Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The edging is finished. It’s an exciting moment.

First, I thought it would be prudent to spend half-an-hour counting scallops, just in case. Then I thought, no, just start picking up stitches – from the other end, and even that doesn’t matter if I use a dp. If the count comes out wrong, a scallop or two can easily be frogged or added. So that’s what I’m doing.

If you count from the right-hand edge, I think you can just see the mess in the ninth scallop, the one I tried to knit one of the evenings after a day spent in the hospice when C. was dying -- the mess I left to show our niece when I give her the shawl.

Stove says to “pick up and knit”. That’s what one does normally, of course, but I’ve never applied it to lace, because Amedro doesn’t. There’s a little picture in her book showing clearly a needle sliding through edge stitches. It’s easy because (in all modesty) I have a lovely chained selvedge. In fact, if I did it Stove’s way, I’d come out the wrong way around, not that that matters much in garter stitch lace.

Stove says to pick up and knit with the right side facing, and then launch into the pattern. That means the pattern would start off on the wrong side. Her pattern charts are intended for back-and-forth knitting, with the decreases meticulously distinguished according to which side they’re done on. And clearly the pattern is meant to start on the right side.

I don’t have to worry about all that. I’ll pick up my stitches, and knit back, and there I’ll be in the right place. I’m going to knit a few rows back and forth before joining, just to make it that little bit easier to avoid the dread Moebius loop. It happened to me once, on one of my pre-natal shawls for a grandchild. I knew the danger and thought I had avoided the trap. When I found that it was twisted, I’m afraid I took my scissors to it and just knit on. As I remember, there was no problem with ravelling and the scar, in the end, didn’t look as bad as you might expect. I don’t want it to happen this time, though.

The Loop website is fine this morning but they haven’t had their Tosh shipment yet. Donice, thanks for the tip about Jimmy Bean. I was introduced to Madeleine Tosh by Knit-Purl. -– I bought that Japanese pattern book from them, and since then they have me on their list for enticing e-mails. But I prefer a British source, not necessarily because it works out cheaper, but because I know from the start what the cost will be and can look forward to the package without dreading the knock at the door demanding more money. And Loop carries a good range.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about Aran. I have at least taken Starmore off the shelf. I like St. Enda – the one you recommend, Theresa. I am also rather taken with Killeany which has a few more judge-impressing twists to it. And I notice that she includes travelling stitches (“Irish Moss” and maybe others) under the heading of “Classic Aran Designs”. If Starmore can do it, who is a Strathardle judge to demur? Had I but world enough and time, this would be my chance to do the travelling stitch sweater I have been talking about for the last couple of years. Perhaps if I aimed at one of the Little Boys…

The first thing is to spend a serious 20 minutes with the book.


Theo’s wife Jenni has been been confirmed as Assistant Secretary to the Treasury. If you follow the link, you will find a senator from NY who sits on the Finance Committee grumbling that he preferred her maiden name, Engebretsen. She has used her married name since the wedding day. Rachel’s husband Ed, in a speech at the reception, made a nice little joke about its being a change for the better. Senator Schumer wasn’t there to disagree.

I expect to have news about Theo himself soon.


  1. Anonymous10:31 AM

    I can't get any of your links to work this morning Jean - is it just me?

  2. I had trouble first thing, but now (11.20) all is well.

  3. I think LeCompte is a perfect name to use in Treasury. I'll keep my eyes open as I run across Treasury types in my work from time to time.