The picture above is the promised record of what was accomplished during the week away -- hosband's socks finished, daughter Rachel's first one nicely started. Last night I finished Mungo's Koigu sweater up to the armpits, and started the first sleeve -- on two circulars. I think I got the hang of it, after a few struggles.
I heard from Janis yesterday, so we're back in touch. I hope she won't mind my quoting part of what she said about Chinese knitting, since comments don't seem to show up on this Blog:
"There is a book that was published when China was just opening back up again (late 70's or early 80's) with the creative and original title "Knitting in China" It is a lovely but now outdated book. It tells how it is very popular to knit for children in China. At the time the book was published, knitting supplies were not that easy to come by. Inexpensive wools and synthetics were available at "the People's Department stores" and handwritten knitting stitch patterns were posted on the wall and people would copy them down. Patterns for garments were not common. Knitters would sometimes unravel garments and remake them to be thrifty or in order to obtain a new supply of yarn."
I'll have a look on Abebooks today for "Knitting in China".
And here, since I'm in recycling mode, is part of what I said to Janis once I got her email address:
"Our son James is the Economist magazine's Beijing correspondent. He speaks fluent Mandarin -- when he worked for the BBC he used often to broadcast in that language. When we were in Beijing last year I visited several LYS's which were found by paying attention as we moved around the city -- not a technique which would work in Edinburgh or London or even New York. In one, I bought some lovely near-cobweb-weight black yarn to knit a lacy evening wrap for a granddaughter. I had knit her mother the one from Gladys Amedro's book "Shetland Lace" for her 40th birthday, and now Helen wanted one too. I tried to sell her on some of the coloured lace yarn in my extensive stash, but no, black is clearly the new black for London's teenagers.
I knit the wrap -- it came out slightly larger than her mother's one, but the yarn was infinately more wonderful to work with than Jamieson & Smith cobweb-weight. I have more than half the purchase left over, which I may well use to knit the thing again for my sister's seventieth birthday in '06.
Anyway, I asked James to tell the shop assistant that I was going to knit a lacy wrap for my granddaughter, and he shrank back in horror; he didn't know how to say it, he claimed. I haven't studied French since I attended Asbury Park High School (later made famous by Bruce Springsteen's attendance) more than 50 years ago, and I certainly can't speak it, but I could have made a stab at that. "dentelle" "grande-fille" and some miming. Chinese must be a _very_ peculiar language. "