Apart from this small (20g or so) batt of Shetland fibre, I’ll use the proper colours in the J&S yarn for this project. I’m hoping that there will be enough leftovers from the Tunic skeins to complete this one and I already have a spare 25g ball of the Cream shade to use for this.
More brown fibre to spin! As I said with the tam, I’ll use the colours as written – I have one ball each of red and orange – so I’ll need to pick up two more of those (1 of each shade), the rest will need to be ordered.
Stevenson Gauntlets / Stevenson Sweater
I’ve seen this spun up and it produces a lovely warm, slightly heather blue-purple shade. I’m planning on using this for the blue stripes, pairing it with a cream and a rich purple for both the sweater and the gauntlets.
Ursula Cardigan / Ursula Mittens
I liked this pattern but not the original colour choices, so am planning on replacing the cream background shade with a pale gray. The stripes of colour will be these two fibres plus a to-be-purchased dark fuschia shade.
Colours of Shetland image from here.