Saturday, March 19, 2011

The hospice reports “no change” this morning, so Rachel and Ed should be in time. They are on their way, and I have discovered thanks to the miracle of mobile telephony that they have no address for the Hospice, and no map. Sort of thing James might do. It is easy to find if they come in to Edinburgh on the Biggar Rd., which is in itself easy to do – it would be silly to come here to Drummond Place in the north of the city and then toil all the way back again. My husband and Greek Helen will visit this afternoon.

I’ve made a good start on the Electric Shawl – thank you for the words of comfort about the colour. I remain happy with it. I should master the pattern soon and be able to close the book for the time being. It’s lace knitting (or knitted lace, as the case may be) – action in every row, which keeps one on one’s toes, but the pattern itself is straightforward. It took me something like 50 repeats before I had memorised the Princess edging.

Natural light photography on the doorstep has come out absurdly pink. The colour is not like that at all.

Few discoveries have been more startling for me, in recent years, than to learn from Sharon Miller that the direction of a decrease (/ or \) doesn’t matter when you’re knitting fine yarns in garter stitch. Margaret Stove (author of the present pattern) acknowledges this somewhere in the text, but still produces a rather complicated set of symbols, not only \ and / but a variation of each when they appear on a wrong-side row. I am sailing along as I have done with Sharon’s patterns using whichever decrease is easiest at the moment.

I am looking forward to the construction of this shawl, which will be new for me. I like what I think of as the Amedro system, starting with the entire edging and then knitting inwards. The difficulty is that “inwards”, in the round, produces st st. Amedro doesn’t worry, and there’s something to be said for that approach.

Purling is absolutely out. Once I used what I think is Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer’s idea of wrapping and turning after each round to create garter stitch. That works pretty well. The wraps-and-turns make a visible line, but less conspicuous than a sewn seam would be.

This time, the four borders are to be knit separately, inwards from the edging. You can then seam the edges if you like. I don’t. But Stove says that what she did was “knit the last stitch of every other row with one stitch picked up from the corresponding row of the adjacent border”. It’ll be fun to see if I’m capable of that. Or will it go squint as things do when I try to make a hem by knitting a live stitch together with one from the cast-on?

Round the Bend is blocked. I’ll see if I can get one of these people to take a picture of me wearing it. It’s a beautiful day for photography, or dying.


  1. Fleegle has a trick for garter stitch in the round

  2. I seem to be unable to do the live sts hem trick myself and can never figure out why. I am glad to hear Sharon Miller's counsel on the decreases, I am doing something with an eyelet mesh area and was trying to decide if it matters, really, so now I can relax about it. Hope all stays peaceful.

  3. DawnC9:24 PM


  4. You may not agree with your husband's description of the colour of the shawl, but you appear to have allowed him to name it!