testing

braid

Many apologies for the fuzzy-wuzzy macro, but I am so excited by this sort-of-secret-ish project I had to show you just a little a bit of it. This thing is one of the satisfying fruits of a collaboration with my favourite Scottish dyer, and my favourite Welsh yarn producer. Working on it has lifted my spirits during a week in which they’ve felt rather downcast. Have you ever worked a two-colour braid? They are immensely pleasing and simple to produce. I’ve been reading a lot about Latvian and Estonian textiles recently, and followed up my reading with some happy experiments in casting on and braiding. This braid follows the method described by Lizbeth Upitis in her “Mitten from the District of Latgale.” There is a sort of mystery to working braids — in their early stages they don’t look like anything much at all, but then they literally unravel into a thing of beauty. I love the way that the two working yarns become entwined, and then magically untwist themselves on the final row. This particular method produces a very neat braid with a dense, raised appearance, and is definitely the best technique that I’ve found so far. There are two different “elements” to this collaboration, and I am enjoying them both immensely. Indeed, I can barely contain myself from foolishly raving about them, but I will save that for later, so prepare yourselves. In the meantime, I wonder whether any of you might be interested in test knitting one “element”? If so, please drop me a line at wazzuki AT gmail DOT com. Also, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about shaping and sizing, and would really like to get some feedback on the Manu pattern, before I release it, from anyone who knits sweaters for themselves in the 42 to 50 inch size range. If that’s you, and you fancy test knitting Manu, please do get in touch with me at the same address.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I shall return to the pressing and incredibly tedious business of Getting Well.

18 Comments on “testing

  1. Wow…the braid photo is gorgeous. Can’t wait to see the reveal! Sounds fun.
    Drats…test knitter I am NOT. Oh, well…
    Hope you are well soon…!!!

  2. Isn’t that funny, I JUST finished my first braid on a test swatch. It’s deceptively simple and I fond the winding and unwinding totally fascinating too.

  3. I love the look of this photo! I am currently OBSESSED with all things Estonian, and am plotting to put vikkel braids on pretty much everything.

  4. I would love to see more of your new design!… but right now I would say: get well first!

    By the way, the two-colour braid looks gorgeous!

    Cheers from Toronto

  5. Looks lovely – greatly looking forward to seeing this and hearing the raving!

    Just planning an Old Maiden Aunt cloud hoody…

  6. Beautiful fuzzy-wuzzy macro – it looks most intriguing! Hope you’re feeling much better and will be 100% again soon!

  7. Kate, how I love the braid! Thanks so much for this tantilising glimpse.

    Re: Manu, I am not certain which size-range I am in but I think it is close to the 42″ range. I also have some 4-ply cashcotton which I have been hoping to turn into a lovely cardigan of some sort. I have been stalling on designing such a thing and would happily test-knit Manu in 4-ply at the 42″ size if this would be helpful to you x

  8. I thought my first braid was like magic! Glad your feeling better, can’t wait to see the mystery project!

  9. I, too, am working on a project with two-colored braids, and it is a fascinating process. The project I am knitting is a pair of hand warmers (fingerless gloves) in black and white colorwork. I started the cuffs with a braid, then bi-colored ribbing, then a second band of braid. I really like the way the combination looks.

  10. While I certainly hope to KNIT Manu at some point, just ask Ysolda why you should say NO if I give into to the desire to offer to test knit it (glacial speed).
    That being said, I do knit sweaters for myself in the 48-60 inch range and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about knitting at that scale.

  11. Oooh Kate how I’d love to offer to test knit …. but like Juno my speed may be a little on the snail pace side.

    Hope you’re feeling better :-(

  12. I have some time to catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs, the red cloche is darling, the green cardigan is nothing short of charming.

  13. hi,
    cheers from Estonia, was a nice surprise to see my country being mentioned in your entries.

    i stumbled upon this beautiful blog while planning a trip to the Orkney Islands and have been following it since, in bigger portions. Altought my last braids were done in highschool (we had an optional course in knitting) i do share the interest in knitting & other handicraft but most of all i enjoy the atmosphere of this blog – there feels to be some kind of completeness: traditions are kept, old knowledge shared, lamb admired, aesthetical artifacs pictured, vegetables grown and mountains walked. that looks like a very good balance.

  14. I would still love to test knit Manu for you, probably 46-48″, but am happy to knit a size either side if that’d better for you.
    It looks soo beautiful :)

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