Starting Sheep Heid
Not for a moment would I complain about the huge good fortune that has meant me spending most of the last few months designing, knitting and writing up patterns for my own designs. As I’ve said here before, it’s a very exciting new aspect to my knitterly life. However, now that things are just a bit quieter on that front, it’s been wonderful to have a go at knitting someone else’s patterns for a change.
The someone else is the humblingly fantastic Kate Davies, who inspires not only with her designs and her writing, but her whole approach to life and the particular challenges it throws at her.
One of her recent designs is Sheep Heid, a fairisle Tam which uses 9 natural sheep shades of Shetland wool to depict…sheep! It’s not my first time doing fairisle as you can see, but it is my first time using proper Shetland yarn and I’m also using the opportunity to teach myself to hold one colour in each hand and ‘pick’ as well as ‘throw’ the yarn doing colour work. Considering how much colourwork I’ve done on other projects, it’s about blooming time I did this.I’ve already found that I can get a decent speed up doing it, not to mention the time saved with not having to stop and unravel every row or two.
It’s certainly a different feeling, having to follow a pattern rather than worry about whether I’m writing up instructions properly. This, in addition to not having a fixed time when I need it finished, has made the project quite a relaxed one so far. However, it’s not been plain sailing. My initial crazy enthusiasm to get going, coupled with a fair few sessions when I should have realised I was too tired to attempt chart following, has meant rather a lot of ripping back. A couple of times the mistakes were so small that I could maybe have left them…but I knew I couldn’t live with them so back I went. I guess having knit almost twice as many rounds as I’ve kept has all been good practise for my colourwork tensioning and that yarn-in-each-hand method. I’m actually a little further on than this picture shows, but haven’t had either the time or the light to get any more recent ones. For those who know this pattern, I’m halfway up the ewes!