Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fair Isle on my Mind

I've had Fair Isle on my mind lately. We've started carrying Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift at the store, and colorwork is luring my attention. And I'm not usually interested in working at such a fine gauge -- 24 to 26 stitches to 4 inches on a size 1 or 2 needle. But I keep thinking of the black-and-white pieces in the fall Debbie Bliss magazine, and in the Fall Vogue. And of how much black and grey I wear all winter.

So far, I'm working some of my cravings out in my weaving. I'm still weaving off the extremely long grey cotton warp on the loom, but experimenting with reds and blacks and greys and whites in the twill patterns. Faux Fair Isle?
Yesterday we went to Pilsen to see the Day of the Dead  (Dios de los Muertos) exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art. On the way from the car to the museum, I realized that I was hungry, and thought - churro! Not that I've ever eaten one, but a friend told me a story recently about eating at Rick Bayless' XOCO right after it opened, and being served the most amazing churros right from the kitchen with a cup of good, hot coffee. Then, what did we find, but a man selling churros outside the museum? We bought a bag, leaned up against the wall, and ate them - cinnamony, warm, sugary. The museum was good, too, especially an exhibit called Chioroscuro with paintings by Munoz. And the La Cantrina figures - tall, languid skeleton ladies with big, My Fair Lady Hats and long fingers holding cigarette holders.

Afterward, we strolled the neighborhood, found a bakery, asked the check-out person what was her favorite taqueria, and then went to Los Comales #3. Great grilled onions, avocado tostita, refried beans, horchata. You can eat in or do take-out. Then, strolling some more, and I found a black-and-white Fair Isle sweater at Knee Deep, a vintage store:

 I'm pretty sure that it's machine-made, but what the heck: it cost way less than what it would take to knit, and it's ready to wear. And machine-knit or not, the yarn looks like Jamieson's:
 A colleague told me that seams that are overcast are indications of machine-knitting:
And my knitting into and out of the city: the Toast Wrap from Ravelry, which is a copy of a pattern from the Fall 2011 Toast catalog (a UK store). Not bad, but I think that if you want to impact of Fair Isle, you need to use the tiny yarn and the tiny needles. (This is the Rowan Pure Wool DK on a size 4 needle).
Just waiting for the pie to come out of the oven and then we're taking our annual Thanksgiving Day hike. Happy holiday to all - and take some time to lie on the sofa and sleep today!

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