Monday, April 27, 2009


Today should be the day when I really finish the centre, thread the stitches onto waste yarn, and perhaps even start the top edging. Wow!

Big decisions loom. The instructions say to pick up those stitches from the end of the original edging, and just start knitting along the top. What about the corner? I gather there has been some anxious correspondence on this point in the Princess group in Ravelry (which I don’t read), and a knitter codenamed Seaglass has devised a most ingenious short-row way of getting around. My cyber-friend Cynthia has sent me the charts, with Seaglass’ permission.

Cynthia used to be on a level with me, or even slightly behind, but she is now steaming along the top. She also sent me a picture of her own corner, using the Seaglass insertion. It makes a very neat and un-stressed right angle. When the work is blocked, the inner angle will be acute and the outer one – which the edging must circumnavigate – obtuse, making the insertion all the more valuable.

This is a link to the original Princess shawl in the Museum of Scotland – the model Sharon Miller has simplified (!) somewhat for her pattern. As you can see, the finished shape is more an oval bisected along its long axis, than a triangle. That corner angle certainly looks as if it will take a certain amount of getting-around, but it doesn’t want to be sharp.

I have great confidence in Sharon – and she knit the prototype in cotton, which presumably doesn’t block as generously as the wool I am using. Her pattern doesn’t attempt a picture of the entire shawl spread out, but she does have a close-up of the final corner, to illustrate lace-grafting, and it looks perfectly smooth.

Some people are worried about bunching at the bottom of the shawl: I’m confident that mine will be fine. The border, with the original edging attached, is a rectangle. At the end, the stitch-count is reduced by about a third in that “insertion” and the border then simply bent in the middle to accommodate the centre. If I’m all right at that point, maybe the top corners will be OK too?

I think maybe I’d better have a look at Ravelry today.


The doorbell rang while I was writing this. The postman gave me a Seedbed Roll, previously only available to commercial growers, which I will roll out in my second raised bed and raise carrots, chard and beetroot with no weeding, no pests, and (presumably) no thinning. One will believe anything, in April.

The beans in the dining room – French, runner, and Cherokee Trail of Tears, a few of each – are at last making a start, as are the courgettes there, destined eventually for Strathardle. The kitchen courgette, which will remain on the Edinburgh doorstep, continues well


  1. Maureen in Fargo2:08 PM

    I know Laritza has been very worried about the corners on her Princess. As you said, several of us on Ravelry have discussed this and those of us who have not yet started the shawl are thinking about trying different construction methods. Sharon remains steadfast in her assertion (on the Yahoo list) that Laritza's corners will block out just fine...I'm very anxious to see how they turn out.

    I've seen Cynthia's short row corner and chart but I'm not a fan of that look, I'd rather knit full rows and not attach them. Of course, that can get pretty bunched up looking so I remain undecided about what to do. I do want to start the shawl this Summer, after I finish some other things and can devote time to it, so a decision will have to be made shortly...

  2. Dawn in NL2:24 PM

    Hello Jean,

    I am enjoying your gardening stories. My current small yard has been brightened up with a few plants in pots but foodplants are currently limited to a few herbs and a grapevine. A planned roof garden will give me a bit more scope next year.

    On another topic - have you seen any mention of this ? The plan is to cover the railings of the Skye bridge in donated scarves, stoles and blankets.

    All the best