Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I didn’t buy anything – but a grand time was had at the Habu show, and I may yet circle and come back.

Takako, who is delightful, taught us to read a Japanese knitting pattern. I had for some reason expected a book or magazine or two to be on hand as a demonstration. Not so – we worked through a Habu pattern, plain st st, as most if not all of them are. The yarn does the talking – that, and unusual angles.

The garments are blissfully light and wonderfully drapey. I think I might have fallen for some, in a different month. Almost all were in the sub fusc colours which I prefer to wear, but I can’t rev myself up to buying sub fusc in November.

I think I might try to find a Japanese book or magazine. Shouldn’t be difficult. Takako said that I would soon learn the characters for “knit” and “purl” and somehow the thought was rather exciting. She also pointed out that many Japanese patterns will involve complicated stitch patterns, and there I would be on my own. She professed herself incapable of cables, which I doubt.

[The briefest of Googles produced this – impressing one yet again with how fiendishly clever the Google algorithms are at zooming in on what you actually want. Clearly it will be easy enough to take this farther if I have the time and strength.]

As for which, the Calcutta Cup band on Ketki’s sweater is pulling itself into shape – that is, the actual knitting, which feels random, not like the pleasant rhythm of a Fair Isle or geometric KF, has begun to look like sense. I think I’ll leave the photography for yet another day. If I keep my nose to the grindstone, I might finish the band and even introduce the body colour today.

The famous/infamous budget statement of our Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday included a £60 handout to every pensioner, not payable alas until January. That may prove just the factor to tip the balance towards that scarf I showed you yesterday. I will certainly look again at superchunky yarn the next time I am in Lewis’s. There was none in K1 Yarns yesterday.

Ketki’s sweater is safe as long as the cup has been knit in, in ’08. Maybe I should make another effort actually to see the Calcutta Cup, before it goes south for its next long sojourn in London. I am surely the only person in the entire world who has knit it three times – in ’00, a lacy version went in to granddaughter Kirsty’s Christening shawl; in ’06, I knit Alexander his Fair Isle sweater. And now this.


Stashhaus asked what has become of nephew Theo and his fiancée Jenni. The short answer is, we don’t know yet. They’re hard at work moving to Washington – or maybe they’ve finished doing that. Jenni is officially employed by the DNC until the end of the year. Clearly the expectation is that crumbs will fall from the high table. I’ll keep you posted. The wedding has been scheduled for late July.

And a visit to the Stashhaus blog for the sake of that link took me back to Jared’s Noro scarf. So much to knit. So little time.


  1. sounds great. yes the colours are muddy. there are some great cable patterns from japan. i hope to get hold of some books with my cousin leaving for kyoto tomorrow and staying for a year. i think the austrians chart their patterns in quite a strange way too. the best charter is definitely alice starmore and barbara walker and the thing about good patterns is you become so disunderstanding of the bad ones.

    looking forward to see the sweater.

    and do you have a good idea for a baby shawl. both when it comes to the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn???

  2. Happy to report that Theo will be working for the inauguration--doing press logistics on the "outside", which I assume means all the coverage of the parade and swearing in. Should be fun since he'll be very involved with security which he enjoys and knows a lot about.
    Jobs for folks like him and Jenni will get filled a bit later on but this is certainly a good sign.

  3. There are a couple of great groups on the internet for help with Japanese Knitting patterns. If you are on Ravelry check out the Japanese Knitting and Crochet group:

    There is also a good Yahoo! group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/knittinginjapan/

  4. I just finished teaching a class on reading Japanese Knitting Patterns. I'd be glad to send you links and my handouts. I've been interested because I'd like to do some of my patterns more visually, perhaps adapting the Japanese approach a bit.

  5. I just finished a Noro scarf last week. It's like crack. Just sayin...

  6. Thanks to Helen for the update on Theo.

    Jean, as for reviews on air filters, are there any advocate groups there for people who have allergies or other types of upper respiratory problems you can check with? They may have recommendations.

    Good luck with your eye appointment!