The difference between a good knitting or crochet design and an exceptional one is a clearly written pattern, where teaching skills are imperative. Having recently finished Ysolda Teague's new Fair Isle pattern, "Strokkur," pullover sweater, her talent for communicating is exceptional.. There is no guessing on the part of the knitter, and this hard-wearing jumper staple is a must for every wardrobe.
Knit from the bottom up in the round, this Fair Isle pattern has "a more refined fit than many traditional yoked sweaters." Teague uses "gentle waist shaping" and short rows to fit the shoulders and drop the front neckline. Using her suggested wrapless short row technique was a breeze and much easier than the usual wrap and turn method with no visible holes or bumps. Sleeves are knit in the round on US 7 (4.5 mm) dpn's, so they take no time at all. Imagine knitting a pair of socks on a 7. Knitting in the round saves sewing up time at the finish, too. The size range for Ysolda's Fair Isle pattern is generous as well: 30.25 to 59.5 inches, 77 to 151 cm.
The yarn is Ístex Létt-Lopi direct from Iceland. While the shipping to the US cost as much as the yarn, if you have a penchant for color then sacrifice the extra shipping for a chance at every color in the rainbow and then some. Shopping locally, you'll find Reynolds Lopi Lite (from Iceland) a bargain at about $4.00 a skein. The medium size (38.25) requires seven skeins of the main color and one skein each of the chosen contrast colors. A reasonable holiday gift at about $32.00.
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