Monday, March 08, 2010


Better yet – I’ve been corresponding with Rachel about sending it to London, with her socks. Turns out Joe himself will be coming home to Streatham this weekend, so if I can time the package to arrive on Saturday or next Monday, he’ll be there to let it in and try it on right away. If I move the damp object into the kitchen tonight and tomorrow, it should be ready.

On Wednesday we hope to go to Strathardle, at last. The weather has been cool, but vernal – we hope the Big Snow of a fortnight ago has retreated. Perhaps I’d better check with a neighbour, just in case. I can post sweater and socks and, I hope, ear-flap hat from there.

I finished in time last night for some more sock knitting. Someone, I think Franklin, described how everybody was obsessively knitting Olivers at the 2009 Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat, for which the pattern was originally designed. If you factor in KF stripes and KnitPro sock needles, "obsessive" reaches new heights. Today I’ve got to face up to the ear-flap hat, but I think there’s little enough to do that there’ll be room for more sock.

Mel, I am profoundly impressed by your toe-up Olivers. I have never been tempted by toe-up, since toe-up means ribbing-last. But I can admire the engineering. Your shaping reaches so beautifully from toe to heel. Mine is going to peter out well short of the toe. I started Oliver-ing every second round, soon realised I was going much too fast, and have switched to every-third. A rather haphazard way to knit a sock, but I think it’s going to be all right. I’ve made notes, at least, so that I ought to be able to repeat what I’ve done.

The shaping is a matter of paired increases and decreases, like many a lace pattern. The increases march two by two down the sole of the foot. The elegant lines of the decreases start underneath and eventually meet on top. I am normally the blindest of the Blind Followers EZ so often sneered at, but in this case it was the pattern that blinded me with instructions, especially as the Oliver shaping begins before the gusset shaping is finished. It is all “Needle #1” and “Needle #4” and “Repeat round 9” when what I needed was an overview.

I have been thinking, without reaching any sort of conclusion, about my Strathardle knitting. It is a dusty pink Araucania sweater in the round, meant for me. I started it somewhere in ’08, and am not far off the armpits. Somehow, lately, there has always been something urgent to take along from Edinburgh. Does this mean that I really don’t want a dusty pink sweater? I must face up to the question.

Theresa, you are right. I will be patient with the Schoolhouse, and we will get this sorted out eventually. I had wondered if they were having connectivity problems. Nothing is more frustrating.


  1. Anonymous1:57 PM

    The sweater is absolutely lovely. Many beautiful design features - all executed so well. Congratulations, Jean.
    Ron in Mexico

  2. Gorgeous sweater. You really whipped it out in short order, it seems. If you want someone who isn't calling transatlantic to give Schoolhouse a shout, let me know.

  3. The sweater is so amazingly gorgeous. I love the collar. All I can say is 'wow'.

  4. Gerri3:54 PM

    Hope you hear from Schoolhouse. I've had nothing but rapid-free communication, including an issue where I hadn't noticed a missing skein until months later.

  5. =Tamar5:47 PM

    Some elements of the "Oliver" shaping occurred in some 16th and 17th century stockings - the line that moves up from the midsole to the side of the foot. But as I recall, in those it stopped there, mainly I think because the sock was long enough then. The new element is to carry it onto the top of the foot deliberately. Neat idea anyway.