Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Somewhere in row 89 of the Princess border.

The new VK turned up yesterday. It’s a good 'un and has infected me with a bad case of world-enough-and-time’s. There are even a couple of shrugs that would have knocked the Strathardle judges’ eyes out. Too late.

One of the unsung consolations of age, in my case, is the huge increase in the cast of characters to knit for, meaning that there’s likely to be someone for whom I could knit almost anything that takes my fancy. I am much struck with sweater no.27. Both daughter-in-law Cathy and granddaughter Hellie are stylish and waif-like enough to wear it: and it gets very cold in Beijing in the winter.

I am, I hope, going to meet a friend in John Lewis’ yarn department this afternoon. That should give me a chance to look at Brandon Mably’s new book Knitting Color, since he’s sort of Rowan-related and they're likely to have it. All the new books in the bookstores these days are basic how-to-knit’s. I didn’t buy Mably’s first book (or any others, if he’s done more than one), but I’d like to flip through this one.

And there’s a sweater that interests in a Rowan ad – it’s from magazine no. 40, and I’ll have a closer look at that. Might it even suit a matron?

There are some very interesting sock yarns featured here and there in the magazine, but I was brought up short by Meg’s remark, in her article about socks and stocking: “They are not my favourite items to knit, since disheartening holes quickly appear in the toes and heels.”

I knit socks with German sock yarns, various brands, whose composition is about 75% wool and 25% polyamid (whatever that might be). They feel like wool and wear like iron. So I regard the Luna Park sock yarn (merino, machine-washable) in the advertising feature on page 69 with suspicion as well as admiration. I can’t find a retailer on Google whose page might give me a closer look.

I knit my husband a pair of bedsocks once from scraps of DK yarn out of stash. He wore them only as bedsocks, never for padding about the house. They went into holes almost at once. I knit him another pair out of leftover scraps of sock yarn. Years ago. He wears them every night.


Karen, be brave. Lace knitting is more fun than anything. I think I’d vote for starting with the lace-weight alpaca. The trouble with Shetland cobweb (to that extent EZ was right) is that it is fragile, and can break in your hands. I knit my first Amedro Lacy Evening Wrap of it, as specified, and it came out fine and blocked beautifully, but now that there are plyed yarns available of equivalent fineness, I prefer them for their greater strength.

Jean, I am seriously impressed that you can purl Fair Isle. I have never mastered that skill – I can do it, but every stitch is agony, and I’m 100% with your daughter in preferring round-and-round. I have found that Shetland yarn really does stick to itself, and I have never had any trouble either with steeks or with (for a v-neck, for instance) just putting in a line of machine-stitching and taking out the scissors.

Here are some more Games pictures, to finish off with:


That's Alistair, on the left, competing in the Pillow Fight. I didn't even know he'd done it until this picture arrived from Beijing.


That's Thomas-the-Elder, pushing the wheelbarrow, and Hellie's boyfriend Matt, partially inside it, coming third in Tilt the Bucket.

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And that's Rachel, in her striped Koigu, and Alexander in the old Hong Kong rugby shirt he always wears to the Games, watching the action.

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