See this? It’s a book.

It’s a book from the library, with a big band on the front which says “do not remove” in big red letters. I am banned from removing the band by the band. But enough bandying about. You wanted to know about the book. Well, you may or may not have wanted to know about the book, but you can be quite sure that I’m going to tell you, given that I took the trouble to upload it to the blog through the non-server route (my computer is still on holiday with a virus…hope it feels better soon…).

About a month ago, I whined about the price tag on the out-of-print Alice Starmore books. And then, I did the only thing that a self-respecting knitter with access to a large university library could do; I ordered them via interlibrary loan. The first one came yesterday. The second will hopefully appear just as magically out of the blue next time I need something to make my day better.

Needless to say, I spent last night reading the book. It is quite good, and I would heartily recommend that you ILL it (just as long as you don’t steal it from me…wouldn’t want to start any library wars, now would we?). I am especially intrigued by Starmore’s section on incorporating color into Fairisle. This is one of those things that just escapes me. I can’t look at a pattern and imagine it in 3 different color motifs right away. The really gorgeous pieces sweep me away with their taste and intentional design in using color, and yet I have no idea how to go about creating such a thing. Starmore’s solution? Go to LYS, find a yarn that comes in many, many colors. Buy a skein of each. Swatch. I’m serious…read the book! Starmore says that the best way to figure out how colors work (and don’t work) is to go buy some of each color and have at it. She sounds like my kinda girl. Except for the extensive swatching thing. I’m not so big on swatching. But the just get some yarn and have at it bit, that I understand. Still, that method is very, very bad for those looking to avoid stash expansion. I am not sure I can just jump into a full-sized stash like that. It’s a slippery slope, I tell you. (No, I know…I don’t need to tell you…you already know.)

The other stunning thing from the book? Did you know that a Fairisle knitter could whip out a complete adult sweater in a week or less?

Take a moment. Let that sink in. Full. Sized. Sweater. One. Week. Crazy.

I consider it a good month when I manage to get a stockinette sweater in bulky or worsted weight yarn completed, never mind a complicated color pattern in fingering weight knitted, finished, blocked, and ready to sell. Simply insane. I realize that I have a full time (plus) job, but even without a job I don’t think I could pull that off, and these women had farm chores to manage! My mind boggles, and I bow deeply to their superior talent.

And that, I must say, is a great way to announce that I have no knitting to show for myself, yet again. I have gotten the sleeves back to the 15″ mark (from whence they were frogged back to 2″ on Friday), but that’s about it. Fortunately, today is Wednesday, and Wednesday marks the day when my schedule lightens up a bit and I can start knitting again. So tomorrow and Friday I should manage to make some progress. Stay tuned!