This is the finished Debbie Bliss fairisle. A few words on fair ilse (shetland style)
1) it is done in the round
2) it is made with fingering weight wool
3) each pattern row is done in 2 colors
This sweater breaks all 3 rules
1) it is done flat
2) it is made with cotton
3) 2 patterns require 3 colors per row
This did not stop me from knitting it -- however, it nearly stopped me from finishing it.
Look at the detail of the collar -- it is picked up from the body -- see how nicely it mirrors the patterning from the bottom of the sweater? I didn't plan that -- it just happened. There are lots of little serendipitous things like this that happened, like the patterns match at the seams -- even the sleeve seams -- this could be the genius of Debbie Bliss. I know one thing that is the genius of Debbie Bliss -- it fits my daughter, 4 years after I started it. Okay, I planned the sweater for my older daughter -- but even she was 7 at the time I planned to finish it. This is sized for a 5-6 yo. But this is Debbie Bliss and she designs her sweaters to run big.
Okay now here's a secret, another thing that nearly kept me from finishing -- I was running out of the maroon. I finished the back, looked at what I had left and realized that I may run out. With all the difficulties I was having with all the broken rules, I put the sweater away. Several years later, I found the sweater and wondered why I never finished it. As I started the front I soon found out. I re-realized I was running out of not only the maroon but the black as well. I thought I'd purchase one more of each. I found the black -- obviously not the same dye lot but it was close. But, I could not find the maroon anywhere, apparently it was discontinued. This was nerve-wracking. Why didn't I buy the extra yarn before? Ugh. What could I do? I did what any knitter in with cyberspace at her fingertips. I googled for the yarn and the color number and it came up in a shop in Germany! I e-mailed them, and purchased one skein (I now get their newsletters in German -- it's entertaining if nothing else). However, it took a long time to come. I waited. I couldn't work on the sweater until I had all the yarn. Just as I was about to contact the store, it finally arrived and I discovered that it ended up being sent to Canada before making it to California (get it CA, vs CA?). It seemed a tad darker but I saved it and used it for the last section of one sleeve and the collar. Can you tell? I think it's the sleeve on the right. You can't tell from the collar. I'm just glad it's done and it's a dream come true. Except of course it's not quite done. I need to weave in the ends. If finishing (knitting and making up) is a dream come true then this...
is a nightmare.