Like many, many knitters of my generation (and other generations), I have been obsessed for decades with the designs of Alice Starmore. She's got it all- incredible colourwork, stunning texture, gorgeous cables, shaping, designs for men, women and children- something truly for everyone. Over the years I have actually completed several of her designs (which apparently is uncommon; someone once told me that many people buy the yarns and patterns for her designs and for Kaffe Fassett's, but only a small percentage complete them.)
I own almost all of her books, including the more obscure, not reprinted ones. However, I don't currently own a single Alice Starmore sweater. Why? Glad you asked. Here begins my story of Starmores I have loved and lost. (or, still pine for). ALL PICTURES ARE FROM ALICE STARMORE'S BOOKS- please go to virtualyarns.com and explore her world completely.
My first Starmore was Lochinver. It was also one of the first sweaters I ever made. I made it in cotton. I knew nothing about gauge, the difference between US needle size and metric needle size, steeking. It came out surprisingly ok- but ENORMOUS, even for the 80's. And heavy. Eventually I tried to sew and cut it down, but it really never worked.
My knowledge grew and I knitted Stornaway for my then-boyfriend on appropriately small needles. I knitted for months while he was serving in the Merchant Marine. It was truly gorgeous. I should have known the relationship was over when he was completely unimpressed- in fact he 'forgot' and left it at my house after I gave it to him. I should have kept the sweater.
And then came Tudor Roses, a gorgeous book by Alice and Jade that not only included gorgeous designs but also related to my favorite characters in my favorite period of English history. I instantly wanted to knit ALL of them. On to the 'someday' Starmores- since the first edition I have been determined to make myself a Katherine Howard. It looks equally good in both the original and newer version, and someday I WILL get around to making it for myself. One thing delaying me is the fact that (like many of Starmore's designs) the largest size is JUST too small for my (ample) bosom and I would have to modify- which is not easy in such a detailed design.
Also in both editions is the lovely Margaret Tudor by Alice. It, too, is stunning, and features a relatively open neck- I find tight necklines impossible to wear (I must have been choked in a former life!) The sleeves are different in the later version; I'm not sure which I prefer. This will probably get done first as its largest size will fit without changing.
Finally, there is ONE Starmore currently sleeping on my needles- Cape Cod from FIshermen's Sweaters. I bought the yarn on a vacation to- you guessed it- Cape Cod. I cast on while on vacay and haven't picked it up since. It's on my 'must finish before buying new Starmore yarn' though.
So, that's my Starmore story. Hopefully a completed, wearable one lies in my future- I'll keep you posted!