Thursday, August 23, 2007

Moving on

The new main colour

Thank you for all the comments on Henry! All I really did was that I followed Alice Starmore’s magical design and well written instructions and used her exquisite yarn. The yarn took care of the uneven stitches and bloomed beautifully.


do value my knitting skills and know quite well what I can do and what I cannot. I know which knitting paths I can walk along happily and the ones where I lose the sense of place very soon and don’t know my way around anymore. I have wanted to do colour-work for a long time. Over the years (believe me, over many, many years) I have looked at all kinds of enchanting and interesting colour-work patterns and gone with high hopes to LYS and acquired there many different colours, have come home with a bagful of yarn balls and determination, cast on various different projects which … have mostly all failed. I have done small things but nothing like Henry. This was the reason I did not feel like a real knitter, this was a personal battle what I had lost so many times…

Shetland wool

Henry was like a bridge. It is a beautiful and colourful design. You can look at it and see it in different light and different colours pop up on different days and talk to you. Me, I’m not that colourful nor that complicated nor that interesting. I – in my wardrobe – prefer quieter look. Why did I knit something like that knowing that it is not so me – at the moment? To be able to cross the bridge over to the land of fair-isle the bridge had to be tempting, challenging and interesting. I knew from experience that anything less and I would turn back like in so many times before. When I look at AS designs I truly can value and appreciate the artistry. Many of her designs are like tapestries. So more or less I felt that I was copying a masterpiece and every single stitch in the piece was worthwhile. This is not the only way that leads to fair-isle but with my history of unfinished patterned pieces I needed to have a powerful approach.

I don’t know if any of you still remember how I in the early stages of my blog (the very first post) wrote a few guidelines for myself under a line “Wear Thy Knitting”. Can you believe it is almost two years ago now?

I still think that I should do that … which means that I need to think of some clever way to wear Henry. Maybe wear him on days when I think that I’m not capable to do this or that… sort of like a booster when I need to have confidence in me and willpower… I need to revisit the “Wear Thy Knitting”-theme again. I’m going back to square one and I will think about the rules again.

I have cast on for a new project. I have dreamt of this

Enid Cardigan by Véronik Avery from Interweave Knits Winter 2006

for a long time. Without Henry this would not be happening. But more of this another time.


  1. Interesting thoughts and process that you have gone through re Henry but ne'er the less...still awe inspiring to us knitters that like yourself...think yes I must do that but not quite there yet.

  2. I agree that Henry came out beautifully. The new Rowan book, #42, has some beautiful fair isle designs.

  3. i have admired that sweater but worry that it will not do on my tiny shoulders . . and yet in the photo is looks like just what i want.

  4. Well done, Lene. Now that you've sorted Fair Isle (and Starmore too, a double celebration!), it's time to think what ELSE you could conquer!

    And I too need to revisit Wear Thy Knitting. There have been some dangerous moments when a new pattern looks tempting, despite being something one would never wear... I'm sure YOU won't make that mistake!

  5. Beautifully written. Wear your Henry with confidence :)

  6. I remember when I first started reading your blog a year or so ago. At that time you were lamenting your writing skills. Lene, you write as nicely as you knit. Your writing is always thoughtful and full of grace. Because of that, your's is one of the first blogs I look for each morning. You are right up there with Jo, Karen, and Peg. For both your knitting and your writing, I thank you. Hugs to you and yours.

  7. Even if you only wore Henry around the house, I can tell that it was well worth it to you! Pushing your comfort zone like that takes great courage.

    Good for you!

  8. Enid is a delightfully low-key follow-up to Henry--just a touch of interest around the yoke, and the rest of it remains sleek and simple. I like that style very much. :-)

  9. kmkat20:29

    I think you are on to something with your idea to wear Henry whenever you must face a daunting task that makes you doubt yourself. The first pair of socks I ever knit were of colorful self-patterning yarn, and to this day I consider them my *power* socks. I wear them whenever I need that little extra oomph. Knowing that you have created -- or even copied -- such a masterpiece is bound to increase your confidence.

  10. I would have thought, 'without the Enid Cardigan, Henry wouldn't have happened!'
    Interesting thoughts!!

  11. What a lovely way to look at a project, as a bridge, and a way to something they really did not think they could do. Such is the way of miracles.

    Yes, wear it on days when you really need miracles.

  12. Love the Enid cardi, what a great choice for your next project and love the colour you've chosen for the main colour.
    I remember your first post and loved it. still do.
    I agree with you, wear Henry on a day you'll need to be dauntless, and I think he's going to look beyond lovely on you. Wear it with happy confidence!

  13. Linda02:06

    The sweater is beautiful. I will be happy if my first fair isle project turns out half as well as yours !

    The pattern seems so complex - I would be afraid to attempt something similar. I'm still trying to knit my first sock.

  14. Tracy03:29

    Wear it on a day when you want to look and feel like a goddess.

  15. I didn't get a chance to comment on the last post, so I'll take the oportunity here to tell you how beautiful Henry is, and how it inspired me to click over to Virtual Yarns and order a kit for Starmore's Oregon Vest (Spring colours). Like you, I do not ordinarily wear intricate clothing. I usually go for plainer, blend-in-to-the-background fare. But these incredible works of art need to be displayed, and I'm determined to not only wear my vest (once it's done, which might be a while) but endeavor to knit more fair-isle and display it proudly. One good thing about having lots of plain clothes, is that they will provide the perfect backdrop for such rich adornment. Bravo on your lovely, inspiring sweater. I cannot wait to show you mine!

  16. I am not ready for the challenge of a project the size and scope of Henry. My skills are not fine enough, yet. Yet. I will get there and someday I, too will Wear My Knitting and be enclosed in something colorful and warm that I created. All of the colorful socks I have made, I have given away. I kept the white ones for me. Maybe it is time to change that tune a little.

  17. I'm not sure how I hooked up to your blog, but I want to say your photographs (as well as your Henry) are just luscious! Your blog is a treat for the eyes, and I enjoy your writing, too.

  18. marjorie04:10

    I think that you have knitted so many beautiful things, you could put on just about anything that has come from your needles if you need a reminder of what you can accomplish, or a boost to your confidence. Henry is lovely, but so are your knee high socks and so many other things you have shown us. You have been a "real knitter" for a long time!

  19. Tess19:51

    Here's a link to the yarn requirements for Enid, and a couple of additional photos.
    You'll need to paste the whole thing into your browser as a single web address, then scroll about 1/3 of the way down the page to see Enid.