Saturday, August 07, 2010

All this talk of Japanese knitting sent me back to the Needle Arts Book Shop yesterday. I wound up ordering two more in the “Let’s Knit” series – those words being the only ones in the book in English – and the “Clear and Simple Knitting Symbols” book. I think the latter should go a long way towards making Japanese stitch dictionaries accessible.

What I need to do now is apply myself, instead of just oooh-ing and aaah-ing. Thank you very much for the offer of hand-outs, Mary Lou and Maureen. (And, boy! am I impressed that you can teach Japanese knitting, Mary Lou!) I think I’ve got all I need, what with the Knitter’s article and the free pages on “Interpreting Japanese Knitting Patterns” from Needle Arts itself. I downloaded and printed those yesterday.

Going back just now to get titles and links, I noticed for the first time the book on “Scandinavian Jacquard Hats”. In Japanese, of course. That could be IT! I knit an ear-flap hat for Rachel-the-Younger in Beijing earlier this year, at her request, using the plug-in-your-gauge self-generating pattern the Fishwife pointed me towards. It never reached its destination. A Japanese-Scandinavian hat might be just what Rachel would like, and just the incentive I need to get to grips with a Japanese pattern.

An ahah! moment.

Needle Arts is a delight to deal with, up there with the Schoolhouse and Heirloom Knitting.

As for actual knitting yesterday, I finished the first front of my tiny jacket, and started the second.

While I was lining up links yesterday, I noticed that K1 Yarns has some nice classes coming up – one on Shetland lace next weekend, when we will be occupied with a visit from old friends from our Birmingham days, and anyway I know how to knit Shetland lace; and one on Freeform Knitting, which I’d really rather like to attend – on Games weekend. So I won’t be there.

Emily Dickinson

Skeindalous, you posted a comment in late July mentioning the new biography of ED by Lyndall Gordon – the book which posits epilepsy as an explanation for her oddity. There is a full page review of it in the current “Economist” – that’s a lot of space for a book review, for them – in which they call it an “astonishing” book which will “revolutionise the way in which Dickinson is read for years to come.”

That’s the one I tossed aside because it didn’t have my mother in the bibliography, but maybe I should take another look.

I looked at my mother’s book again yesterday. It suggests nothing more than clinical depression as an explanation, but does say that the family were worried about Emily's oddities and reclusiveness when she was in her twenties. I didn’t pursue it – what is the evidence for their concern? But if she was epileptic, those closest to her would have known, and closed ranks, rather than trying to get her out into the world, wouldn’t they?


  1. The knitting symbols books is a good one. All the symbols are standardized, which makes knitting much easier.

  2. Anonymous4:44 PM

    I am looking forward to reading 'Loaded Guns'. Have just found a copy. Was indeed swayed by the favorable review in The Economist. (It is most generous of them to post their articles in such a timely fashion.) ---Skeindalous