Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The weather forecast I heard in the night made it sound as if March is really going to come in like a lion this year. Maybe we won’t get to Strathardle on Thursday. Cold, we’re up to, but deep deep deep snow is not such fun in old age.

I’m occupied with row 45 of the Princess. The difficulty lies in tearing myself away from it long enough to tidy up the (very few) loose ends of the Nudibranch, or think about how to knit a lacy Calcutta Cup.

Studying my six-year-old notes and swatches, I see that I knit a horizontal line of stitches which stand proud of their background, as the base of the Cup. I half-remember doing it. It explains some of the vagueness of my chart – I’ve just drawn a squiggly line to represent that bit.

I think I remember that Margaret Stove herself, who visited here that year, taught me how to do it. But I can’t find any record of the technique, either in my books – would it be called “chain stitch”, perhaps? – or in loose notes.

It must be a form of travelling stitch – create an extra stitch, knit it across the row by twisting the real stitches behind it, get rid of it. Sounds plausible. I mean to try it this evening. But if anyone has the faintest idea what I’m talking about, I’d be really grateful to hear. jean at milesandmiles dot demon dot co dot uk.

Amongst the stuff I’ve kept relating to Kirsty's shawl, I find a letter from Thomas-the-Elder (Thomas-the-Only, in those days) thanking us for a Christmas subscription to Rugby World. He must have been 15, and writes: “Rugby is a game which involves 15 players and an oval ball, the object being to score ‘points’ or ‘tries’. I’m not sure if you have rugby up in Scotland, but I’ve certainly never heard of your national team.”

It would be more useful to have notes on chain stitch.

Here’s the Nudibranch, with our reclycling stuff in the background. The Maya yarn turned up yesterday. I’m still waiting for the Malibrigo. Last week when my sister-in-law came to lunch, I tried to explain what a “shrug” is, not being entirely clear myself. She thought it sounded dreadful and that I should knit something else for the Games.


Knitting a Calcutta Cup into your forthcoming Fair Isle is not a bad idea, Alexander, and means that I’d have to get it well started before this time next year. It would definitely be cheating to knit the Cup into anything while the Cup itself was in Twickenham.

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