Wednesday, November 30, 2011

St Andrew's Day

I spent this morning’s osteoporosis-half-hour (for it is indeed Wednesday again) stuffing the second Christmas tree bauble. It remains to crochet chains for both of them, and close the bottom holes. No photographs, because my camera has taken to demanding a battery change after every half-dozen pics.

So the next thing is to polish off the American Christmas cards – none got done, yesterday – and take them and the baubles to a post office. Not so easy, now that our local one is gone. By next Monday? Should be do-able.

And it is within the bounds of possibility that I will finish the body of the Little Brownstone today. I solved yesterday’s problem (I hope) by putting in three sets of decreases on the purl side. (I have divided the work for the deep shawl-collar-hole.) Looks all right. We shall see.

I used Margaret Stove’s wonderful rule-of-thumb, mentioned here before: the stitch the needle enters first, for any decrease, is the stitch that winds up on top. It works just as well when you’re purling and “on top” refers to the other side – the right side – of the work. So p2tog, when you flip it over, looks like a k2tog, and an SSK on the right side is replaced by that most awkward of manoeuvres on the purl side, p2togtbl.

It’s true.

Sock yarn

What with the sweep of recent events, I forgot to mention that my new sock yarn is here. The Van Gogh, I am afraid, is too full of light shades for my husband’s taste. No loss – I knit for plenty of ladies who will be pleased to wear Van Gogh. Hundertwasser – I am becoming increasingly fond of that man – is more possible, although there are light shades in him, too, and a possibly alarming amount of purple.

It’s never easy for me to guess how a variegated yarn is going to look when knit. The only thing to do is to cast on Hundertwasser and see what happens. Alas, my husband now gets bigger socks than anyone else on the list, so if he doesn’t like the result, it may have to be frogged. Or knit for Alexander, possibly? He’s got quite big feet.

So this morning – it’s still November, right? Life is both depressing and stressful, right? – I ordered some more yarn: Kaffe’s newest additions to the Regia design line – “anthracite” and “moor” in “random stripes”.


We went yesterday to see the “fine pictures” to be sold at Lyon & Turnbull in a few days. And weren’t tempted by anything, I’m glad to say. It was the first time my husband had been out since Friday night’s excitements. I thought he seemed a notch slower and frailer even than before, but that could have been just the gloomy effect of dark, wet, windy November. I was glad, again, that we are here (Edinburgh) and not there (Strathardle) and have begun to entertain the idea of not going at all before Christmas.


  1. I cast on my first bauble using Emily Ocker's circular cast on, and then as I was finishing off the bauble, pulled it tight, stuffed it and then pulled the yarn through the last few stitches as it says in the book. No sewing needed. It doesn't work so well if you want to steam your bauble before stuffing but since I am loose knitter (including a fair-isle) I didn't have to-- worked out quite well.

  2. skeindalous3:18 PM

    I think it was in your blog that I first heard Margaret Stove's 'rule' about the stitch the needle enters first being on top. This has saved me much angst. My thanks.

  3. I knit a pair of Hundertwasser socks earlier this year for a friend who wanted something "vaguely rainbow" for hiking socks. I found the yarn pleasant to work with (nice hand), but the color is a bit loud to pair with suits or nice slacks. As hiking socks, they were quite cheerful.

    My socks, in progress:

  4. I always learn something from your blog, Jean. Thanks for the Margaret Stove rule. I need to note this down somewhere.