I heart Alice Starmore

After knitting what seemed like a million cabled fingerless gloves late last year, I decided to give cabling a break and turn to learn new things, like lace.  I didn’t mean to stay away from it for so long.  I have a few cabled projects in my queue, but somehow, it has been a while!

One of the books I’ve been drooling over “big-time” recently is Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting.  I love her very logical explanation of the progress of simple rope cables to the much more complex variety, and the designs she has put together are simply stunning.

You may recall how I’ve started (being the operative word) Eala Bahn.  I haven’t been able to get any further with it than I have because it requires concentration time, which I have been short of lately.  In reality, once you get past the initial border, the rest of it is very regular and should therefore be quite simple.  I think there’s a mental-barrier thing happening to be honest.  It doesn’t help that the pattern is over 11 pages long and the charts are spread out over four of these pages. The very thought of it makes my brain go into spasms.  However, I will knit it.  The jacket is far too beautiful to not knit, and I can see I will get a huge amount of wear out of it once done.

The other night, as I was re-reading Aran Knitting for the umpteenth time, the sheer beauty of the cables captivated me beyond reason.  I simply had to knit a cabled number!  Eala Bahn will happen, but probably not until the summer, when I have at least one of my children out of my hair for the holidays, and the other has a play date (or better still, sleepover).  Then I’ll be able to spend a day or two just knitting, and not thinking about, or doing anything else.

In the meantime, what to do of the cable-fever….!?

Well… the Falling Waters Shawl created an appetite for shawls.  A warm, comforting cabled shawl that I can wrap myself into while at my desk sounds like a lovely idea.  There are a couple of shawls in Aran Knitting but they weren’t quite what I wanted. I like finely cabled things, not chunky cables, and definitely not bobbles.  I decided to trawl Ravelry… hmm.  It seems that a lot of breathtakingly beautiful lace shawls exist, but barely any designs in a heavier yarn, and very few in cables.

So, I decided to put one of my own together…

I find designing a bit like writing – you just knit what’s in your head.  Whereas reading a pattern requires you to understand what the designer is saying before you start. It requires a different level of concentration.

It has taken me a couple of nights to plan the designs and knit the swatch, but now I’ve got the pattern set.  (Don’t you just love that lustre in the Mythral!?)

This little project has blown that brown funk I’ve been in right out the window. Bwahahaha!!!!  I love knitting cables!!!!! 😀

Thank you Alice Starmore, for that wonderful bit of inspiration!


13 thoughts on “I heart Alice Starmore

  1. Boy, I wish I had things like that in my head!! All I think I would come up with is moss titch, plain and purl, but then again isn’t that what it is all about!!

    Early November there is a new Yarn Shop opening up in Bridport, selli high end and decent needles!!!!! Feels like waiting for Christmas!!

    1. Oooh! That sounds exciting! A new yarn store opening is like finding an Aladdin’s Cave… what new treasures can be found in it!? You’ll have to blog about that one too please.

  2. How exciting to have a yarny obsession! Kinda lame in some people’s eyes (ahem, my family), but it’s so fun to have something that you can’t wait to work on! I’m getting ready to learn cables in the next month or so and you’ve got me excited to learn them. There are so many beautiful designs! Kudos with creating yet another pattern. It’ll be nice to see the shawl when it’s complete; the peeks are inticing! Enjoy!

    1. It is sad when others do not recognise your interests. I always find it hard to knit when a certain family member is around – the disapproving looks make me feel like I’m doing something bad. I’m sure yours isn’t like that though! I think you’ll find cables exciting and fun and not at all difficult. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  3. I can’t believe you mentioned Aran Knitting today. I had ordered the book and it arrived at my place a half hour ago. Seriously. I bought it for all the different cable ideas. I’ve got a design that hasn’t translated quite as well as I hoped into knitting, and the book looked like it could help. But I was quite taken with Eala Bahn. There’s a pretty good chance I’ll end up making it. I’m with you, though. The way the instructions are laid out is very intimidating.

    1. So funny! I have seen some amazing Eala Bahns on Ravelry. One knitter only took a week to finish hers! She had her pattern photocopied and pasted on to a board (it was big!) so that she could follow the instructions. I’m thinking I might have to do the same.

  4. I’m in the midst of writing a post very similar to yours … about how we sometimes shy away from certain types of patterns for reasons sometimes not easily explained. I’m looking forward to seeing your WIP. Now, for your gorgeous shawl design – I love it. You are truly one talented woman!

  5. Ohh, love it! I have a bag of Silk Road DK from Jo Sharp that is calling to be a cabled wrap. I saw a stunning one in Atlanta while at Stitches, but now I can’t remember where the pattern is!! drats!

    1. I’m quite jealous that you get to go to those shows. I can only sit and wish from afar! Hopefully, one day! I have a couple of balls of Silk Road too – I think it would make an amazing cabled wrap!

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