"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


Starmore Thoughts

The sun is shining today. It looks so pretty with the fluffy clouds in the blue sky. Unfortunately, it's only 33 degrees, so I won't be hanging out on the deck. I am longing for spring and those wonderful days of sitting on my deck with a tall glass of ice cold Crystal Light soaking up the warmth of the sun, listening to the birds, and knitting (or beading-depending on the mood). This being indoors crap is getting tiresome.

I've been thinking a great deal about my Margaret Tudor/Alice Starmore sweater. (One must really weigh the pros and cons before knitting one of her patterns because they are not for the faint of heart, or inexperienced knitter.) I started it, I think, 5 years ago? Might have been before that. I was quite a bit thinner then. So if I finish her she won't fit, unless I make some adjustments. I don't have enough yarn to do that, and the makers saw fit to discontinue the yarn so getting more will be difficult.

This sweater is challenging. It's made up of several vertical strips knit separately, then sewn together. It's not possible to knit it all in one piece, or front piece and back piece sewn together. I know, cuz I tried to figure out a way to do it in less pieces.  The gauge of each strip is different, so they have to be knit separately. It's also one of those patterns that has to be done in the quiet, without distractions. One of the charts is 44 rows long, every row different. You don't get the luxury of just purling back every other row. I don't have much of it done.

I've been perusing my Starmore books. I've decided to put Margaret Tudor in the back of the closet. I'm not going to finish her for the time being. I will start a search for more of the yarn. In the meantime, I'm going to start a new Alice Starmore sweater. One that is not quite so difficult, but every bit as gorgeous. Let me introduce you to St. Brigid.

St Brigid is in Alice's book Aran Knitting, which was recently republished. St. Brigid is my next favorite of her patterns, Margaret Tudor being my most favorite. Last week I ordered yarn for her. Lots of yarn, so I can make the necessary size adjustments.

I'm not using Alice's yarn. I don't like her yarn. It's beautiful, but it itches me to death. Instead, I've chosen a lovely heather green/brown, called Mountain Green, 100% Alpaca from Alpaca With a Twist.

 I did some research on Ravelry and it will work just fine. It will be a little softer looking than Alice's yarn, but the stitch definition should show the pattern quite well. The color is gorgeous! (One of the things I love about Ravelry. Seeing pictures of the yarns knitted up.)

With Margaret Tudor weighing heavy on my mind, I decided to read the book Sweater Quest by Adrienne Martini. It's about the authors experience as she spent a year knitting one of Alices fairisle sweaters from the Tudor Roses book, the same book that Margaret Tudor is in. It's been a very interesting read. Not only does she talk about knitting the sweater, but she talks about Alice Starmore herself, and the story of what happened that took her yarn and books off the market, which was devastating to me at the time because I carried her products in my shop. (She also writes about why knitters refer to Alice as She Who Must Not Be Named. It's quite a story.) She interviews various other 'celebrity' knitters about knitting, Alice, and what it means to be a knitter. I've enjoyed it quite a bit and highly recommend it.

The alpaca should be here in a couple week. I will finish the Lobster Cardi before I start her. I intend to get St. Brigid done by August. That is going to be my '2011 Knitting Goal'. I want to enter her in the fair. I'll be blogging about her, of course.

Which reminds me, I've finished the right front of Lobster Cardi. I'll be starting a sleeve later today.

Live long and prosper. \\//

1 comment:

  1. I have two Starmore books but haven't knit a thing from either one. However, the Fair Isle book did inspire me to spend one entire summer (years ago...) coloring my own Fair Isle patterns and make a baby sweater using one of them, so it hasn't been a total loss.

    Loved "Sweater Quest" - nothing like a little knitterly intrigue! ;-)