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Entries in northmavine (2)


A Northmavine Tale

I promised knitting, so knitting there shall be!

You may recall, from the mists of time, that I've been knitting a Northmavine Hoody for quite some time - one of the many beautiful designs from Kate Davies' Colours of Shetland book - using wonderfully sheepy Jamieson & Smith Shetland 2Ply Jumper Weight in a selection of really very lovely colours.

Northmaviine hoodyWell, progress has been intermittent - it wasn't actually a slow knit at all, but I got to the point above, where the next stage involved cutting along the entire length of the front of the cardigan, and then had a large attack of the chickens! This held up proceedings for a while. Quite a long while. I eventually followed Kate's magnificent steeking tutorial and crocheted either side of the line to be cut. Cue another few weeks where I pretended that I wasn't scared (I was scared).

The Northmavine Gimp

Until one balmy, glorious, July evening, I girded my loins, retired to the evening sun of my garden armed with scissors and a bevvie of lovely Twitter-cheerer-onners, and proceeded to live-tweet my steek adventures...

First, gird your loins and sharpen your scissors...Carefully snip, snip, snip.... et voila!I admit at this point I heaved a huge sigh of relief and accepted the cheers of the live-tweet crowd (I say crowd, it was approx 3 or 4).

The next stage was to pick up stitches on the back and the front of the steeked front to create a 'sandwich'.

That's a LOT of stitches. No, I didn't count them.Followed by acres and acres of soothing i-cord bind-off...

Enormously pleasing i-cord bindingWhich is where our Northmavine Tale comes to an end for now. All that is left is a little more i-cord bind-off on each sleeve, closing up the underarms and *gulp* sewing in a chunky zip. Can you guess which of these tasks is causing yet another delay?! I'm going to try to finish this at the weekend... stay tuned! ;)



Yesterday, I locked myself out of my house and in order to get back in (this was after trying a lot of other options), my Father-in-Law smashed a pane of glass in the front door. What a complete twerp I am. Big fat massive FAIL.

In better news, Kate put more patterns from Colours of Shetland up on Ravelry yesterday, one of which is Northmavine, the stripy hoody cardigan that I fell completely and utterly in love with on my trip to Shetland in October. I was so smitten, in fact, that I cast on a sleeve as soon as the original pattern text arrived in the folder for the book. Yes, I took advantage of my position as book designer, I do confess. But come on. I'm only human. How was I supposed to resist?!

I'm using the same yarn as the pattern calls for, in different colours. I actually prefer the colours of Kate's original Northmavine, but as I have a nearly-complete (ahem, although I think it's going to be frogged - another tale for another day) cardigan that is in very very similar colours, I decided I should choose some others from the VAST number of options in the Jamieson & Smith yarn emporium.

My MC is 51, a grey that has a slight hint of lavender to it (it is in fact, the exact same shade as Coopknit Rachel's hair!);  CC1 is shade 43, a heathered plummy purple (which is used as the hem turn contrast shade); CC2 is shade 133 a deep reddish-magenta; CC3 is FC9 a light heathered blue-purple that up close is a mix of pale teal and purple; and finally, my utter favourite of these shades, CC4 is FC56, a glorious peacock mix of deep purples with flashes of greeny-blue. I'm going to use this as my 'trim' shade to finish off all the icord edges. I had a ball choosing the colours on my trip, with lots of help from JenAC, Rachel, Sarah and Charlie - thanks guys!

As there are four colours used in the stripes, it's not advisable to carry all four colours along, so apart from the MC, the other yarns are all broken for each stripe. The thought of quite so many ends to weave in once the hoody was finished made me feel a little faint if I'm honest, so I had a chat with my guru (AKA JenACKnitwear) and decided to try weaving the yarn ends as I knitted - it's working well so far I think.

I found some tutorials online - try the lovely Cotton and Cloud video on YouTube which shows how to weave in as you knit Fair Isle. Basically, about 5 or 6 stitches before the colour change, on the back of the work I  bring the new yarn up and over the working yarn, and then bring it back over and under on the next stitch as I knit those 5 or 6 stitches, leaving just a small end, and do the same with the previous colour once I change to the new colour. I'm hoping this will minimise the number of ends that I have to weave in at the end and so far seems to work well to hide the colour changes at the back. I'm sure that makes no sense - sorry! Google is your best bet if you want to find out how to do this.

(Oh, just a note, the different, smooth yarn coming through in the centre of the photo is my 'decrease counter' another top tip from JenAC, via Yarnharlot, to keep track of decreases - basically I have a length of contrasting yarn threaded on a needle and every time I decrease I pull it through to one side of the work, then through to the other side when I complete the next decrease - it helps a complete numpty like me to keep track!)

So far I have one sleeve pretty much at the correct length and I'm happy with my tension - I have to admit that I often start garments with a sleeve instead of knitting a special tension swatch. I just have to bear in mind that I might have to rip out the first 4 or 5 inches of work if the tension doesn't work out!