Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Good to be back.

Odds and ends

Nephew Theo, my sister’s son, is to be Chief Operating Officer for the Democratic National Convention next year in Charlotte. Those of us who were lucky enough to be at his and Jenni’s wedding two years ago know that that man can be trusted to organise anything superbly.

That's Theo on the left.

The KnittinginJapan group I belong to, recently posted this link for free translations of Japanese knitting patterns, with more being added at a steady rate.

The link in Annie’s blog to the Knitting Reference Library at Southampton University deserves to be repeated and underlined. Bishop Rutt and Montse Stanley both donated their collections, and many of the Bishop’s books, at least, have been digitised. I can sit here in Drummond Place and turn the pages. Sometimes one forgets for a moment or two how astonishing is technology.

I think in the original programme for KnitNation, Franklin was going to teach a class in Reading Old Patterns on the Sunday morning. If so, it’s morphed into Photographing Your Fabric, which I’ve signed up for. Vintage patterns are now the province of Susan Crawford, who should be brilliant. But I can’t do everything.


I finished the second ball of Starmore yarn yesterday, put the whole thing on waste yarn, and measured it. It’s going to be about 16” across. I then looked that size up in Vicki Square’s “Knit Great Basics”, an invaluable resource. It’s a “Child Large” – perfect. And Square then tells me how long to make it, and gives some possible help with sleeves. It’s a rather upside-down way to design a sweater, but it works if you have enough grandchildren.

Forget the colour. I didn't dare venture out onto the doorstep at that point yesterday, because the wind was blowing so hard.

I’m pleased with the way it’s looking. I think the patterns go well together. Neither is really traditional Aran, although both are from impeccable sources: Starmore’s Aran book, and an EZ Aran pattern from an early Woolgathering. But I don’t care what the judges think. I’m only here [for the beer -- no] to support the Games and swell the number of entries.

Starmore’s yarn is wonderful, I think, for sculptural effects. I’m not entirely enjoying the process. After a long hard day – and they’re all that, these days – twisting heavy yarn into cables is sort of strenuous. I’m sure you know what I mean. The only solution is to press on as fast as possible.


We had hurricane winds yesterday in Scotland, worst, I think, in the west. Alexander rang up in the afternoon to say he had never seen anything like it since they left Hong Kong. Trees down, electricity gone. This is May. We’ll probably do two nights in Strathardle later this week, to check up on everything (and get started mulching). Meanwhile in London and the southeast, the March and April drought has continued. Rachel’s husband Ed despairs of his vegetables.

Maybe the loonie in California was right and the End of the World is in progress – tornado in Missouri? Volcano in Iceland?


  1. "That's Theo on the left." - Jean, you gave me my first laugh of the morning.

  2. Gerri3:32 PM

    Ok, you provided me with a way to check whether or not my coffee is doing what it should: I really *thought* that must be Theo on the left!

    Thanks for the translation link.

  3. Sweater's looking good ... and you get to go to Knit Nation, she types jealously. I'm really sorry not to be able to make it this year, although I will manage Woolfest in June I hope.

    I just clicked on your Library Thing link ... I thought I had a fair few knitting books, but you have so many! I'm currently rereading Barbara Walker ... I do enjoy a good knitting book :)

    Thank you for reposting the Knitting Reference Library link, the more who can enjoy those early knitting books the better :)

  4. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Congratulations to Theo; what an honor and what a responsibility!

    The sweater looks beautiful. All of that detailed knitting must keep you on your toes, Jean. I chuckled over your "I'm only here for the beer...".

    We've had very unusual strong winds for the past 6 weeks here in North Central Texas, and I'm sick of it. If I liked this much wind, I would have chosen to live in West Texas where the wind (and dust) blows all of the time.

    Mary G. in Texas

  5. Are you sure Theo is on the left? They look so alike.......

    I think I have seen that other guy before somewhere too............


  6. Anonymous5:34 PM

    I'm liking the Aran. Thanks for both the Knitting Reference Library link, and the reminder about Vicki Square's book.
    - Beth in Toronto

  7. jean from cornwall7:13 PM

    The aran is looking lovely - especially the folded ribbon, which is a pattern I like a lot.

    What is this about the end of the world - they were promising an earthquake that would break New Zealand, and what happens - Iceland gets a zit!

  8. =Tamar9:34 PM

    Suggest to Ed that he try mulch. It's supposed to cause a microclimate that keeps any moisture where it belongs.

    The cables are impressive.

  9. Anonymous3:17 AM

    Jean, thanks for the Japanese knitting link. I'm currently staying in the Japantown area of San Francisco and have already found an excellent source of knitting books. It's heartening to know I will have backup.

    Judith (usually) in Ottawa