Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Near disaster, yesterday.

I realised that the diagonals in the current folded ribbons, were going in the wrong direction. I flailed about mentally, as one does in that situation: does it matter? can I take back just the offending ribbons and hook the stitches up correctly? Anss: Yes. No.

Last night I pulled out the needle and frogged and picked up the stitches on a much smaller needle. This morning, during my weekly half-hour of osteoporosis pill-taking, I knit the recovery row. All is well. (The osteoporosis pill has to be taken first thing in the morning. Nil by mouth for the next half hour, and you’re not allowed to go back to bed, either. I often spend the time knitting.)

The stitches were very good, and didn’t try to escape. Lace stitches wouldn’t have behaved like that! For the most part, they didn’t even try to undo the twist they had received in the preceding row. Most of them were sat wrong, as always happens when I pick up stitches; and more than a few were split. EZ says somewhere that that’s the one fatal error in knitting – the one that can’t be turned into a design feature. I dealt with them one by one and, as I have said, all is well.

Two trivial points: EZ does her folded ribbon without a cable needle, “forward twist” and “backward twist”. I noticed that the backward twists, which produce the left-leaning diagonals, were loose and sloppy-looking compared to their fellows, so on the most recent repeat I have started doing them with a cable needle, to their great improvement. Perhaps the earlier diagonals will smooth out a bit with blocking.

EZ claims to have invented her “sheepfold” pattern. There is something very similar in Bavarian twisted-stitchery – but I’ve just looked it up (see page 84 in the Schoolhouse Press translation of Erlbacher) and find that there, the entire ribbon moves left or right on every row. EZ does it by just moving the diagonals which form the upper and lower edges.

Clever woman.

Which brings me to her new book, Knit One Knit All. It’s terrific. Worth the wait. Full of ingenious design, presented in ways that let you pick up the idea and run with it, if so inclined. It has a feature I’ve never seen before – a credit, with every photograph, for the knitter. Many are of EZ’s own construction, which is, of course, worth knowing.


The weather has calmed down, and I hope we’ll go to Strathardle tomorrow to survey the damage. The news last night suggested that a lot of farmers have lost the plastic covers which protect acres of raspberries. Blairgowrie is raspberry country. It is one of my beliefs in life that nothing grown under plastic tastes as good as things grown outdoors, so my sympathies are somewhat divided here. I bought some English strawberries in Tesco last week -- beautiful, ripe, firm. They tasted of nothing but water.

I have started saving a doggy-bag of potato peelings and onion skins to take along to augment my mulches. The man who now cuts our grass (instead of me) tends to make my husband cross by piling it up beside the burn instead of throwing it in. My husband was grumbling about that just last week. I meant to pitch the pile in before we left, but didn't get it done. That means I have a whole nice heap of grass-cuttings to start off with!


  1. I think the pharmaceutical company that makes your osteoporosis drug should add to their list of side effects:

    User will get an extra 30 minutes of knitting in each week.

    I am so anxious to get my copy of Knit One, Knit All. It was shipped over a week ago so normally I would expect it to be here sometime this week. However, Canada Post is set to go on strike as early as Thursday. It is now a race to see which thing happens first.

  2. Grinning here at Kristie's comment re. the drug side effects. My Mum has the same problem Jean and also uses her half hour for her knitting.

    Glad to hear you managed to sort your stitch problem ... I spent part of yesterday tinking lace and the stitches were *not* co-operative *at all*.

  3. =Tamar12:00 AM

    That's very interesting, about the difference between EZ's sheepfold pattern and the Bavarian one. I'd wondered about that. I thought I'd seen something similar somewhere in Scandinavian knitting, but my books are not to hand.

    Beware of fresh, wet, grass clippings as mulch; they tend to stick together and rot anaerobically - yuck. If they are leavened with hay or leaves etc, it's not so bad.