According to the catalogue of the National Museum of Scotland here in Edinburgh where the garment is on display in the Fashion & Style gallery, it dates from 1910, but Cursiter painted his picture in 1923. Did he borrow it from the collection for the purpose? I'd like to know more about the painting's backstory (and I love the blue scarf).
On the subject of Fair Isle knitting, I recommend the Fruity Knitting podcast presented by Andrew and Andrea. While Andrew is fairly new to the needles, his wife Andrea is a highly accomplished knitter, and her Alice Starmore colourwork in particular is awe-inspiring.
You have to be quick off the mark to get a Sew Sweet Violet project bag when Jooles updates her shop as they sell out in seconds! I was lucky the other day and managed to buy this one featuring Liberty Tana Lawn in the blue Kaylie Sunshine print. It's beautifully made and very roomy, and I'm delighted with it.
Martina says: "Sometimes, the world around me seems a little bit too loud, too crowded, too busy. When that happens, I take out my knitting, find a place to sit and feel how the noise slowly disappears while I knit one stitch after another. As I focus on the work of my hands, I notice how my mind regains clarity and strength - a state called 'Samadhi' in the ancient Asian language Pali [...]"
Karie Westermann (designer of the Vedbaek shawl*, among many other lovely things) has just this morning launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a most interesting-sounding project. This Thing of Paper is, in summary, "a knitting book with ten patterns and accompanying essays – all inspired by the age of Johan Gutenberg and the invention of the printing press."
This is Daughter of a Shepherd yarn. If you've not already come across the story behind it (click here, here, here, here, and for a bit more background, here) it's very much worth reading, and if you have a liking for 'real' wool, then snap up a skein or two if you can*.
It's the colour of bitter chocolate, darkest peat, or good earth, it's soft but characterful, and it smells deliciously of sheep and hay and fresh air. I like it so much I've ordered more.
If you struggle to avoid the little 'hole' which occurs between the heel and the instep when knitting socks, help is at hand. When you've turned the heel and picked up the stitches on the edge of the heel flap, patterns often tell you to pick up one extra stitch before and after working the instep part of the round, but I've never seen one explain how best to do so. I've tried various permutations of knitting through the back loop, or into the row below, and sometimes this does the trick, but it's hit-or-miss.
Paula Emons-Fuessle of The Knitting Pipeline has helpfully filmed a short tutorial showing a good method of avoiding the hole; I've just used it for my current sock (pictured above, one round after picking up the heel stitches, and below, a little further on), and found it excellent for closing the gap after you've picked up the left-hand side of the heel stitches, less good - for some reason I do not understand - on the other side, but I shall persevere.
Edited to add: if you're still having trouble, try these socks in which the holes become part of the design.