Morning! As we are well ahead of ourselves with the preparation of the Inspired by Islay book, Tom and I took yesterday afternoon off and went out to Glen Etive. On the way I got Tom to stop above the Bridge of Orchy, so I could take some photos of his Oa Hoody — I thought you might like to see this design in a different size and colourway.

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Tom’s Oa is knitted in shades Squall and Highland Coo, with the latter being used for contrast throughout (there’s no third contrast shade as in my version).

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He’s wearing it in the fourth size, with three inches of positive ease at the chest, and layers underneath.

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I love my Oa for walking in – it is an extremely cosy outdoor sweater. Tom also finds his both warm and windproof.

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But you have to put the hood up to keep a biting wind from out of your ears!

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Here’s more detail of the raglan shaping.

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The decreases are worked on each side of the marker in the contrast shade in the opposite direction to most raglans. This shift in direction makes for the neatest posible shaping line, and minimises any disruption to the pattern.

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This is one of my favourite designs from the Islay collection, and it has been making me very happy to see everyone’s projects springing up on Ravelry. JoshMoll recently knitted a beautiful version using Holst Garn in place of Buachaille, and I love jdonze’s short-sleeved modification. With Tom’s hoody, the only modification was to knit the colourwork in two shades rather than three, but I do think that the rich autumnal palette of Squall and Coo makes it look like quite a different garment.

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I have no doubt that you will have noticed the transformative effect of the beard on Tom’s appearance and am personally quite happy to say that its days are numbered. The beard will disappear after the Bressay Up Helly Aa at the end of this month, though without the ceremonial burning that accompanies the end of the Jarl Squad Galley. To close, here are some photographs that Tom shot in Glen Etive yesterday.

Stob a Ghlais Choire, above the River Etive. . . .

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And Buachaille Etive Mòr, the mighty peak after which we named our yarn!

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62 thoughts on “Oa 2

  1. I love the Oa hoodie. I recently ordered Buachaille to knit one up, and am thinking that I may use the blue colorway from Carraig Fhada on the pattern. I’m excited to see if it will work, or if it will be too busy and take away from the Oa pattern. So many great projects in the Islay collection – thanks, Kate!

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  2. Your Knit wear design work is very good it’s using winter seasons and cold places. you are done a grate job. your working skills is very good i was attracted your design patterns. the colour is very good. i’m using this type of knit wears. thanks for sharing your design. the red sweater is good and nice photography.

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  3. Oh gosh, stunning colour way. Tend to like a bit of stubble through to full on beard on a man. Sorry to make you blush Tom but suits you Sir. It’s a grim weather day today, just perfect for casting on Oa:)

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  4. I don’t knit, but I follow your work because (well, because it’s gorgeous!, but also….) it inspires me to be better at my own work. This is one of the most beautiful garments I’ve ever seen!

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  5. This blog post has prompted me to reconsider knitting The Oa again. I swatched but had concerns about being able to adjust the top of the sleeves for thin arms but the warmth factor described is something I really need and any layers underneath may fill the sleeves without me ruining the continuity of the design. I can’t stop thinking about it!

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  6. Interesting. The Oa hoody is actually my favourite of the Inspired collection, but I may never have looked at it in these colours. They suit Tom (even with the beard), but I much prefer the other colourway, in fact the colours to me were much of its charm, although I am not totally sure about the shape of the hood. I love Highland Coos just not the colour Highland Coo! With Kate on the beard though, it must go!! Very useful to see 2 colourways though if only for inspiration (though not those colours, maybe the charcoally colour – and I do like the contrast in the original colourway. In fact the original colourway is one of the very few times I would possibly not change the colours, a very rare occurrence. They work very well together).

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  7. I rather like Tom’s beard. And having a beard creates so many pleasant grooming opportunities, which in turn, creates so many gift opportunities. But if you don’t care of it, of course its days are numbered. Love that colourway, most inspiring.

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  8. Hi Kate,
    What is the “Bressay Up Helly Aa”? And I don’t understand what “though without the ceremonial burning that accompanies the end of the Jarl Squad Galley” means either. I’m a Canadian with Scottish ancestry so would love to know more!

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    1. Hi Alicia, “Up Helly Aa” is a winter fire festival held in Shetland. All the areas and islands in Shetland hold such a festival, and Tom is participating in the one in Bressay (the island opposite Lerwick). This year our friend, Chris Dyer (who featured in the Shetland Oo) book is the Bressay “jarl” or chief, and Tom has been invited to join his “squad.” During the festivities, a galley is burnt.

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  9. Handsome Tom modeling his beautifully knit warm sweater in the fabulous mountains of enchanting Scotland. Thanks very much for sharing the mighty Buachaille Etive Mòr vistas. Hope that Nessi does not adopt this sweater!

