Thursday, February 03, 2011

And another follower!

I phoned C. yesterday and arranged for us to see her on Saturday. I have stayed away all through January because of a lingering cough after my sort-of flu at the New Year, although I’ve driven over there to deliver various people to her doorstep half a dozen times. She didn’t sound very well or very cheerful. I’ll phone our niece today to ask whether wine would be acceptable – she’s not a drinker, but this might be the moment when a good chilled white with a meal might help both mood and appetite, if it doesn’t compromise her reduced digestive system.


I got on nicely with Round-the-Bend yesterday, and have proceeded, as hoped, to the centre section of the back. It is being attached to the front as I go, so far successfully.

But yesterday’s knitting thoughts were in an entirely different direction.

I can’t find the current VK, and in the course of a languid search for it, I rustled about on a stool in the sitting room on which UFO’s and pattern ideas are indiscriminately piled.

I found this book. I have no memory whatsoever of it or its contents. Did someone lend it to me? There are two slightly rumpled till receipts stuck in it – they are in Japanese.

The patterns, and the photography, are very good. I am much taken with this one (for the dusty pink Araucania):

My first thought was that it would be easy for one who had knit a Japanese ear-flap hat. But of course it isn’t. The devil lies in the detail – the hems and facings and that wonderful collar. It’s knit separately, but the front button- and buttonhole facings continue – somehow or other -- along its outer edges.

I belong to the Japanese knitting group on Ravelry – I’ve started a new thread, just now, to ask if anyone can help. I gather from what I found there that it might be worth, as a desperate venture, trying to paste the little sections of Japanese text in the pattern into Google Translate.

I searched Ravelry on “shirt” and was reminded of a classic shirt in Sally Melville’s “Mother-Daughter Knits”. I’ll have another look at that today. Lots of Ravellers have attempted and frogged it, but others have succeeded and love the result.

VKB, in the 60’s, had similar patterns. I put my collection to actual use yesterday by looking at some. The instructions may be in English, but they’re worse than Japanese. One all-st-st shirt, for instance, has a “hip band” knitted separately, faced with ribbon, and sewn on.

Looking at those pages again, those pictures of those women, made me feel passionately glad that I have escaped from the 50’s, and from New Jersey where they happened – even if old age is where I have wound up.


  1. Dawn in NL11:05 AM

    Hello Jean,
    I found this "Helen has offered to lend me a book of Setsuko Torii's, which is clearly beyond wonderful. The link is to Helen’s blog-entry on the subject. I will take her up on that, at least." on your post of 26 Nov 2008.

    I dont know if you have a good search engine on your blog, but I use this trick to google for something on a particular website: type what you are looking for then ""(without the quotes, but make sure you use the colon and full stop after site) and you will only get hits from the blog you specify.

    Hope it is useful (I love being able to pass on tips like that).
    Dawn in NL

  2. Yes, it's mine. I'm very glad it was you who had lost it, as I thought that I had.

  3. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Ah, the joys of pattern-searching! I've just spent a few hours looking for a child's cardigan pattern which I knit for the "child" who is now almost 37. What surprised me was the funny expressions on the little boys' faces: they all look as if they are about ready to start a fight or to do something very devious. The little girls, au contraire, look as if butter wouldn't melt...... such a contrast! Are current pattern books so stereotyped in their photography?

    Barbara M.

  4. This post and comments had me smiling this morning. Lending and losing and refinding all via a blog. How fun. And I am always glad when I see those 50's photos that I don't have to wear such tight clothes.

  5. Robin7:13 AM

    Jean, I'm not sure what it means to be a follower, but I check in every day or so to see how you are doing. Interesting, smart, good knitting and real life. Thank you.