Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bless you, catdownunder, for saving me from the humiliation of a comment-less day, and even more for actually knowing Geoffrey Dutton. Did someone say something about a small world?

I had one extra advantage in my search for his garden: proving, if proof were required, that we’re going to go on needing the printed page. My husband, with a lifetime of research under his belt, said, start with the phone book, when we read the obituary with its reference to a garden “north of Blairgowrie”. We were in Strathardle at the time, and there is no possible Dutton in the current book.

But here in Edinburgh, we keep the Tayside book-but-one (and do the same for Edinburgh at the other end). And in the older book a Dutton was listed – although without “G” among the initials – for “Druinchardain, Bridge of Cally”.

Well, Google on that and you soon find that that’s Geoffrey Dutton’s address. So then all you have to do is locate Druinchardain.


The back of the Green Granite Blocks is properly finished, and I am advancing through the ribbing of the right front.

The pattern – I’ve mentioned this before – asks one to carry on, over the shoulder, and knit the fronts downwards. I don’t see the point. And I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with Kaffe. I don’t think he designs knitwear, in the ordinary sense of that phrase, although he certainly has views about possible – often dramatic – shapes.

So I left the stitches live, and am starting again from the bottom.

I got a bit anxious about the fact that I seem to have used nearly half of the amount of yarn provided for Colour A (which figures prominently in the ribbing). But a quick search of the Rowan odd-ball bag has produced a sufficiency of the right stuff, or near enough. Dye-lots don’t matter here. So that’s all right.

There is one colour whose effect I don’t like at all, as it appears on the back. When you see the colours all lying in their box ready for deployment, it looks as if it would provide an interesting accent. But in practice, I don’t think it works.

The pictures on the models in the California Patches book all seem to be arranged so that you can’t see the places where that colour appears. And there is one mysterious picture of the complete back – knit in a different colourway: Red Granite Blocks, perhaps. No comment in the text, and no discordant colour there.

I don't know what that intrusion at the bottom of the picture is -- the camera case, perhaps. But it underlines one appearance of the offending colour, and there is another upper left.

I’m about to try a substitution from the odd-ball bag.

I looked out some lace yarns for Helen’s consideration yesterday, and became thoroughly depressed at the size of the stash. It’s now eight months since the yarn-fast began, interrupted only by buying one ball of merino lace for James’s jabot – and knitting it. You wouldn’t know anything had happened, in there amongst the yarns.

My plan, roughly, is to buy! buy! buy! in November – when one needs cheering up, anyway – but to buy less than can be knit in a year, and then start another fast. We’ll see


  1. I think there seem to be two Geoffrey Duttons - one born in Chester in 1924 who died recently (Telegraph obituary) and had the Perthshire garden, and one born in Australia in 1922 who died in 1998 (Wikipedia entry). Both were poets, and the one in the UK was also a scientist.
    However this data was only found with a few minutes searching the internet, so I do not claim it is very reliable!
    About the Green Blocks, I feel you should definitely feel free to swap out any colour that does not appeal to you.
    I wondered if you ever work on the body of an intarsia sweater as a tube, so as to use stocking stitch up to the armholes? I purl more slowly than I knit, so a tube sweater body goes more smoothly for me. However the side seams would add structure to the sweater.

  2. I hope you won't be cursing my name re. the walking onions. I imagine you'll stay on top of them. (No pun intended.) It took a few years for me to figure out what the heck they were, by that time they had strolled all over. My husband is going to renovate the strawberries, so I hope not to smell onion when picking berries next year!

  3. I seem to remember knitting over the shoulder and down the two fronts on the Pompeii Jacket from Glorious Knitting. It made for a very heavy knit in the later stages. What makes you say that Kaffe would not have used this feature, I wonder? Colour work rather than technical invention were his hallmarks - always stocking stitch with no textured variations, for example.

  4. I have given away two tubs of stash to a knitting program and was still left with 11 bins of yarn, and it made me feel depressed. I keep saying that I will go "cold sheep" but I can't seem to help myself when I wander into the yarn shop- and yet I already have so many things I wish to knit and crochet....

  5. I had some vintage patterns given to me years ago by my grandmother. They were Weldons from the 1890's and most of them showed garments where you started at the back and went up and over the shoulders down to the fronts.BTW I gave them to Franklin when I saw him in London at I Knit 2yrs ago.He loves old patterns and I thought he would make use of them rather than them lie gathering dust in my cupboards!

  6. I think Lisa is right and I should have checked first because the work you mentioned was not familiar to me! I thought it was something I had yet to come across.
    But I would recomment our Geoffrey nevertheless!

  7. =Tamar3:42 AM

    Swapping out the colo(u)rs is completely in tune with a Kaffe Fassett design. I don't think the light'n'bright green clashes badly, but it is even brighter than the light blue at the top of the same block, and both are brighter than the rest of the yarns so far. At least both occurrences are in the same plane, so they might be "explained" as a trick of a beam of light. Regarding the shape, consider the decade in which it was designed.