I have been working on “Sheep Heid” by Kate Davies for the past week. This is my first Fair Isle type of knitting that I have ever done. I thought how hard can it be, right? A little color changing, what’s the big deal??? Well … it’s not as easy as it looks. I spoke to Olive about it and she recommended that the tension would just come with some practice and patience while knitting a Fair Isle project and she was right! I also heard a knitting tip about trying something new on a small project to see if you would like the process.
I have to say, for me, “Sheep Heid” was a challenging project but in a positive way. I started with the ribbing band along the hat’s edge and that was normal; and then came the color work. My tension along the color work was too tight. I wasn’t doing anything differently in my knitting; it was just my tension on the color work. So I did about 5 rounds when I discovered my knitting was just too tight. So I had to rip it out just to the ribbing part. But I wasn’t discouraged in the least; I just took it in stride of learning something new – Fair Isle knitting.
This process of Fair Isle knitting sent me to “The Vortex” as I now call my computer – it just sucks me in and before I know it, 3 hours are gone. Poof! I read all of the 36-blog postings on the Sheep Heid pattern on Ravelry but didn’t get much help with the learning aspect of Fair Isle knitting. So off to Google I go and I came up with some really great sites. One was Eunny Jang’s help with the tension and the spacing of stitches. Click here and scroll down the page to “What do you mean, stretch the stitches out?” This helped me immensely and I instantly mastered my tension after reading this.
Another site that came up when I was Googling was “the managing of floats.” For instance, how long can a float be? I found an older blog post from Knitting Daily’s Kathleen Cubley and read that “no more than 1 inch for a float to be on the inside of the project.” I am glad that I researched that a head time; no ripping out on this part for me. Insert happy dance here.
But I will admit that Kate Davies’ instructions for the “centred double decrease” did throw me off a bit. For the life of me I just couldn’t figure out what and how to do this. Ms. Davies does have a link to explain the “centred double decrease” but I must have been a little dense in the head to get exactly what she wanted me to do. Click here for her link and scroll down to the 4th graphic chart she has. I got stuck because of those green and white boxes on the right hand side of the chart. For some reason, those little boxes were throwing my mind into a tailspin and this was before having a martini! So I emailed my buddy Christina and once she explained it to me, the glowing light bulb on top of my head lit up like a Christmas tree!
And then lastly I was I trying to find a reference book to have on hand for other tips for Fair Isle knitting when I found this site. This answered so many questions for me! Which in turn means the money I saved on buying a book I could put towards other yarn purchases! Woo hoo!