Monday, May 4, 2020

A Knitting Post - Keps

I've been knitting a lot this year (a lot for me anyway, I'm still a slow knitter). It helps me think in something like the same way that going for a walk used to, and both feel like something of an achievement in their own right. Not that time to think is short at the moment, and as currently thinking is turning to worrying if anything I could do with less encouragement to do it.

On the upside I've been having a mini binge on Pushkin's Vertigo series which has been a slightly bloodthirsty treat, and the knitting does still feel like an achievement. If nothing else it's a tangible measure of time passing and a reminder of what I was listening to, reading, thinking about, whilst I knitted it.

Both of these keps coincided with reading first 'The Frayed Atlantic Edge' and secondly 'Eagle Country' which in turn made me think about colour differently and want to try and catch something of the landscapes that both books made me think of. The best part of any smallish Fair Isle project is the opportunity it gives to explore how colours and patterns work together, and as colour is till the thing I find hardest about Fair Isle there's still a lot to learn.

For the darker kep I also had a Mick Manning postcard of a Sea Eagle that I tried to match the colours from. This was helpful in terms of imposing a certain amount of discipline, and also because someone else had already done the hard work for me (which was nice). It's an approach I think I'll use again, there are some of Ellie Duncan's photographs I'd really like to borrow a palate from (see her instagram here).

The kep pattern is Anne Sinclair's from The Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep group (find it on Facebook here). The pattern costs £10 which goes towards the upkeep of the local museum and the group is fantastic. The discussion is limited to just Keps based on Anne's instructions (these provide a template to work from with some traditional motifs, but what you finally knit is very much up to you). As you have the whole range from those who have never tried knitting Fair Isle to super experienced knitters there are no stupid questions, and lots of people happy to give advice and guidance.

I'm really happy with both of these, one of them is intended for my partner - which one is to be his choice, so there may be one going spare...


  1. These are so lovely! The balance of colour and pattern is very successful: the white against the browns is like a light snowfall, and brings out the gold/honey tones beautifully. Your partner is very lucky!

  2. I knitted a kep for my husband. He chose the colours - "Are you sure? They're not your usual colours". Yes,he was sure. I knitted, ripped back because it was too tight and eventually finished. He's never worn it, says he doesn't like the colours. Grrr.

    Your's is lovely!

  3. Ooops! I left my email address as my name - can you change it please or shall I delete my comment and re-post? Sorry to be a pain!

    1. It's okay, your email address doesn't show up anywhere in the comment or the comment notification (or I'd have replied to you that way). Your privacy is safe! I'm very familiar with the whole 'I want those colours, No, they're not my colours' scenario - in which case the item gets given to someone else who might like it.