Saturday, November 20, 2010

My sister phoned from CT yesterday. She seemed sure that C.’s test results, expected next week, will involve the familiar question of whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. That gets us back to the home territory of newspaper readers’ oncology.

The conversation also reminded me that however tense and anxious I am feeling about Christmas, at least I don’t have to “do” or even to experience Thanksgiving. I started doing Christmas cards yesterday. I wrote three.

Knitting (miscellaneous)

It’s funny about silly book prices on Abebooks, as you say, Raveller. This morning, the one I mentioned yesterday seems to be gone, but there are still Dover reprints of both of Mary Thomas’ books for £112 each, which is silly enough.

However, the point of the enquiry was date-of-publication, which we have now fixed in the late 30’s. So it wasn’t her work that the first Vogue Knitting was referring to, in 1932. I re-skimmed the relevant pages in Rutt. Clearly lots was going on in the 20’s, but I don’t think he says anything specifically about the evolution of yarns available to knitters or the new passion (so very evident in Mary Thomas) for making knits look “tailor-made”.

Maybe Sandy Black’s book will help!

(New topic) The London-based Japanese blogger I chanced upon recently has a review in her latest post of a set of Addi Click interchangeable lace needles. She is very enthusiastic, and they sound good in a number of respects. But the smallest is 3.5 mm. That’s not going to be much use, is it? I’ve just tried Googling and retire confused – Addi does offer much smaller lace needles of course – but the set my blogger friend likes doesn’t seem to include them. Maybe they can't do interchangeable and small-gauge simultaneously.

Knitting (actual)

I had a happy day with the hat yesterday. Wrapping and turning is not undetectable but easily passes the galloping-horse test and makes the knitting much pleasanter. It is easy to get confused – which way am I going? Is this the inside or the outside? But also easy to straighten oneself out if one tries.

You can't really see it very well, but there are a couple of undulating worms above the ribbing.


  1. The usual trick is to pin a safety pin to the outside of your knitting, for the duration of the wraps. Makes life a lot simpler!

  2. I presume the Addi needles are the same as the Knit Pro(Picks, if you like) - below 3.5mm they aren't wide enough to contain the joining mechanism. I have had to buy fixed circulars to get the smaller needle sizes, and just accept that I can't have interchangeables that fine.

  3. I have heard (from the manager of my LYS) that Addi is coming out with a set of interchangeable lace needles (with the extra pointy tips.) Not sure how small they will go down to, but the manager was placing orders from skacel so I think this is not just an empty rumor.

  4. I want to confirm the publication date of Mary Thomas' Knitting Book. I have my mother's copy and it shows the first publishing date to be 1938.

    I'm glad that C is past the danger point and hope she improves soon. Hugs.

  5. =Tamar6:45 AM

    I looked at St*more's Fairisle book reprint in the store, and she goes on a bit about the new dyes early in the 20th century and the designs insisted on by the commercial knitting buyers. The pattern books of the 1920s show some good classic designs along with the sadly dated ones. Maybe the belief that knitting had to be improved came from all those tales of people having serious trouble with the turned heel and grafted toe required for wartime socks, and the perennial jokes about badly-shaped sweaters.
    Or maybe it was just a general reaction in favor of fitted clothing, against the previous somewhat baggy fashions.