Saturday, March 01, 2008


Janet, I’ll try to tell you about how to get Google Analytics code into your blog, although what I know really only applies to Blogger. I’ll put it at the end, because it’s pretty boring.

Cazzab, where in Scotland are you thinking of coming back to? Anywhere but Cowdenbeath, is my view. I love Scotland, as you will have gathered, and would live nowhere else. House-prices are scary, but except in Edinburgh they’re sagging a bit at the moment. Where did you live before? Where’s your mother?


The big excitement on the gansey-knitting front yesterday was not neck-hole-size but sleeve length. On the former topic, though, I consulted Meg on Elizabeth’s Percentage System (a bit late in the day, you may feel) and found, as you say, Ron, that she recommends 40%. She also says that if you have too many stitches at that point, you can get rid of them in the first round of ribbing by purling two together from time to time.

So eventually I’ll take the whole neck out and start again on those lines.

I have been worrying increasingly of late that the sleeve seemed to be getting too long. I let Theo get away after the Games last summer without measuring him, so he had to take the dimensions of a favourite sweater himself. 25”, he said, for the sleeve seam.

Yesterday – again, a bit late in the day – I got out Vicki Square’s “Knit Great Basics”, an invaluable book entirely devoted to schematics and basic text in which you slot the numbers provided into the blanks according to your gauge and desired size.

And sure enough, she said 25” for the sleeve seam of an XL gent’s sweater.

BUT, on the preceding page she had one with a dropped shoulder – that is, where the sleeve increases from the cuff to its maximum width and then is cast off in a straight line. That is effectively what the gansey has, although the sleeve is being knit from the top down. And for that style, Square says 20” for the sleeve seam.

Meg was useless. “Desired sleeve length.” I got out a sweater of my husband’s – he has nothing like Theo’s breadth of chest, but at least both of them have a man’s long simian arms. His sweater was a size L. I measured not the sleeve seam but the entire distance from mid-neck to cuff, and decided, after a bit of agonising, on 21” for Theo’s seam.

Which, of course, solves the is-there-enough-yarn anxiety at a stroke.

So I’ve finished the patterning of the first sleeve, knit the separator band, and embarked on the plain st st. I’m whizzing round, decreasing every other round – there will still be some extra stitches to be bloused into the cuff – and having a grand time. The weekend, barring disaster, should see the sleeve finished.

I will persevere tomorrow, and not switch to Sunday-scarf. I don’t hear any fat ladies singing. I think Ohio is going to be the crux of the whole thing. But if my judgment on Obama is to be measured by my judgment on Knitting New Scarves (Donna’s comment yesterday), we’re in with a chance.

An Old Woman's Advice on HTML

Janet, in Blogger these days you can click on “Layout” in the opening screen. That takes you to a page where you can “Add and Arrange Page Elements”. Click on “Add a Page Element” and, from the choices offered there, choose “HTML/JavaScript”. Just paste the code provided by Google Analytics into the box there. You don’t need a title, since this won’t show up for your readers.

None of this probably applies to Typepad. The worst-case-scenario is that you have to get hold of the HTML code for your entire blog-layout, that’s probably possible, and figure out for yourself where to paste the new code. It will go somewhere in the sidebar section. In Blogger’s previous incarnation, before things got so easy, I had to get Alexander to do it for me.


  1. So, hang on, does that mean that you're going to frog the whole neck?!?

  2. I can't quite figure from what you have written, but if you can get Theo to measure mid back to wrist, then subtract the body width, you'll have a pretty close measurement. I often end up making those drop shoulders sleeves too long.

    And thanks for the musing on blogging. I look forward to seeing that you have a new post when i check google reader.

  3. Thank you very much for writing out those instructions for the Google Analytics. I'll give them a try.

  4. Your comment about Cowdenbeath made my day! Truthfully, I must admit to being from West Fife, but I escaped to the bright lights of Edinburgh for university 18 years ago and have tried to look back as little as possible.

    We still own a (tiny) flat in Edinburgh, underneath the castle, round the back. Not quite the Old Town, not quite Tolcross. After four years of student tenants, I shudder to think what state it's in.

    When I think of moving home, I think of Edinburgh. It holds a special place in my heart, and it always seems to draw me back. Unfortunately, we will probably be following my husband's job, so we could end up anywhere. I take comfort in the fact that my MIL lives in a swanky, spacious flat near Ocean Terminal and they spend half the year abroad, so we'll always have somewhere to stay during visits.

  5. My mother comes from Cowdenbeath...still got relatives there.

    I is a bit of a black hole. But you should hear some of her stories as to what it was like durning the war years, when it was a boom mining town. It's a different side of my mum entirely, I can tell you!