Sunday, July 24, 2011

I’ve just started row 75, of the Mourning Shawl border. Here’s a pic, looking very much like the last one, but this time showing a non-Fleegle corner (the larger marker) with the un-mitered pattern sweeping around:

And here is a picture of Joe on his 21st birthday:

When I was in that bookshop on Friday I bought a copy of Woolcraft. Last night, I got Rutt out in order to date it (1936/7 – I knew I could rely on him) and found that I had stashed this cartoon there, from the New Yorker, of course:

We’re off to Strathardle today, back at the end of the week as my husband has a dental appt on Friday. It will be a more strenuous going-to-Strathardle than usual, because instead of packing up and leaving at noon and lunching in Milnathort, we are going to go to Mass and lunch here. Doesn’t sound like much, but it will make a big difference, especially when you are as old and inefficient as I am. I got a lot of the preliminary work done yesterday, and, insh’Allah, today will end with me reunited with my vegetables.

I’ll take some pictures, this time. My little artichoke plants are still there – not growing much, but alive and well. If I should succeed with artichokes, most delicious of vegetables, I will have to think of putting in an avocado tree.

Thank you for the news on wild garlic, Woolly Bits. I ordered some “wild garlic ransoms bulbs” from an eBay supplier yesterday, and will keep you posted. I am greatly enamoured of eBay suppliers for things like that, these days.


Somewhere, Hat, I have a Phildar book of children’s patterns.The same one? I will have to see if I can find it. Maybe schematics came from France?

Rachel, I sympathise with your struggles with EZ (comment Friday). The Baby Surprise is tough. The difficulty is keeping those decreases-and-then increases in line. It helps to make the centre stitch a knit stitch – purl it on wrong-side rows. And then just follow blindly. I’ve knit it half a dozen times, and am always astonished.

But I think to get to grips with EZ and enjoy her, the best approach is through a basic Elizabeth’s-Percentage-System grown-up sweater.

The basic “Seamless Yoke Sweater” is in her book Knitting Without Tears. Meg walked us through the whole project a while ago, in four articles for Knitter’s published over a year, and has returned to it in VK recently. There are a couple of seamless-yoke sweaters among the Schoolhouse Press patterns – it looks to me as if Cully’s “Cabled Yoke Sweater and Hat” might be a good one to start with.

I enjoy reading EZ, and have profited enormously from her genius. But I find her personality rather rebarbative. She’s so good, and knows it. She can be forgiven: it must have been very trying to be so clever, and so right, in the days when editors insisted on patterns knit flat (not in the round) and line-by-line instructions instead of general principles which would set knitters free. But it’s Meg I’d far rather go hiking with.


  1. That cartoon has made my day! Enjoy your vegetable gardening :)

  2. On schematics - the earliest I've seen was a 1927 jumper pattern from 'Woman and Home' (reprinted in Jane Waller and Susan Crawford's 'A Stitch in Time). They're unfortunately still far from universal - Woman's Weekly removes them even when printing patterns that would have had some kind of schematic originally, such as Rowan patterns.

  3. I remember a booklet of children's patterns from about 1985-6 (Iknow that from where we lived and the age of the relevant offspring) which had schematics. I found them novel. The booklet was French, translated, and has vanished. D**n. At that stage I didn't think it likely that I would want it for the offspring of the offspring so I cleared it out. The models were all photographed against a background of large scale graph paper.

  4. I have some old French magazines from the late 60's I think with schematics. The idea was you could take the schematics and increase sizes if you needed to, I think. Of course, I can't find them right now. My 11-year old house guest is keeping me busy.

  5. good - if you're still not lucky with those, remind me next spring and I'll collect seeds for you (all gone now, I let mine spread by themselves normally) to put out fresh!

    I think the knitter in the cartoon should answer "and why not"?:))