Sunday, October 14, 2007

We had a nice time in Glasgow. The new house is a good one. Alexander collects pictures – they look much happier with all that space than they did crammed into much more expensive premises near Clapham Common.

The gansey fits Ketki well, and looks good. When she had it on, James-the-Younger traced “Mrs Laidlaw’s pattern” with his finger, with delight. And his brother Thomas-the-Younger asked me to knit them “lots of sweaters and hats”.

Free bus travel really works. They go in each direction between Edinburgh and Glasgow every fifteen minutes, and all you have to do (if sufficiently elderly) is stroll along and get on board. Free busses in Glasgow, too. (When we go to London, as we will soon, the major expense after exhibition-entry is daily travel.)

I got to k1 Yarns, and left empty-handed. They’ve got some good stuff, including Habu which I’d never actually seen before and lots of Colinette, who is doing some interesting things. It’s a smaller shop (to my surprise) than our own dear HK Handknit here in Edinburgh, and of the two I much prefer the latter.

Morandia wrote to me, while we were away, asking about errata in Amedro’s “Shetland Lace”. She came to the right source.

I wrote Amedro's obituary for the Scotsman, the last journalism I ever did. I didn’t know her, but talked to a lot of people, including principally one of her sons. He said that there were no mistakes in the book. His mother was determined that there wouldn’t be, and had it proofread by two separate teams, one member of each reading aloud, the other reading the printed page.

That’s what I wrote in the obituary, for his sake. But there is a mistake, and I had found it, some years before.

When I did, I wrote to her, care of the Shetland Times, since the book had obviously been produced with such care. I didn’t put a telephone number in the letter, but she succeeded in phoning a few days later to apologise, and persevered when I wasn’t there at her first attempt.

I think that’s a better story than the one I printed.

The mistake is this: in the pattern for the fine lace stole, knit end-to-end, she says on page 35, “Work as rows 35 to 58 a further three times.” And on page 36, after the centre is knit, “continue with the Ring Stitch and Edging Lace, working as rows 35 to 58 three times.”

So, one more repeat on one side than on the other. I didn’t notice until I was blocking it.


  1. Jean - did we talk about using the Oyster card when you are in London? Makes travel on public transport in London so much easier. I have an Oyster card in my travel pack for the next time we visit London. I understand that it will be good indefinitely so I don't have to rush over there immediately.

  2. Sister Helen12:01 PM

    I'm a big fan of the Oyster card too, Janet, but I think it's possible to do even better than that. I thought that you could get a heavily discounted (maybe even free) Oyster so long as you are a British taxpayer--our landlady had one when we stayed in Islington a couple of years ago. Perhaps, though, you have to be a London taxpayer--still worth looking into.
    Thank you for the book reference and for the link to Abebooks. I'm planning to buy it too (will take the cheapest American one). I am interested by the fact that none of the low cost second hand dealers are listed on Amazon. Reason?

  3. Unfortunately only people who live in a London Borough can get a 'Freedom Pass' which is the card that gives older people free travel. Visitors have to make do with a paid version. I completely agree though, that an Oyster card is the way to go - you can order beforehand at
    and it will halve your fares - there's a push to get people to use them so paying like this is MUCH cheaper. Example - bus fare from anywhere to anywhere is now £2 (even if you're only going 2 stops!) but just a pound on Oyster.

  4. Hi, I found your blog because I'm interested in Mrs. Laidlaw's pattern also. I saw an adpation of it in "The Knitting Workshop" by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I can definitely see a need to chart it! It sounds like your sweater turned out lovely!