Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A good day.

The Eye Man said that my Bad Eye – the one that had the retinal vein occlusion – has improved considerably in the last year, and now even reaches the minimum standard for driving all by itself, although I wouldn’t care to attempt it without help from the Good Eye.

I got the first sleeve facing hemmed, and the second sleeve unpicked and reattached. The seam can’t be pressed towards the sleeve, as EZ would have me do, because the facing is in the way. So it is pressed towards the body, and seems to me to make a nice neat seam that way. I sewed the facing down with thread, for unobtrusiveness. I don’t know whether you’re supposed to do that.

So the Grandson Sweater is now in one piece, and I’m very pleased with it. That bottom ribbing doesn't curl any more either, or at least, not so badly.

Today I must press the new seam, and tonight sew it down and begin putting in rows of restraining stitching to secure the neck opening. Hey! tomorrow I may actually be knitting again!

Random Knit-Related

On Monday I ordered the sock needles Kate is keen on. I’d been meaning to do so for a while. No need to go all the way to Australia -- I ordered them from P2tog. That’s a link to a page describing the needles. They arrived yesterday – one could scarcely have better service unless she had brought them round herself on Monday afternoon. And they’re as wonderful as Kate says.

Using them, I thought I had reached the heel flap of Ketki’s KF socks last night, but I see, on consulting my notes this morning, that I have another 20 rounds of leg to go. It will be a pleasure.

I continue to think about Koigu stripes – and by now, swatching couldn’t be that far away. Theresa has posted pictures of a store-boughten sweater (only she didn’t buy it) with short row stripes, interesting but not I think as beautiful as the one she’s knitting.

I think I have at last pinned down the floating memory that has been plaguing me – and it wasn’t short-row stripes at all, but one of those things where you reach down and grab a stitch from four or five rows back and pull it up to join the ones on the needle. There’s an interesting gent’s sweater in the new IK which uses that sort of technique to create a lattice effect, but I’m thinking of colour.

The same IK has an article about Kitchener stitch in which it is said, “British Army general Lord Kitchener was concerned that sock seams maimed the toes of his soldiers. A smooth grafting technique solved the problem.”

Finding the source of the phrase “Kitchener stitch”, so that I can write to the Oxford English dictionary about it, has been a project of mine for more than a decade. (You must have heard this before.) I have asked Bishop Rutt about it, and Lord Kitchener himself. (The latter, engagingly, had never heard of it.) I’ll follow this one up, but I’m willing to take bets on the side, right now, that the author can’t substantiate that statement.


  1. I will bet alongside you on Kitchener stitch.

    I do believe that if it had been used in the UK from that far back, it would have cropped up somewhere that I would have noticed. As it is, I only met the name in this present century, when I had been knitting, and reading and talking about knitting with people from the older generations for most of my life. Grandma never mentioned it, and she had knitted socks before,during, and after the First World War.

  2. I don't think that could be substantiated either. I've always imagined some bossy Red Cross woman telling her knitters that the socks had to be a certain standard so that Lord Kitchener himself would approve. Somewhere, I think in The Middle Parts of Fortune, (Frederic Manning) there is a description of some sadly shaped Red Cross socks. Must try to track that down.

  3. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Gee, that sweater is so beautiful. Congratulations, Jean.

  4. The sweater is absolutely fantastic. So nice to see it all together like that.

    Am I correct that it is the KnitPro DPNs you are loving? I was fortunate enough to have been given a set of the KnitPicks interchangeables (a few problems with the cables falling apart, but mostly like them). KnitPro also sells the interchangeable circular needles with a shorter cable and smaller size needles (3.0 and 3.25 mm) which KnitPicks have not seemed to have picked up. Since KnitPicks is the 'exclusive' dealer for the needles in the U.S., it's a bit of a bummer for me, I may just have to buck up and order them from elsewhere.Now i may have to order some of the sock-sized DPNs as well.

  5. =Tamar5:10 PM

    Now if the journalist had said that about Kitchener's sister, who was actually in charge of things related to provisioning, it might have been plausible.

  6. Anonymous6:51 PM

    Grandson sweater is looking very good - congratulations. Seems to me that your progress on this has been pretty speedy.
    - Beth in Toronto

  7. Donice7:01 PM

    Jean, the sweater looks wonderful, and it's a pleasure to watch it come together. Your facings look very neat! Lucky grandson.

  8. Congratulations on the lovely sweater!
    I am really impressed by steeks!
    Lisa in Toronto

  9. That's an intriguing bit of research about the Kitchener stitch. I will join in.

    The grandson sweater is looking very very smart. I love it.