Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One good thing the IRA achieved with all their bombs was to prevent, probably forever, the adoption over here of the American sentimental embracement of St Patrick. The absence is particularly appreciated just now, when we're all still reeling from Mother's Day last Sunday. One can bear just so much entimentality in any one week. Mother's Day gets worse every year. I was glad to see, browsing the Opinionated Knitter recently, that EZ disapproved of it as strongly as I do.

A frustrating morning has been spent trying to get hold of Leslye Solomon’s beautiful Vertical Kaleidoscope Cardigan pattern and there is left little time for blogging.

Thank you for the notes of sympathy about M’s death. It is her husband we should be worrying about. There is a son and a grandson, to both of whom he is close. The son’s first marriage foundered. The grandparents largely reared the boy, who has remained devoted to them. Those two can help maybe a little, if anyone can.

Knitting (and knitting-related)

The Schoolhouse problem has been straightened out. I finally heard from them, and suggested that the only solution was for me to buy the book I don’t much want, and for them to send the one I do want without a further charge for postage. Everybody’s happy. (And the next job is to tackle the electricity board about that suspect meter.)

I decided to go ahead with the pink Araucania sweater in Strathardle. I reached the armhole divide last week. That always feels like the Point of No Return in a sweater so constructed. It’s a lovely soft fabric, essentially sock yarn being knit on 3.25mm needles, which seem rather large. I’m still getting six stitches to the inch, so it isn’t absurdly loose. I can’t remember the reasoning -- I cast it on two years ago, and I usually like small needles and firmness. But I like the result here.

The skein I'm currently knitting is less striated than the one I started out with, and I'm afraid the change is rather obvious. I'll just have to live with it.

I also decided, for the immediate future, to knit a small mystery project. Doesn’t make for good blogging. After that, perhaps I will return to James’s jabot, all the while collecting ideas for the Koigu. That’s where Leslye’s pattern, mentioned above, comes in – it’s actually designed for Koigu, and is a strong contender.

But I am also walking carefully through the results of a “swing jacket” search on Ravelry. There are lots.

The new Wool Gathering has arrived – Cully’s sweater is extremely interesting. He is clearly an engineer of knitting, like his gramma. His i-cord Lattice hat, in an earlier Woolgathering, remains high on my HALFPINT list.


  1. Dawn in NL10:27 AM

    I agree with your sentiments about Mother's Day, but I still got a twinge of guilt when my mother was telling me what she got from my brothers ('wives). Still, her birthday is next week and I'll make up for it then.

    I loved the Grandson sweater and it looked great on the recipient.

    All the best,

  2. I'm afraid that many Americans use St. Patrick's day as an excuse to drink excessively. My view of the Irish and of Ireland is a great deal less romantic and sentimental after visiting there some years ago. Oddly enough we were treated more warmly by the people of Belfast (in the North) than of the people of Dublin (in the Republic).

  3. The Grandson sweater is fabulous!
    I don't like St Paddy's day either.
    It seems to be an excuse to drink too much as Donna said

  4. What you could do with the Araucania sweater, if you're willing to be fiddly with it, is alternate the less striated skein with one that is more striated. Then the section won't look weird.

    Yes, the US gets all too smarmy with the St Patrick's Day celebrations but we do have one place here in Portland that has a nice tradition. People throw money onto the ceiling and whatever sticks there is donated on St Patrick's Day to a local children's long term care facility. They pull in a fair bit.

  5. I'm with FiberQat in supporting a special charity for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
    Our household here in Seattle is having good fun today with us all wearing green and eating Shamrock greenish tint pancakes.

  6. =Tamar6:31 PM

    Holidays: St Patrick's Day is an excuse for a spring party, somewhat close to the old Roman first of the year - March 15, which is why the fiscal year began then. It's New Year's, and the "party after tax day," before that was changed to avoid the Ides of March. I'm told that Mothering Sunday was the day servants had free to visit their parents during Lent.

    Knitting: It seems to me that maximum sts/inch is determined by the yarn, but maximum rows/inch is determined by the needle size.
    The rest depends on whether it's pulled sideways or up and down.

    With all the sweaters that have a total pattern-and-yarn change in the yoke, a change in the skein variegation can be considered a subtle design feature.

  7. I note that those of us with Scots ancestry do not make the same fuss about St Andrew's Day!