Thursday, October 07, 2010

Again, little to report. An afternoon at the Royal Infirmary Diabetic Department is excruciatingly boring – it advanced Matt’s sock further than expected, however. The toe-shaping is immanent; the Loch Fyne weekend should carry me beyond the ribbing of the second sock.

And I’ve finished the third pattern repeat (of ten) on the Amedro shawl. And finished a page of text – that feels like achievement.

We were both exhausted last night. That’s a feature of old age: not to be compared with illness and death, downer-wise, but still, a drawback. The journey to the new Royal Infirmary is about an hour each way, and there’s much sitting to be done when one gets there. It meant that we had no lunch yesterday. Blood-sugar-wise, we did fine, but I think it contributed to the evening tiredness.

Evelyn Waugh, “Scoop”, describing the set-up at Boot Magna: “Ten servants waited upon the household and upon one another, but in a desultory fashion, for they could spare very little time from the five meat meals which tradition daily allowed them.” That’s us, essentially.

Knit Camp

Cat, you are right that the rules about red tape/temporary visas/educational events need to be looked at calmly. But that was just the last and most spectacular snafu, and could have nothing to do with the (presumed) financial shortfall which means tutors aren’t being paid. The organizer, in the post I linked to yesterday, suggested that British turnout was less than expected. Even that should have been factored in (classes cancelled, or whatever) by the time the event started.

I think it fell between two stools – I have attended both “Camp Stitches” and “Stitches East” in the US: they are two different beasts. The Camp is in a remote-ish place – Lake George, in my blissful experience. Everybody comes for the whole time. The curriculum and the market are limited. (But wonderful – the second time, I did a whole three-day shawl workshop with Joan Shrouder, a different species of shawl each day.)

Stitches, on the other hand, is in a city – Atlantic City, NJ, for me. Big, big curriculum and big, big market. You stay in a hotel or come for the day and pick and choose as you please.

Stirling was ni l’un ni l’autre.


The arrival of “Diagonal Knitting” the other day sent me back to Debbie New’s “Unexpected Knitting” – another Schoolhouse Press publication. That’s really the one, in my opinion. I’ve never knit anything from it, but I want to, every time I read it. Maybe I should try to focus on something and add it to the HALFPINT list. There are some great stash-busters.

If you’ve never seen the book, try to find it and have a look. Start at the beginning, with the garter-stitch quilt which is – believe me – a photograph of Debbie’s grandmother. I don’t understand how it was done, and it doesn’t matter, because I’m certainly not going to try. It’s amazing and wonderful.


  1. Re Knit Camp. I agree with your description of that blog entry as "remarkable", given the scale of the distress and inconvenience caused to others. However, the very personal nature of blogging makes its contribution. In pre-blogging days we would not have known, in detail and from her own word-processor, how someone filled the time which might have been spent trying to sort things out.

  2. I think Unexpected Knitting should be required reading for everyone who wants to create anything - the woman is brilliant! I don't know how she does it either...but oh I want that boat for myself, even if I do get seasick. It is so "owl and pussycat"!
    Yes, understand what you are saying about camp too - such things really need to be residential and of course the downside to that is the expense and, for many people, not being able to leave family. Oh, it is all so complex.

  3. Maureen in Fargo3:41 PM

    The big difference between UK Knit Camp and all the Stitches productions is that Stitches is run by XRX, a publishing company with lots of people to do the work. One person was trying to run Knit Camp and there was just too much work for one person to handle, she just bit off more than she could chew. The biggest problem of all was that she never admitted that (until the blog post) and got very defensive when problems arose and people started complaining. I wonder if she thought all the big productions in the US are run by just one or two people that she thought she'd be able to do the same in the UK? Thank goodness the I Knit productions have been run much better!

    I laugh every time you mention Camp Stitches and its Lake George location, because it has become a much bigger and more commercial production these days from what I read and hear. I've never attended a Camp, just regular Stitches Midwest. I go to Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp these days and that too has changed from something that was held on a college campus to three days in a Holiday Inn, so I guess that's what the people want....

  4. I agree about the unexpected knitting - I spent hours and hourse just reading it, when it arrived! and can still get lost in it after having it for years:)) don't know about the practicalities of knitting a boat - but just trying it out was worth it I thought:))

  5. Not having been to Knit Camp but reading about it I can only guess how it was all arranged. My own experience with Sock Summit was that though Tina and Stephanie were the very public faces of the event they had a crew of helpers that did a lot of the work. A shame overall.

    My Love Darg pattern book and yarn arrived today. I haven't had a chance to look through it but I may do some swatching to get a feel for the pattern while I'm in transit to and from Rhinebeck.