I am a huuuuuge fan of Kate Davies. Her designs, the articles she writes, her blog – HUGE.
Before Christmas I signed up to her Inspired by Islay club. Each Wednesday a pattern arrives in my Ravelry library for me to lust over. When I took out this subscription I was kind of expecting accessories but, so far, two of the designs have been the most beautiful garments.
The price is such good value. Unbelievable in fact, when you take a closer look at the patterns. Kate and Jen have worked so hard on the actual pattern writing itself. I am about to cast on Finlaggan and had a good read through of the instructions. The first thing that struck me is that Kate doesn’t tell you what size needles to use. This means you have to swatch – something I am very in favour of – both in stocking stitch and the decorative cable.
I tried out two different yarns that I thought might work with quite different results. The first was from Colourmart, a merino yarn that has some size still on it so, to get an accurate swatch you might need to wash it first. Because the pattern calls for Sport weight yarn I started with 3.75mm needles.
I wasn’t completely happy with the results – it just felt a bit thin and the stitch definition wasn’t brilliant, so I tried again using Lang Thema Nuova which is described as Virgin Wool. These swatches worked out much better. This time I dropped down to 3.5mm needles because the first swatches were oversized.
The other thing I noticed about the pattern is the use of numbers to help you orientate yourself as you knit with a brief description of what you are about to do in that section. A simple thing yet so very helpful. I can’t wait to see what else the pattern teaches me!
The club lasts for 12 weeks – that’s another 7 whole patterns for me to get my teeth in to. Thank you Kate and Jen!