Mary Jane Mucklestone!!!

The American Queen of Fair Isle Knitting, Mary Jane Mucklestone at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine. Mary Jane is holding my knitting and balancing on one leg because her class sample is on her raised right leg! She does it all!

YOU GUYS!!! I took a class with Mary Jane Mucklestone!!!

Late last week, my co-worker, Glenda, shared with me that she was going to take a class at the Farnsworth with Mary Jane Mucklestone. Needless to say, I was hoping that my calendar and husband would be supportive of me doing the same … and that there would still be space in the class when I signed up! The knitting gods were smiling in my favor so on Saturday afternoon, Glenda and I, driven by my handsome hubby, went to Rockland!

Mary Jane is a wonderful and knowledgable teacher. The class was inspired by my friend and knitting idol, Katharine Cobey, who has a one woman show at the Farnsworth through April 12, 2020. Go see the show. It’s magnificent. I blogged about it here. Katharine made famous diagonal knitting and the class was a Fair Isle design based on “diagonal” knitting but the Fair Isle way. Mary Jane was kind enough to bring one pattern for her Flying Geese Cowl about which she had intended to teach the class. She also was inspired to design another cowl pattern very shortly (days) before the class was to happen and we also got that cowl. It is, as yet, unnamed.

Choosing Colors

We learned a lot about choosing colors when knitting in the Fair Isle way. We were to come to class with an inch or so of ribbing in a dark, high-contrast color. I chose an Ella Rae Classic Wool in a dark charcoal gray. (Details on all my yarns are on my Ravelry project page. Find me on Ravelry, I’m “lindar”.) I brought a bunch of leftovers from my stash in various colors that I like which you can see above. Since you don’t need a whole lot of any one color, in this case, I brought bits and bobs. We needed three colors to really have some fun and I finally chose the creamy white Galway worsted and the one right next to it which is an ice blue colorway in a Paton’s Classic wool. All three are worsted weight and plain old wool.

While we were knitting, Mary Jane serenaded us with stories and tales about her travels to and knitting from Fair Isle. She is a wonderful story teller and full of knitting knowledge. I really enjoyed listening to her talk. She brought TONS of samples of Fair Isle motifs, talked about and demonstrated how some yarn colors, shades and tones, play well together – or don’t. It was a wonderful day.

Glenda, my co-worker, has finished knitting her Flying Geese cowl and she was blocking it when we last spoke. I must be knitting too slowly. I am planning to finish my cowl today because we have a snow day today so it’s an unexpected “free” day to sit in my atelier to knit. I don’t think I have to tell you that both cowls are fun to knit and a good way to learn to knit with two colors at a time (and you don’t have to catch the floats!)

I offered and Mary Jane has accepted me as a test knitter for this pattern and I am happy to oblige. Deadline is 2/13/2020 … so I had best stop “talking” and go knit!

Gone knitting!

Proof. Fan girl photo! Thanks for obliging me, Mary Jane!

Transition – Ombre

I have a new garment, that I’m calling a Three Shades Cowl. I’m making it for a customer in New York State. She wanted a cowl similar to the silver one that I knitted up but we decided to knit it in three colors. You saw the three colors in the last post that I wrote (here.)

Thanks to Trebellaevents (dot) com for the photographic example of ombre!

All over the Internet, I’ve been seeing these ombre color transitions on garments and I wanted to try it on a knitted garment. Ombre, is a dip-dyed technique for garments, traditionally used with silks and other fine fabrics. It’s often called “ethereal” and today it’s also filtering into hair coloring and makeup. Google it … you’ll see what I’m talking about if you aren’t familiar with it. Suffice it to say, it’s a great color transition technique that I really like and could be awesome in knitting!

I started knitting the cowl a couple of days ago and got to the transition between the charcoal and denim colors and the transition is even more subtle than it appeared it would be. And I am loving it! The colors are very similar in shade, deep and gray in the case of the charcoal colored yarn. The denim is also a deep shade of blue but it has the tiniest bit of a silvery bit in the fiber. It’s a gorgeous color. And if I really think about the next transition to a silver, it’s going to be a really pretty cowl.

Subtle transitions are sometimes difficult to notice but the gradual changes are very interesting and I am looking forward to seeing how this cowl looks when it’s all “sewn” up! I love knitting and the little pleasures and surprises that I am given as garments develop. Sometimes the surprises are a bummer … and, like tonight, they are exciting.

Gone knitting!