Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More Starmore

A few weeks ago, when I wrote about starting my second Alice Starmore sweater, Erin left a comment telling me about an interesting book on the subject.  I placed it on hold at the library the same day, and was able to pick it up last week.  Thanks, Erin!

Sweater Quest by Adrienne Martini

In Sweater Quest, writer and knitter Adrienne Martini recounts her experience in knitting Alice Starmore's design Mary Tudor.  I was especially interested in this because I knit this very design almost two years ago - it's the sweater Linda and I did for our first knit-along.

Mary Tudor cardigan

Martini not only relates her experience with knitting this design, but also discusses the controversy surrounding Alice Starmore and her fierce protection of her intellectual property, which came to a head in the early 2000s.  I was only peripherally aware of the situation at the time, despite working in a yarn shop; but I do remember hearing whispered rumors, so it was nice to finally have them explained!

close-up

My current Starmore undertaking is coming along slowly.  I'm a little more than half way through the bottom border.  Since starting on the first of June, I've been averaging working on it about 3 times a week, knitting about 3 rows at each sitting.

Queen Anne's Lace pullover

The leaf design of the border is becoming apparent now:

Queen Anne's Lace rib and border pattern

I've been holding the grey/white mix in my left (dominant) hand and the contrast yarns in my right hand.  When working stranded knitting with one color in each hand, it's common for one hand to be dominant*, which causes that color to come to the forefront.  I'm going to have to decide if I want to continue this way, so that my work reads as a grey sweater with red/blue/purple designs, or change hands to get a red/blue/purple sweater with grey designs.  I'd originally thought I wanted the grey to be dominant, but now I'm not so sure!

my Starmore kit

* I learned this last year from Tasha and her Vintage Knitting College - thanks, Tasha!

16 comments:

  1. That's beautiful! And you're very welcome! That books sounds really interesting. I could look at my Starmore books for ages, though I don't think I've actually knit anything of hers yet. Ah not quite true, I did knit based on a design in the front of her Fair Isle Knitting book. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/TheRedHotKnitter/1850-fair-isle-museum-hat

    Her work is so inspiring!

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    1. You do such lovely knitting - I'm always inspired by the things you make!

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  2. Gail, fantastic sweater. MAJOR undertaking I'd say. But could we expect any less from you?
    I've read about the 'dominate hand' and filed that away. I am keeping your video tut in minding whenever I practice my Fair Isle and other appropriate knitting times.
    I am no where near knitting an entire project.
    I love the start of your newest.
    Thanks for a thought-provoking post. Am going to follow a couple of today's links.
    hugs

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    1. It certainly does require tenacity, which is not one of my natural virtues! Honestly, I doubt I could do it without Linda to cheer me on!

      The intricacies of knitting can be so fascinating, can't they?

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  3. Oh, Gail! It's gorgeous! I truly admire Alice Starmore's work. Despite loving fair isle knitting, I haven't made a pattern of hers yet. Can't wait to see your progress.

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    1. Thanks, Lizz! These are very satisfying projects to make!

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  4. I can't imagine the complexities... How cool that you found a book on the very project you're knitting!

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  5. This book is on my "to read" list, too, but I don't think I can tackle such a complex sweater right now! I commend ... and applaud you!

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    1. The book is definitely worth a go though!

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  6. Wow! You know you're working on a complicated project when there's a whole book dedicated to it! Sheesh, girl! You're a knitting superstar!

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    1. Funny thing is, it's not really that hard! It just takes a LONNNG time!

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  7. I'd love to see how you work on this, one of these times when we get together.

    Also I didn't know about the dominant hand thing! That's really interesting.

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    1. Oh yeah, this one is going to be around for a while! I hadn't really realized the dominant hand thing either, but it totally makes sense, because I get drastically different gauge when I knit English as opposed to Continental.

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  8. Wow! The first sweater is amazing and your new one is just beautiful. I love the colours. I was an IP lawyer in a previous life.... seems like another world now :)

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    1. That seems like a field that would be extremely difficult to navigate!

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