Occasionally I knit sweaters and this was one of my better efforts. It’s Garden Patch by Anne Bourgeois of Philosopher’s Wool. It’s supposed to be a “good design for a first Fair Isle sweater.” I’m not sure it’s where I’d start with Fair Isle, but it is is somewhat straightforward. The yarn is a heavy Aran weight, a weight most would see as a bulky. It needs up quickly and that would keep an inexperienced Fair Isle knitter moving forward.
Philosopher’s Wool is yarn that’s close to the sheep. There’s so much lanolin in the wool that you feel like you’ve creamed your hands after you knit with it. And the wonderful smell of the wool is strong. I love it!
This sweater was the first and only time I steeked. First, you knit the body of the sweater in the round. Then you sew two strong seams about an inch apart down the middle from top to bottom. Then cut the tube between the two seams before picking up stitches to work the button bands. It’s not for the faint of heart. I cheated. I took my knitted tube to a tailor with a good commercial machine and hovered while he sewed the seams. I held my breath while he sliced into my knitting. As everyone in the know knows, the process works really well. (Especially when the tailor only charges you $5.00.)
And, of course, whenever this sweater is worn, what’s the first thing people say? “I really like the buttons…where did you find the buttons?”