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  10. Hi Kate, cannot wait to receive my Islay book. Hope you are going to enter the FSB Worldpay awards. There is a family business category which would suit your joint ventures with Tom now working alongside you x

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  11. I love both versions and the color ways are perfect for each of you. And I swear that Tom gets more handsome with every photo. He is quite an excellent model — he handsome, rugged, and athletic in stature, but he also remains natural looking (vs posed) in his model shots and has excellent posture without appearing stiff.
    What, no knitterly attire for your other handsome man in this collection — a collar, iCord leash or sweater for Bruce? :-)

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  12. Tom looks great in Oa2, especially very pirate-y with the hood up. Hope you will be taking pictures of Tom all dressed up for the Bressay Up Helly Aa.

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  13. Kate, your patterns and yarns are beautiful and Tom’s photos are stunning! I love your blog and I thank you so much for sharing your amazing talents!

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  14. I used this colour scheme to make a pair of Baffies that I love. I was thinking of knitting the Oa in these shades and am so glad to see it before I decide. Thanks for the photo of Tom wearing the hoodie! This winter in British Columbia we are having huge snowfalls so I better get knitting!

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  15. Love the hoodie knitted with two colors, will be knitting this for sure! Unlike most of the responses to Tom’s beard I say shave it off, I think he looks older with it. I personally prefer to snuggle up to a clean shaven face! No offense to Tom intended, he’s a lovely man regardless of what he does with his beard! I’m actually from Ft. William and now live in the States, thank you for sharing the photos of locations I hold very dear. Beautiful!

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  16. Those colours are lovely together. My difficulty with this club is that I want to knit them all (!) at once. Thank you, Kate, for being such an inspiration in so many ways. And I think the beard suits Tom too. Stunning photos.

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  17. I’d keep the beard as well – I love ginger beards that are turning grey (my husband sports one as well). As for the hoody – I love the 2-colour version. Unfortunately, my husband does not like hoodies, and the sizes are too large for my 8yo (who loves hoodies)

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  18. It’s amazing how different a sweater looks in a different colorway! I really Tom’s color combo version & will totally steal it for my Oa. While I’m not generally a fan of facial hair on men, I think Tom looks rather dashing in his beard! I agree with the “pirate” comments – he’s quite swoon-worthy in that combo of beard & sweater! Perhaps it’s time for us to start a Tom Fan Club?

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  19. I agree that this colour scheme makes it look like a different pattern. Although I liked this in the first colourway I saw, I could not imagine wearing it. Now I see it differently.

    Tom’s beard seems to go well with this hoody, but if he shaves it off it will be easier to coordinate with other outfits. Nice to see you out and about!

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  20. Oh, I’m sorry to see the beard go! I thought it was quite a handsome addition!

    I really really like this version of the hoodie. I didn’t even realize it was the same pattern. I may have to get the book just so I can knit this for my sons (and one for me).

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  21. Love the hoodie, and I do like Tom’s beard as well. My British grandmother used to laugh at Grandpa’s trimmed “face music” and say “kissed and brushed off at the same time!”

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  22. Stunning sweater in those colors! I thought it a new design, it seems so different. I don’t usually wear hoodies, but I am sorely tempted.

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  23. I love that hoody in those shades. My only regret is that I don’t have anyone to knit it for as my brother won’t wear hoodies. However my 12 year old son will. How difficult do you think it would be to resize the pattern down slightly for a tall 12 year old?

    Tom looks really nice in it, and I like his beard, although, like you, I prefer a clean shaven look. Less itchy when you kiss them as well.

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  24. Love the sweater – very tempted to give it a shot (despite biggest colour work project to date being a set of mittens…) actually rather like Tom’s beard and agree with earlier poster about it being a wee bit piratical. Just a thought, and not entirely serious, but if we women were told by our significant others to lose our hairstyle or some other part of our appearance I don’t think that would be permissible. Can you imagine?

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  25. I love this pattern but I couldn’t wear wool so high up as I have virtually no neck. Do you think it would be possible to put an opening in at the front with perhaps a short zip? Would it affect how the hood was attached?

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  26. These colours might be even more stunning than the original – if that were possible. I adore these two beautiful man-appropriate designs (Oa and Ardmore) – thank you for brightening up February with them!

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  27. I think Tom looks nice with a beard (but I live with a beardy – he only shaved it off once in 25 years – horrible!). Nice to see the details of the raglan on the Oa as they dont show up so well on white. I’ve reversed Kate’s colours and it’s looking good, but progressing slowly.

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  28. Yes to the beard (she says coz she lives with a similar beard) and yes to the Oa 2 (thinks that the beard she lives with would like one for his birthday!)

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  29. Absolutely love that version of the sweater those colours have such depth and richness. New to the blog and your designs but have been knitting for 50 odd years. Excited by new techniques and projects. Photos are amazing and thrilling for an exiled Scot in Yorkshire

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  30. Wow, great photo’s. We try to come to Scotland at least once a year and my husband always says: ‘i haven’t been in Scotland if we don’t go Glen Coe and Glen Etive’ and i agree. It is such an impressive and beautiful place to be. Oh and i love the sweater too.. lol. Just kidding.. love the sweater.

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  31. A nice colour scheme in this interpretation of the sweater, it looks great.
    Shame for the beard going, it actually seem to suit him rather well..
    Well done for being ahead of your schedule, you both must be proud of yourself!

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