Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Twelfth Night

Kate, I’ve always thought it was today – and the BBC began today’s transmission by saying that today is “Wednesday, the 6th of January, Twelfth Night.” So I guess Christmas itself doesn’t count among the 12? I had never wondered about that before.

And today, I feel, 2010 really gets underway in Drummond Place. We have Christmas presents to open yet, and cards to put away, and are well enough to get started on the massive catching-up. Ironing and paper work are completely out of control, in my case.

Yesterday went well. A Plan of Action has been agreed upon for the Magnum Opus, with which all seem happy. My husband enjoyed talking about Art World events and people, a type of conversation he mostly has to do without, these days. The soup was OK, although not as good as the last time I made it. Gerri, I tossed out the word “agrodolce” yesterday thinking more of its Italian meaning, “sour-sweet”, than of the famous sauce. The soup has fish sauce, chillis, sugar, and lime juice in it. Not sour, in fact. hot-salty-sweet.


I have finished the first instruction for the Grandson Sweater, namely to knit 1 ¼” in k2, p2 rib, and feel a good deal happier about the size. Now we have 2 ½” in plain white, before the seeding starts.

I have read all the way through the instructions, a bit late in the day, and discovered that there are no directions at all about the sleeve openings, except to say curtly at the beginning that they must be cut open and the sleeves sewn in. Once I start the seeding, after the current 2 ½” plain, I am to carry on until I reach the neck.

Now that I know, I’ve got plenty of time to read around the subject before I get to the underarm point. I started with McGregor, who doesn’t seem to touch on the subject, but I’ve got plenty of other Scandinavian texts. I’m not afraid of cutting. In my Fair Isle Phase, back in the 80’s, I often knit sweaters right up to the top and then cut them to shape the neckline, v-neck or crew or whatever.

However, the serious job on the knitting front right now is to book my classes for the Knit Camp in Stirling in August – even if I never get there. Franklin on photographing fabric is a given – Alexander says he would be better employed teaching me to draw sheep. The rest is more difficult. I can’t be away from my duties too long. The programme on offer is rich and exciting.

More soon.


  1. Jean, I will follow this project with great interest, particularly the cutting part - I have yet to be confident about cutting. In fact, I have never done it and would like to be able to.

  2. Twelfth Night, always long arguments about when decorations come down. I was brought up on the fact that today 6th January is Epiphany and the decorations come down at the end of today. My parents used to hold Twelfth Night parties with nice food, drink etc and take down the decorations fun. I have lived in Europe and found it the same but with even better parties on 6th January! However times seem to be changing and there is a lot of new information. This website is very comprehensive but a completely different take from my childhood.
    My decorations will be still taken down tonight!
    Happy New Year.

  3. Anonymous5:11 PM

    Tonight is Twelfth Night, but my decorations probably won't come down until tomorrow when I get to it. No one here in the US seems to have a clue about it, though. Too bad for them!

    The soup sounds delicious, like a Thai recipe.
    -- Gretchen

  4. =Tamar5:37 PM

    Twelfth Night isn't a big deal in the US. My family leaves the decorations up until they feel like taking them down. One year that was sometime in May, when the ice melted and we could take the lights off the outdoor tree. As I vaguely understand it, there are 12 days of Christmas and _then_ Epiphany. Maybe they were trying to avoid the number 13.

  5. I've yet to take my Christmas decorations down and in our small town all the decorations are still on display. I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas this year and am in no particular hurry to take them down.

    Query: When knitting to the top and cutting in the crew neck or v-neck or whathaveyou, did you then sew the resulting fabric down? I've no problem with the cutting, but am unsure what to do with the resulting edge.

  6. I loved the pictures of the finished ASJ I wondered whether you felt the one button feature helped it to hang properly in wear, or whether that depended on the amount of ease. It is hard to tell from the photograph.

  7. Regarding decorations, I follow my parents' "tradition" - often the tree was not put up until a couple of days before Christmas and was not taken down until sometime during the church season of Epiphany - which runs right up to Lent. So, as long as my tree stays fresh, I tend to keep it up until mid-late January.

    Regarding steeks, I have found that using a stickier yarn helps - and the stickier yarns do not need machine sewing, but can get by with crochet. When using Cascade 220, I didn't machine sew, but crocheted, around the steek and it did start to come undone. My guess is that it was a combination of my crochet skills (or lack thereof) and the yarn not being as sticky as the ones you've mentioned.

    The Unspun Icelandic yarn from Schoolhouse Press needs no sewing. Amazing to see the steeks in projects made with it.

  8. Hah! I feel vindicated. See post for more deets if curious...