I’d rather be swatching

Writing everyday is even harder than I imagined. Yesterday the day before yesterday, I had to write a text for work and just couldn’t face writing something for the blog before I went to bed. Also, allowing myself to delay a post only worsens the problem. As if one post per day wasn’t enough! Anyway, one post for today is the least I should give you.

Instead of writing a post, I have been watching Mary Jane Mucklesone’s Craftsy class “the Fair Isle Vest”. She talks about Fair Isl knitting in general, for example: chosing the right yarn, how to arrange the colours, how to read charts, different methods to swatch and so on. Furthermore, the class is arranged around a vest design of MJM. This means that she takes you through each step of a fair isle garment and you can watch her doing all the steps before doing them yourself.

Swatch in natural and green handspun

Swatching in the round

While I like this class (as well as others that I have taken on Craftsy), I am not sure how much I like the concept of the Craftsy classes. On the one hand, it is a nice, hands-on approach where one can directly see how the teachers do the techniques. The videos can be rewatched (as long as one has an internet connection) and paused when ever needed. However, I feel that the classes have only a short amount of time committed really specialised information. To begin, a topic is covered broadly, but I usually don’t find that much that is entirely new to me. It might be because of my love of knowledge that drives me to read all those lovely blog posts of accomplished knitters (e.g. Kate Davies’ on steeks) that go into detail of what they are doing. Furthermore, I sometimes feel the shots of the techniques could be improved. While there is a camera focusing on the hands when the teacher shows something, the cuts to that camera are often after the teacher has already begun explaining. I am not sure why this is handled like this, but more than once, I called “show me what s/he’s doing” a my monitor. It is frustrating if a highly visual medium isn’t used to its fullest advantage.
Even though I have some criticism on the general format, I do enjoy the Craftsy classes. On the contrary, inspired by MJM, I started swatching Fair Isle patterns out of my handspun.


Cardigans need buttons

The thing about cardigans is that even when all the knitting and sewing in is done, they need buttons. I knitted most of Laar two years ago. I had already bought the buttons but wasn’t sure if I should add a ribbon as stabilisation of the button band.

Laar in lilac with small white buttons

Laar – finally with buttons

In the end, I decided to go for it. I like the result and it gives the button band enough strength to hold the buttons. The stitches seemed small at the time, but they are quite visible if you look closely.

button band from the inside - ribbon visible

I like the inside as well

For Cria, it didn’t take as long to find the buttons, and I have sewn the ribbon down and started with the buttons.

Brown Cria with three green coconut buttons sewn in

Cria with the first three buttons sewn on

The ribbon matches the colour of the yarn almost perfectly and I think my future cardigans will get a ribbon at the button band as well.

Cria has a brown ribbon with brown shell buttons as backing buttons

Inside of Cria

Now I just have to sew in 16 more buttons and Cria is ready to wear!