Still no snow in Edinburgh, although it sounds as if there is a good deal both to the north and to the south of us. I don’t know what’s happening in Strathardle. I still don’t want to go there until the current weather system goes away. I’m terrified of getting stuck in the snow – and I want to get started on the garden, pruning the raspberries, digging holes for the courgettes and filling them with compost. Can’t do that if the ground is frozen solid. And I’d like to see the snowdrops. We’ve been building up our collection, and have quite a few by now.
Vogue Knitting Book No. 16 is safely here. The last time I got a Special Delivery (“Hand-Knits for Service Women”, from the same seller) it came with the rest of the mail at the end of the morning. This time, as befitted so solemn an occasion, it came all by itself in a van with a man.
I emailed the seller, thanking her again for letting it go. She said in her reply, “My very best wishes to you and to Alexander - bet he's glad you've now completed your collection.”
As I expected, there’s not much hint of war in No. 16 (spring, 1940). Separate leaflets are advertised with military knitting; that’s about it. Yarn seems to be abundant (it was first rationed in 1941).
Things are much the same in No. 17. Vogue Knitting’s of the 30’s were strong on telling you suitable places for wearing each project – golf, tennis, the country, the evening, town, ski-ing, and so forth. No. 17 does allow itself to suggest, for the very first pattern in the book, that it’s highly suitable “for the shelter”.
I was wrong about men – I think I said here recently that there are no patterns for them in wartime VKB’s. There is one each in No. 16 and No. 17.
The next thing is to spread the whole war out on the dining room table, only recently cleared of Christmas cards.
This is a big day all round. I finished Ketki’s sweater last night, except for one button. It flew out of my hand during the sewing-on process, and by the time I found it, I had moved on to the Princess. I’ll have to do it today. Hate buttons. And block the sweater.
Princess-knitting went fine. I can see it as well as ever. The joy of knitting it is undiminished. The rows are very long now – I finished one yesterday, and made a good start on another. I’m halfway through the 10th centre repeat, and had left myself a careful message. During its period in the freezer I used point protectors, and I think I’ll go on using them, although I’ve had no trouble with escaping stitches. Sharon Miller knit the prototype in cotton, and says that her stitches were very eager to get away.