Monday, May 18, 2009

Good news, Meg. Candace says that Louet still sells her Harmony pattern – and here’s the link. How did we manage our lives before Google?

Except that I didn’t really solve the problem I set myself yesterday ---

The newspapers are full of pictures of the Speaker of the House of Commons, reminding me that I have often toyed with the idea of knitting a lace jabot for wear with a kilt on formal occasions. I think James wears his at such moments – Alistair and I picked out a dress sporran as a birthday present for him one time, in Blairgowrie.

The only jabot pattern I know is in Hazel Carter’s “Shetland Lace Knitting from Charts”, a valuable resource even in these post-Sharon-Miller days. But it is a simple rectangle. Do a row of holes about an inch from one end, she says, so that a drawstring can be threaded through. Then what? The jabots I can find on line – not patterns but pictures – have two or three layers of lace.

(I just went off and did some more Googling – Irish crochet jabots seem more accessible than knitted ones, and I now see how a single rectangle might be employed, although I prefer layers. I even found a reference to the Speaker’s very outfit – it’s Honiton lace, and was presented to him relatively recently.)

Anyway, I’d be glad for any pointers you can offer. If you people can find a pattern for a barrister’s wig for a teddy bear – as you did – a lace jabot should offer no problems. I wouldn’t mind doing some cuffs while I was at it. Maybe I should ask the Heirloom Knitting group.

I remember once when I was young (in the mid-50’s), and about to go to a dance of some sort, and having no jewelry, I went to a haberdashery counter in Glasgow and bought some inch-wide black velvet ribbon to wear around my neck. There was a young man there, buying a jabot, and I reflected that there is no country in Europe where a man can do himself so well without joining the army. It’s still true.

Since the yarn I ordered hasn’t turned up, I’ll have to start socks for my husband today with other yarn. I chose one of those 100-gram balls yesterday from my abundant stash, and wound it off into two 50-gram balls so that I will know when to stop and do the toe (half the foot, more like) in something different. I was surprised to find that I ended up with two 45-gram balls. Sure enough, when the label was re-inspected, 10 grams were devoted to the matching yarn for darning. I don’t know what to conclude: read the small print, I guess.

Miscellaneous non-knit

The washing machine man has already rung up to say that he has to stay home today with his son, who is coughing. He’ll come tomorrow. He is beginning to remind me of Mr O’Leary the Builder in Fawlty Towers.

Here are my beans and courgettes on the doorstep yesterday, recovering from windburn. When I plant them out later this week, each will be protected with its own sawn-off water- or pop-bottle.


  1. I have the number of a very reliable washing machine repair man, if you feel the need?

  2. I followed your link over to Schoolhouse and see that they will be publishing Bridget Rorem's Lace Alphabet, but perhaps you mentioned this already.

  3. Donice1:37 PM

    Maybe this has already been said, but it seems to me that the Mitered Mozart sweater, also designed by Eisner-Strick, is almost exactly the same sweater as Harmony. On Ravelry, the Mitered Mozart is easily found, but not the Harmony.
    Whatever it is called, I think it's a good choice for the Games.

  4. Thank you very much! You are a "pearl of great price" I believe. I like your idea of a knitted lace jabot. Could you not knit several of the same panels and then layer them?

  5. How did we manage without Google indeed. I'm re-reading a Sjowall and Wahloo detective story, first pub 1965, and everything takes days: telephone calls to the US from Sweden have to be booked beforehand. It's like reading Trollope.

  6. How about a Fichu instead of a Jabot? There are 2 in Victorian Lace Today. The Opera Fichu looks like it's several layers of lace. I've been tempted to make it but have resisted because I'm not sure I would have occasion to wear it.

  7. Anonymous7:37 PM

    There is a pattern for a very simple jabot in one of the bobbin lace books on my shelves. Would you like to borrow it? You could perhaps use the shape as inspiration.
    ps I live in Edinburgh, so I could bring it to your house.