Thursday, September 01, 2011

Let’s get back to knitting.

Except that I did very little in Strathardle, for the delight of reading books on my iPad and plucking the next one down from the ether whenever I thought of something I might like to read. Henry James’ “Washington Square” is fearfully good (and free, at Amazon). So is Molly Keane’s “Good Behaviour” – her masterpiece. But you have to pay for that.

Here, the constraints imposed by watching television mean that reading subsides and knitting progresses. I’ve done 46 rows (out of 190) of the centre of the Mourning Shawl, nearly a quarter. I’ve just finished a rather difficult 12-row section which will reappear three more times. Nothing fancy to do, not asymmetrical or anything, just lacking in diagonals and I couldn’t get the rhythm of it into my head, so it went slowly with much anxious peering. Maybe it’ll be easier next time.

The big anxiety is whether I have calculated aright the rate at which I am picking up stitches from the adjacent sides at the ends of each row. Every 5th and 6th row, I take two. Otherwise one. Minor adjustments can easily be made in the last 30 or 40 rows, but if I’ve got it seriously wrong it could mean taking back the whole thing. I’ll count again when I’m half way. The edges look fine, neither puckered nor stretched, but you can’t trust that.

Re-reading what I’ve just written, I realise that I can perfectly well count right now, and see whether I’ve taken roughly a quarter of the stitches from each side. I’ll do that.

I bought the current Rowan book yesterday. Some nice things, but no big wonderful scarf for men which was what I was vaguely thinking of, what with September here and Christmas approaching. I knit one for James last year, and for Thomas-the-Elder the year before. Rowan Cocoon, both. Pleasant, cosy winter work for me – but do they get worn?

Brooklyn Tweed’s Cinder and Dryad both tempt.


I spent a frustrating time just now, trying to make a donation to a charity through Paypal which is usually about as easy as anything computer-related ever gets. This time, I got a screen saying they were going to ring me up and so I stood there by the telephone in order to catch it on the hop so as not to disturb my sleeping husband too much when it rang in the bedroom. But they didn’t phone and I gave up in disgust.

But blogging-time was curtailed


  1. Ah I trust you have that stitch count right. I would like to know that someone else's knitting was going well even if I am still pondering closures on the lace weight linen vest I have knitted for someone else. (I really do not trust yarn that has no elasticity.)

  2. The perennial question ... I knitted it for you, but do you wear it? I reluctantly parted with a shawl I had knitted to a daughter who coveted it but hasn't been seen in it since. I'm sure though that a manly woolly scarf is always welcome. Happy counting :D

  3. Ah those awkward passages in lace that are difficult to embed. Having to repeat yours four times means that it will take approximately three and seven eights repeats of working it for it to click into place, but if you should knit the same pattern agan, you will have forgotten it by the time you get to it again.

    Murphy's Law, clause forty-two.

  4. You are doing a fabulous job selling me an iPad. As if I needed any help. One day I'll have one, too.

  5. Thanks for the Brooklyn Tweed link. What about 'Pavement'?