Saturday, September 18, 2010

Grannypurple, I’ve ordered the book. (“When They Are Up…”). I think even the youngest grandchild may be too old for it, but the combination of the Grand Old Duke (a family favourite), knitting, and possibly inspired silliness, is irresistible. I’ll say more when it arrives. Thanks.

Enid, thanks for the tip on the GOD’s idenity. If he was James II, he was a Scotsman, wasn’t he?

An irrelevance – I took this picture from the kitchen window yesterday. That is a fox, resting on a flat roof projecting from a neighbour’s garage. We had heard that there were urban foxes about, but hadn’t seen one in the 16 years we’ve lived here. We used to have them in the garden in Birmingham, and once in London, dining with Alexander and Ketki when they lived on Lavender Hill, I saw one walk across their kitchen. We were all in the adjacent dining room – I was the only one with a view of the kitchen. He walked back a moment or two later.


I’ve finished 22 of 29 scallops for the edging of the Amedro shawl. Will I polish it off this weekend? Probably not. I’m also ready to do the heel flap of Matt’s 1st sock.

However, today’s topic is


I have been abstemious about yarn-buying for nine months now. Only a single ball of lace-weight for James’s jabot (knit) and two skeins of sock wool for Matt’s socks (being knit). I have knit virtually every day. I have given yarn away to charity knitters in Alyth. I have set my grandsons Fergus and Mungo up in life (as knitters).

The stash is totally unaffected.

That's not all, either. It's not as chaotic as it appears. I know which bag and which basket contains what, and can find what I want quickly.

I am beginning to grasp the outlines of the problem, and to re-think my strategy for November when the not-quite-fast is supposed to be over. I had planned to buy some KF sock yarn, and two sweater’s-worths of yarn – something from Posh to knit the Jali cardigan from the Summer 2010 IK, and some Rowan Extra-Fine Merino DK for a Bavarian travelling-stitch jacket.

That’s too much, in the circumstances.

The sock yarn, yes. It occurs to me that I’ve got a sweater’s-worth of yarn, in the form of that dusty-pink Araucania in Strathardle which I seem to keep finding excuses not to proceed with. I’m knitting a Sweater Wizard pattern with it, meant to come out something like Ketki’s sweater,

only without the Calcutta Cup. I think when we get back to Strathardle (next week, hoffentlich) I will try swatching it for the Jali. There may well be enough yarn for both – I certainly won’t frog for a while.

At the I-Knit Weekender, I saw people knitting as much as eight strands of yarn together on huge needles. Making carpets and things. The process looked awkward and the result fairly unpleasant, but it was a way of hoovering through the stash, all right. One of my big problems is that a lot of my stash is lace-weight. What about combining (say) three strands of that….?

I will have to return to this topic.


  1. Would you like the shrug pattern I wrote for Prudence Mapstone? Simple...uses lots of fairly fine laceweight (not cobweb) fast. You could then adapt to your requirements!

  2. You might like to read this blog account written on Sept 17th from Lucy Neatby summarising her trip to KnitCamp.

  3. I know what you mean about the stash. I don't knit nearly as prodigiously as you, but I've been trying not to buy new yarn for two years, and it just seems to stay the same. Stashes seem to have two states: growing, and maintaining!

  4. James II's (actually VII and II) grandfather was James VI and I, who started out as King of Scotland. James II's father was Charles I, who was born in Scotland but left shortly afterwards. His mother was Herietta Maria of France. He himself grew up mostly in France and Spain after his father's execution. He was Lord High Commissioner of Scotland for a while and lived at Holyrood. After the Glorious Revolution, he lived in exile in France, apart from a brief spell in Ireland, and died there. So, not terribly Scottish.

  5. I look forward to hearing about your experiment with multiple strands of laceweight.

  6. I hesitate to make this suggestion, but will go bravely forward. Have you thought about putting some of your stash up for sale on the destash group on Ravelry? I have noticed as time moves on that my taste in yarn has changed. Yarns purchased a number of years ago, sitting in the stash collecting moths, no longer have the appeal they once did. Maybe there are a few skeins in your stash that fall into the "moth collector" category. :-)

  7. Donna in VA3:20 PM

    Totally off topic for this entry but have you seen Lucy Neatby's blog posting about UK Knit Camp?

  8. Apropos of nothing, may I present ~

  9. My husband informs me that James 11 was Lord High Admiral. His preference is for Prinny's brother in the Peninsular Wars. However, Wiki says that the rhyme was just recycled to suit.
    Re stash:why not knit a few swatches with two or three strands of laceweight to see what gauge you are getting, before choosing your project? After all, many shawlettes are very flexible as to sizing eg the Swallowtail.

  10. Anonymous8:58 AM

    G'day, Cat

    I've got here today via Jean Miles's blog (both of you are daily required reading, she just happens to be first today).

    Please, may we ALL have your shrug pattern to use up some stash?

    I am trying hard to use mine up. I seem to have lots of yarn (mainly wool), either very fine on cones or double and triple knit - but not enough to make a whole (largish) garment with.

    And then there's the handspun and yet-to-be-spun fleece...