Jacobite Rose in Detail
There are occasions when the trigger for a design comes from an unexpected source, and the idea for the Jacobite Rose is a case in point. Jade made me a recent gift of vintage knitting needles. One set of double-pointed British size 10’s (3.5mm), still in its original packaging, immediately caught my attention. They were the Flora Macdonald sock needles produced by Abel Morall’s Aero. The packaging (see below), was liberally peppered with a number of important directives such as note the points, rustless and will not injure the fingers. But the legend If stronger needles are required the “Flora Macdonald” hardened and tempered steel pins are recommended was the one that struck home for me.
It set me thinking of the monument overlooking Stornoway Harbour that commemorates the point where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed on Lewis on that famous flight assisted by the steely Flora. One thing leads to another and as I recalled the story my eye fell on the Jacobite roses growing in my garden. They were at the stage which I love the best – a few still in bloom with their pure white petals, and others at every stage of fruiting when they range in colour from peachy pink to bright russet orange and rich red. These shades combine with the gold and green of the changing leaves to create a perfect palette for interpretation with my Hebridean yarn. The patterns are my interpretations of the classic rose leaf and the round hips with their beautiful curving and twisted sepals.
I knitted the beret with the set of Flora Maconalds and can testify that my fingers were not injured in the process. I anticipate that the hardened and tempered steel pins will outlast the remainder of my knitting career.
Jade knitted the cardigan and below you can see images of her work in progress.
The cardigan is a stranded design worked in the round with steeks at the front, armholes and neck openings. Here you can see the body just before grafting the shoulders. The alternating background and pattern colours of the the steeks show up prominently between the vertical pattern panels of the design. The neck steeks draw in the garment during the working, but the cardigan takes perfect shape when the steeks are cut open up the centre.
You can also see the wrong side of the body, where the strands lie straight across the patterns and contrast with the steeks which have a dense, woven appearance. This is acheived through working these stitches in alternating colours on every stitch and round thus producing a very stable material for cutting. You can also see that the yarns are joined in and broken off at the centre front steek when colour changes take place. These yarn ends are cut off when the steeks are trimmed and so no darning-in is required on the body.
You can also see a sleeve in progress. This is made in the round on double-pointed and 30cm circular needles.
The final Jacobite Rose Hat Set and Cardigan have been out on three different shoots. The Hat Set was photographed on Emma by a favourite loch in the middle of the Lewis moor.
The full set was photographed on Iona on her croft where she wore it along with a Sea Ivory Staran pullover and Machair Kelpie's Tears shawl.
Emma is photographed in a village grazings and moorland setting where she wears the Jacobite Roses together with with a Sea Ivory Seaweed Scarf.