Kep calm and carry on? Yes, you read that correctly! It is all about the “kep“, a traditional fisherman’s hat which is a chance to showcase some lovely Fair Isle knitting in yummy Shetland yarn!
I have just joined the aptly-named Facebook group, “The Fair Isle Fisherman’s Kep Page” where knitting nerds can purchase a PDF pattern online by Anne Sinclair. All proceeds go to supporting the Shetland museum. It is free to join the Facebook group and share kep creativity across the globe! Why not swing by and take a look? It is a very supportive group with tips and help on hand and a lovely place to share that “ta da!” moment like today.
I would say the pattern might be best suited to a fairly experienced knitter as it is only a base from which you have to calculate and adjust to number of stitch repetitions a little bit yourself. However, for those less experienced, there is support on hand in the group and it is a great sized project in which to try out those colour-stranded skills! The brim of the hat is reinforced by turning the work inside out after the first motif and then doing a section of 2 x 2 rib before continuing on to the pattern work… (less tricky than it might sound!)
In addition to the PDF pattern, the largest motif was actually from “200 Fair Isle patterns” by Mary Jane Mucklestone. The great thing is you have a base pattern but the freedom to pick motifs in traditional Fair Isle or find designs from other cultures or perhaps draw your own – the possibilities are endless, especially when mixing in the possible array of colours.
Anyway, amongst the knitting pictures you might notice a very Swedish cake, known as a “semla“, and a very British mug. Kind of summed up my Swenglishness, sentiments and mood this afternoon as I took a well-needed fika pause. (Fika is the first thing you will hear about on visiting Sweden, let alone living here!) Yes, the asthma troubles have been continuing and I have struggled to work even part-time, occasionally quite bad attacks and mostly fairly wheezy and exhausted. So joining this group came at the right time. Making my first kep has been the perfect distraction and I am sure it will be the first of many to come!
One person in the Facebook group shared a quaint little documentary on Fair Isle... it my dream to visit the Shetland Isles to get some stranded-knitted inspiration, fresh sea air and to stock up on more delicious Shetland yarn… One day…
PS An update picture once the kep had dried overnight: