Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mad for tweed

Nancy J. Thomas, creative director of Tahki Stacy Charles yarns, has written a new book devoted to history of this flecked woolen fiber.
The patterns in “Tweed: More than 20 Contemporary Designs to Knit” ($27.50, Potter Craft) are arranged by difficulty, for beginner (“Walking on the Moors”) to advanced (“Sailing the North Sea”) knitters. The first three chapters explore the Origins of Tweed Yarns in Fabric, the process of making tweed yarn and stitch patterns that best highlight this distinctive yarn.
Each design calls for Tahki wool and not a single one is ordinary.
I am coveting the Galway Tie-Front Cardigan with ribbed sleeves, generous front pockets and three fat pairs of I-cord ties. The arms are knit in a rose multi, which is more on the purple end of the color scheme; while the body of the sweater is a red mix, which leans toward rust. It is an advanced beginner (“Hiking the Scottish Uplands”) — exactly my skill level.
And the Northern Ireland Peplum Sweater is quite simply a work of art. Made in pink, with flecks of ecru that lend it a stonewashed effect, a crisscrossed tie V-neck and frilly lace-detailed border knit after the sweater is complete, this garment most certainly is the Mona Lisa — mysterious and enthralling. It’s one of those patterns that invades the mind, spurring you on to better and finer skills, awaiting you like the proverbial mirage in the desert.
If sweltering New England summers are no deterrent to your choice of fiber, this book is most certainly for you, the most devoted of wool-gatherers.

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