Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We’re back, desperately tired. It was all a great success – five days hard art-viewing, with a happy background of family visiting. No yarn shops.

I cast on a new travel sock on the train on the way down, and turned the heel yesterday, travelling north. It’s a perfectly grown-up sock: I can knit, and pretty comfortably, too. So, no more therapy needed on those lines. We have a routine diabetic appointment at the Infirmary this afternoon, and I have an orthopaedic one to look forward to in the not too distant future. Both will involve lots of waiting, and longish bus rides to and fro. I should get well down the foot.

London 009

There’s lots of knitterly stuff to report – both Sharon’s Hap Shawl book and the new IK were waiting in the pile of mail behind the door last night. Not a bad week’s haul. Ted, the book is wonderful for its meticulous research and wealth of old photographs. Extraordinary to have this and “Victorian Lace Today” so close together, both scholarly triumphs in a field (knitting books) not particularly heavy on scholarship. I hope you won't have to wait long for yours.

I thought a lot about Alexander’s forthcoming Fair Isle, in the context of art, while we were away. My old system of choosing colours carefully and then throwing them at an all-over Fair Isle pattern, so that colour changes and pattern changes don’t coincide, produces interesting results all right, and I don’t regret it: but it’s lazy.

This time, I want to do what I think of as the Prince of Wales joke (from a portrait of Edward VIII which I illustrated here once), where the pattern seems to flow unbroken down the sleeves although they are knit at right angles to the body (so to speak). Sort of like the Eunny Jang pattern in the new IK, except that she knits both body and sleeves in the same direction and makes the pattern flow by carefully calculating where the sleeve pattern will be when it reaches the body.

So I’ve got to get to work and plan those colours (as well as winding those skeins).

I mostly thought about this the day we went to see the American sculptor David Smith at Tatmo. We had lunch at a rather dreadful pub called I think the Founders Arms, there on the river, crowded and noisy and expensive, and sat looking across at St Paul’s as we ate. David Smith worked in welded steel. Both he and Christopher Wren, in their different ways, had to give a good deal of thought to what they were about to do, before they started doing it. And I resolved to do so too.

That exhibition was the highlight of the week, for me.

Last Sunday was my husband’s 81st birthday. Alexander and Ketki took us all out to a wonderful Chinese restaurant for lunch. The party included Rachel and most of her family, and my sister and most of hers. I photographed the lunch guests who were wearing my knitting. Here is Rachel in a striped Koigu, with my husband beside her.

London 007

And here is my nephew Theo, in a different sort of striped Koigu, with his mother, my sister, beside him, my husband beyond.

London 008

Much more to say, but that’s enough for today.

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