Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Here we are, and for the moment will remain. My husband wants to finish the current task he has assigned himself – I must then translate his files into Word and drop them into Dropbox. I’m not sorry – I’m afraid of the dark, and of sn*w, and, still shaken by Friday’s adventure, glad to be here where help is only seconds away.

The big news on the knitting front is that the Beijing St Andrew’s Night Ball is this coming Saturday. Preparations (and dancing practice) are well advanced, and I hope to be able to show you a picture of the jabot in action soon.

It flickered across my mind that maybe James would like a pair of “Argyle” kilt hose for Christmas – hose knit in his tartan. But they cost £200 on the Kinloch Anderson website (scroll down), and that’s a bit much. I have only seen such things once that I remember, on the calves of the son of a dear (and well-dressed) friend, at his father’s funeral. It was an impressive sight. Kinloch Anderson says that they are hand-knitted. Is that possible, even for £200? I feel there must be an antique hand-operated sock-knitting machine involved somewhere.

I got on well with knitting, and with Christmas, yesterday. A couple more rounds of the current bauble, and much raglan decreasing on the little Brownstone, and the first three Christmas cards written. Barbara, like you I put a message, however brief, in each one, and like you I enjoy reading the duplicated summaries of the year which some card-writers enclose. What I really hate are the cards from people I am seriously interested in and haven’t seen or heard from for a while who just sign their names.

But at our age, the main function of a card is to tell the recipient that the sender is still above ground, so I can’t really even complain of a simple signature.


I see, just now, that I have miscalculated the number of rows in the raglan decreases. “Repeat the above six rows three more times”: I have added that instruction in as 18 rows, when of course it is 24. I’ll have to consider the whole thing, and possibly frog quite a bit. Or speed up the decreases somehow, to absorb the six extra rows.

That is a very interesting remark, Beverly, about elbows sagging in reverse st st. It’s not a stitch I have any experience of. I do remember how surprised I was, long ago, reading Mary Thomas’ Knitting Book, to see how she separated st st and reverse st st into two separate entities. It would indeed be good to hear from someone with experience of this matter.

And thanks for the comments about Malabrigo worsted. It sounds, on the whole, like one to stay away from. I could re-cast the pattern for madelinetosh, I feel sure. Or something else may have presented itself by the time I get to that pattern. The important thing is not to buy any yarn until the Driven jacket is next to be cast on.

My mug turned up yesterday, and I’m drinking coffee from it right now.


  1. christmas cards with just a name don't sound too bad - when you receive a christmas card without anything in it, like I did last year! at first I was gobsmacked, but then I recognized the hand writing, so at least I knew who sent it! I saw that lady this spring and she didn't believe it, when I told her:))
    I have to write too many cards to include a longer text in each, so I write a brief summary of our year here, print it out and include it in the cards. the card itself is handwritten of course, but I figure a printed summary is better than none...
    good luck with writing your cards, I didn't even start mine....
    Bettina (ireland)

  2. Anonymous1:42 PM

    A late Malabrigo comment:

    I used Malabrigo worsted to knit and felt a bag - it worked wonderfully for this and was lovely to knit with. I had enough leftover to knit some fingerless mitts. There is a little pilling but I've handwashed them several times and no sign of felting. Probably not a good yarn for a gift, but for a project for yourself, you might enjoy it.

    Glad to hear you are recovering from your misadventure.

    Beverly in NJ

  3. I agree with Beverly in NJ - I love Malabrigo but not unequivocally. I would hesitate to use it for knitting a gift item unless I knew that person would properly care for it and not felt the item. I've made scarves using the worsted weight and the lace weight. I've heard stories that it pills dreadfully when used for sweaters, but have no actual experience on that front. Its saving grace is its buttery softness. I've also got the sock yarn, but am intending that for a shawlette, not socks so I don't know how it holds up under the pressure of being worn under shoes.

  4. =Tamar10:45 PM

    Printed notes are better than totally illegible notes, in my opinion. I also like printed stickers with return addresses.

    I also thoroughly approve of staying warm and cozy.

    Unless one uses arcane techniques, Argyle socks have to be knitted flat where the design is. It is entirely possible that the Kinloch-A socks are handknitted to order. The foot might be done on the machine, but it would hardly be worth setting up for the relatively short length involved. If such a sock had a seam the entire length, I'd suspect a machine, because according to a video I saw, "hand-woven" Harris tweeds can be woven on a loom that is entirely automatic except for the foot-power driving it.

  5. Marvelous idea to put the place card on a mug.