One thing occurs to me: Alice Starmore was into gradients decades before the gradient yarn craze of today.
Take a look at this.
This is Alice Starmore Hebridean Two Ply, in Mara, Lapwing, Calluna, and Kelpie.
Red Deer, Tormentil, Crotal, Mountain Hare, and Golden Plover.
In the Glenesk pullover I’m making, the Starmore color sense DNA runs thick in the blood of daughter Jade Starmore. She takes these two color-shifty batches of yarn and conflates them. Then throws a tangled Fair Isle pattern on top of it all just to up the stakes.
When I opened the box for this project, I couldn’t quite believe that these shades would result in the lively pullover that was promised. The brownish reds all seemed too much of a piece. At night, you have to fire up your klieg light to tell the difference between these colors. There didn’t seem to be enough “action” in the mix of yarns.
What a completely incorrect thought that was.
There’s action all right. I have completely lost it on this thing. Really grooving on watching each row do something different.
This is my third Starmore project, and in each there is at least one, often several, yarns that I could never imagine using, for anything. This one, for example.
It’s just a twixt-and-tween mauveyorangepinkred. Maybe it’s the color of a mountain hare, I don’t know. But it’s the sort of connector shade that fits exactly in place amid the eight other colors—can you see how many colors there are in this ball of yarn?
You have to trust in the vision at work—and enjoy the ride.
There are 36 shades of this yarn, and the story behind it is pretty much a trip to the Hebrides, those rugged islands off the coast of Scotland. Yet another place I need to see, someday!
Finally, a big hello to everyone who is taking up the challenge of making some hard kind of knitting project. Over on the MDK Knitters board on Ravelry, I’m posting a list of all the crazy projects that readers left in the comments the other day—it is a cavalcade of trickiness, a Headbusting Hall of Fame. Feel free to add your own Headbuster. And if you’re on Instagram, #knithard is very fine hashtag for all this.