Sunday, June 05, 2011

I have been worrying about the Aran sleeves.

Cutting the body and setting them in, for one thing. I must have done it for the Grandson Sweater fairly recently. I was worried about security then, I remember. Joe clearly wears the sweater, and the sleeves haven’t fallen out, so I must have done it successfully. I don’t understand the instructions, either EZ’s or Pagoldh’s in “Nordic Knitting”.

Would the setting-in be easier if I knit the sleeves back-and-forth, as Starmore does? Or not?

In the Aran Knitting book which has provided the pattern for the meandering cables, Starmore does every single sweater, I think, with a saddle shoulder – that is, a strip in the centre of the sleeve continues over the shoulder to the neck. I like saddles. Should I do that? Would it perhaps produce a pleasanter neckline? Or am I biting off more than I can chew?

Meanwhile, I knit on a bit, without – see yesterday – affecting the overall measurement. I joined in another ball of yarn the other day, and found one more ball in the box than I expected. Did I order one more? Or have I used one less than I thought? In either case, I now feel pretty confident about having enough.


In lieu of another picture of incomplete knitting, here is one from Alexander.

He lost both trees and branches in that windstorm in May, in the course of which a nest of baby owls came down. His first thought was to leave it for Mr and Mrs Owl to figure out what to do, but as he watched, a crow came and took one of the nestlings.

So Alexander brought the survivors in and put them by the Aga and phoned a friend – somehow, in the country, there is always someone who can do something about almost anything. This particular friend knows about orphaned birds, and has an incubator for them. He drove for half an hour or so through the storm, and took the owls.

I haven’t had a further report.

Cookery (and vegetable-growing)

We all know that courgette flowers are delicious to eat, but until yesterday I thought you had to sit up half the night making a stuffing for them, and then fry them in deep fat with fatal results for your cholesterol. But now Greek Helen says that you can just fry them in a little oil as if they were onions, and they are still delicious. So we’ll try that, if we get any courgette flowers. She should be here at the right time.


Wednesday, I half-heard a programme on the radio recently about a study being carried out in, I think, California, on people whose memories work like your husband’s, who can recall what happened on almost every day of their lives. Maybe he should volunteer to be studied.

I love your code name.


  1. I hope the owlets survived. Our red-tailed hawk young are getting restless and much bigger, there should be flying in a few weeks I think. I like saddles in an Aran, but when I have made them I use the saddle for my gauge swatch.

  2. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Hi there, I've been reading you for at least a couple years and I'm sorry I don't comment often. Love your blog! If I were knitting that aran sweater, I would do the body up to the armpits, knit the sleeves separately in the round up to the armpits, then join them all together and continue knitting in the round on a big circular like a yoke sweater, only with the appropriate shaping. That's what I think EZ would do, too, considering what I've read in her books. That's my favorite way to knit a sweater as well.

    Shelly in Minnesota

  3. Jean do you have a copy of Knitting in the Old Way by Roberts and Robson in your knitting library? It has some really useful material on steeking Aran and Fair Isle sweaters. In fact it's a gem of a book, it has really useful information on all things sweater related. There's also masses on designing/knitted circular/shaped yokes, and I'm inclined to agree with Shelly that that might be the way to go, unless you specificallly want a certain kind of shoulder.

    The fried courgette flowers sound interesting!