Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Janet, if you do see Franklin in Seattle, you could ask, in a quiet moment, if everything is going to plan for the KnitCamp in Stirling in August. You could even say that a friend of yours is a bit anxious. You could even mention my name, which I think he might remember: we have corresponded a bit, and I almost got to be one of the 1,000 Knitters: I missed him in London by a couple of days.

Since I sat down to type, the doorbell has rung and the postman delivered “Knitting in Art” and “Estonian Mittens” from the Schoolhouse. Both look wonderful. I sort of “collect” knitting in art – as a list in my electronic Filofax, not canvasses on the wall. The majority turn out to be French from the third quarter of the 19th century, shepherdesses sitting on rocks churning out large socks, sort of thing.

I expected a good deal of that from this book, but (even on a five-minute inspection) it is much more sharply focussed. The author was looking more for knitting-being-worn than knitting-being-executed (although the latter is present too), in old photographs as well as paintings. The emphasis is solidly Scandinavian (good) and she comments as well as illustrates (better).

Here is an example of the sort of thing, except that this one is from me, rather than the book – a picture painted in 1815 of “Napoleon on board the Bellerophon in Plymouth Sound”. It is in the collection of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and its interest to us is the honest British tar in the foreground in his striped, drop-shoulder jersey. Unusually clear.

“Estonian Mittens” makes me wonder if I should do some mitten-knitting. Memo for next Christmas? It is a field into which I have rarely strayed.


I dashed off a couple of repeats of the Doris edging in DMC Crochet Cotton 100 yesterday, as supplied by Sharon Miller for swatching the Wedding Ring Shawl, and found that I could do it. A great morale-booster, after the failure last week to knit 100 stitches of a very easy lace pattern is gossamer merino. Perhaps when I was approaching the Princess, it was with silk that I matched Franklin’s failure, rather than cotton.

On the same principle that led me to order yarn the other day – to get something a bit heavier than gossamer – I spent an uncomfortably long time looking for DMC Crochet Cotton at 70 or 80. (I don’t know what I’m talking about – just guessing here.) All the good websites seem to be north American, even when I specify that I want UK sites only. And some of the UK ones proved difficult or impossible to order from.

I finally found some 80 that I could actually have, and ordered a ball of that. I’m not going to re-set the slider again: a) because crochet cotton is not “yarn” and b) because it counts as part of last Saturday’s purchase, something a little bit solider for the jabot.

I’m still not committed to knitting a cotton jabot, but I’ll try.


  1. Gah-- I meant to say this yesterday, but the Oxfam shop near the bottom of Morningside Rd. had some crochet cotton recently. It may be all gone, or all gone but the pink, but I live just down the road and can check if you like.

  2. Jean there is a very active group on Ravelry talking about the Stirling extravaganza
    If you join the group you can easily see all the news.

  3. I have crocheted doilies with fine cotton and hooks, and while the yarn can be harder on the hands while making it, once it is blocked, it makes a lovely product- also cotton starches nicely (my mom starches the doilies I make her.)

    I love making mittens. In fact that is one thing that makes me sad about moving to Texas- no mittens! But I make mittens for friends who live up north-- and they can be so fun- I love, love, making mittens-- so I say, make some mittens Jean!

  4. Jean - last night I checked out the bus and train schedules and figured out how to get to Franklin's workshop on Sunday. Kent is about 20 miles south of where I am. Will try to have a word with Franklin.

    Speaking of the 1000 knitters project - what has happened to it? I'll ask Franklin.

  5. =Tamar5:15 PM

    Thank you, thank you for the link and the date of painting. I believe that's the earliest solid pictorial evidence I've seen for the striped knitted jersey.