Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tricia, thank you, thank you, thank you for telling me where my iPad-to-USB cable was. I hope I won’t forget again. I didn’t get around to trying to port knit.wear to the iPad yesterday, however, because it was a day frot with excitement.

n      Our new picture arrived. We were fully prepared for a second week of anxious waiting-in and increasingly irate phone calls, but Alban Shipping – who collected it from the auctioneer, packed it, and handed it over to UPS – and UPS themselves proved to be an entirely different kettle of fish from last week’s Yodel.

My husband is happy to have it, and has admitted it to the canon. There is a problem, which I think he hasn’t fully faced up to. Maybe today.

It remains very bad, and therefore presumably very early. ??????? went to art school when he was 15, and is known to have painted small portraits at that time, including one of his brother James. An inscription on the back of this picture says that that’s who we have here. So far so good.

By the time he was 20, however, ??????? was painting national-gallery pictures. So any dating for this one that makes him older than 16 is pretty well impossible to swallow. His brother James was only a year older than he was. Could this possibly be a picture of a man of 17?

The more I look at it, the more I think it could be. 

n      “Knit Swirl” is here, and has gone straight into the Challenge pile. I think I am going to be able to use Koigu without much difficulty. In fact, I think the main problem is going to be casting on 500 plus stitches, as you say, Sarah. I’ve dealt with more, knitting the Princess, but I didn’t have to cast them on. (Knit edging first, pick up stitches from.)
n      A card from the post office arrived saying that I owe them £15.49. That is presumably for three more skeins of madelinetosh scarlet from Happy Knits. That works out at £2.50 per skein, plus the £8 payment to the PO for their trouble. And that means that if I get yarn from the US for my hoped-for Effortless, it’s going to cost £28 plus postage before I even think of paying for the expensive yarn. I could buy several books for that.

I don’t need these three skeins for the current project, either. I’ll have to do something with them for Thomas-the-Younger.

n      I had a spare half-hour in the afternoon, while my husband struggled with James ???????, which I spent attempting brioche-in-the-round, from Meg’s hat in Woolgathering #80. I was wholly charmed by her advice on size: “Just start knitting with thickish wool and the finished cap is bound to fit someone.”  

 It didn’t go well – but then, it wouldn’t be a challenge if it were easy. I returned to the problem this morning, during my osteoporosis-pill-half-hour, relying more on Marchant, and I think I’ve got it. In fact I think – even Homer nods – that Meg is wrong. The sequence she gives as “wool fwd, slip 1 p’wise, p2tog” should in fact be “slip 1 p’wise, wool around needle, p2tog”.

I’ll keep this little cylinder and go on practising from time to time. The transition from dark-round to light-round is the next thing to master. Then I can go on to crossing the lines, Marchant-fashion. 


  1. I'm sure we can find a better deal on the Tosh DK sent as a gift. I'll see what they have when I go tomorrow. Does powdered hair make a person seem older? Were 17 year olds more mature looking?

  2. That high stand collar and stock adds years. Age and gravitas were to be desired back then. Could well be.

  3. Most 17 yr olds today would probably look over 25 in any portrait or photograph, just think of the trouble you have checking ages in pubs and off licences!

  4. =Tamar7:06 PM

    I have personally met two under-16-year-olds who could pass for over 21. Also, his brother may have asked for the portrait to make him look more adult.

  5. I'm always curious how art historians pick their artists. (Then again, I'm an art historian; and I have my artists, too.)