Thursday, April 09, 2009

Old friends from Birmingham are coming to lunch today – I must be brief here. The dining room is more or less presentable, the lunch is to be simple: but everything I do takes much longer than it used to.


I have lost about half-a-stone (7 pounds) during Lent, through not drinking cider and not replacing it with chocolate (as I tended to last year, under stress from the Primaries). Now I learn that Joe has lost ten pounds over the same period, through a book that seems to involve hypnosis and an MP3 player. And on Joe it shows; he looks better. I don’t know what I conclude from these facts. I couldn’t get away with walking around with a MP3 player.


Thank you for the kind remarks about Fergus’ shawl. I designed some others, for other grandchildren, but that was the best because it was the simplest. Less is more. I haven’t seen it for quite a while – I think the photograph has come out blue-er than the yarn actually was.

Susan, I’m knitting my Princess in Heirloom Knitting’s own Gossamer Merino (which I recommend highly) on a 2.25mm needle. The yarn is plied, and therefore much stronger than Shetland cobweb. I think it’s finer, too. It’s very well behaved – Sharon knit the prototype in cotton, and says that the stitches kept trying to escape. Mine don’t, even when there were more than 800 on the needle.

I’m much taken with Cashsilk, from the same source, and will probably go for that in a deep colour when/if I attempt the Queen Ring. That’s what Sharon used for the prototype and a little bit is included with the pattern, for swatching. I am also much taken with the Habu A-32 yarn (snappy name, eh?) I saw at I Knit. Mohair & silk, 186 yds to half an ounce,. (Gossamer Merino is 480 metres to 20 grams – you’ll have to translate; I’ve got to go make a bean soup.) The Habu yarn comes in wonderful muted shades.

There I had better stop for today.

Except to say that I've finished row 13 of the final repeat of the Princess centre. The opening motif is done!


  1. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Jean - I am very drawn to A-32 myself. But I felt it was comparable to Kidsilk Haze, and might that be too fuzzy for your heirloom lace look? Just wondering.

    Beverly in CA near Yosemite (usually a lurker)

  2. =Tamar2:26 PM

    Loud cheers!

  3. I have some A-32 somewhere. If I can find it you're welcome to try it.

  4. I feel very apprehensive about posting my own 'advice' on the cashsilk (as in 'how wise do you think you are Mrs Daly from Wollongong warning Mrs Miles from Edinburgh about a laceweight yarn?'), but I'll brave it.

    I recently knit a Herbert Neibling shawl with an apple green cashmere silk cobweb yarn. Not Sharon Miller's, but a mongolian one sent on a cone from China. It was beautifull soft, very strong and behaved well (not fuzzy at all) whilst knitting but it won't hold blocking at all. It is currently on embarrassing display at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney (where it took third prize in a lace knitting category) looking like a pile of spaghetti on a pole.

    It looked like it was going to hold when it was blocked, but gradually it sprung back to a ripply little circle. I have it ravelried.

    Now the composition is not identical, and I'd trust Sharon Miller to not sell a non-blockable yarn under her name, but all the same I'd suggest waiting a while after blocking your swatch before making your final decision.

    I look forward to seeing your progress, whatever decision you make.