Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I got worried yesterday about the Sky Scarf – it looks so small, and a whole month done. But it measures 5 ½” and if you multiply that by 12 (for months) you get 5 ½ feet. That seems too neat, and must have something to do with there being 12 inches in a foot as well as 12 months in a year. Or have I slipped a gear, multiplication-wise?

I did today’s two dull grey rows in st st as planned, to mark the end of the month. I’ll probably do it again tomorrow, to make the point emphatic. I am assuming, like you, Annie, that as the year progresses and 8:15 a.m. becomes longer and longer after sunrise, there’ll be lots more blue. (And, oh! that’s wonderful news about your dog!)

As for the sock, ribbing isn’t so much “dread” as “tedious” for me. But I’m now within striking distance of the end of it – tonight should see it done.

There was a note in our church newsletter on Sunday soliciting knitted donations to Oxfam. In particular, they would like 6ft by 4ft blankets which they will sell for "anything up to £35" at a music festival. Here is a link to the "Knitting for Oxfam" page which includes patterns and things.

I feel a vague disquiet, although why should I? Nobody is making me knit a blanket. But I don’t like the idea that, if I do, Oxfam will sell my work for less than the cost of the materials, let alone adding a little something for skill and Man’s Time.

I think I’d rather knit a woolly hat for St Mungo’s and just give Oxfam £35. 

On a brighter note, tea cosies suddenly seem to be everywhere. There is a book on its way – April 12 – called “How Tea Cosies Changed the World” which looks so preposterous it could be fun. And it turns out that the author, Loani Prior, has written an earlier book, “Really Wild Tea Cosies”, of which the same can be said. Wouldn’t it be fun if “Tea Cosy” turned up as one of the Games categories under “Knitting” this year?

We've also got a new book to look forward to from Kaffe and Brandon Mably, "Knitting with the Color Guys", due in March. I'll have to get it, because I think I've got all of Kaffe. (My copy of "Glorious Knitting" is a signed first edition.) What Kaffe contributed to knitting was, and remains, wonderful -- but I think he has long since said all he has to say. 


  1. Your maths is correct! Although given that not every month is exactly the same length, then your total of 5.5 feet is a *slight* overestimate...

  2. Anonymous1:50 PM

    I agree with you so much about the Oxfam blanket thing. To me, it seems rather insulting to the knitters and crocheters who will put so much work and love into the projects. Unless - is this possible - They will be sold only to those so poor that 35 pounds is a lot of money? Then I could think of them as a gift to those people. Though in that case, I suppose I would rather just give them the blanket.

    I love the Outre socks and hope your husband will wear them. I think my very conservative husband could be persuaded to wear them on days when no-one important would see them. I can't imagine him wearing them to work, though.

    Beverly in NJ

  3. Anonymous2:08 PM

    From the Oxfam Knitting Q&A:
    "What wool should knitters use?
    "It is expensive to buy all new wool to make these garments, and we don’t want them to cost more to make than we can charge for them. They can be made from yarn left over from other projects, but knitters need to use the type of yarn specified in the pattern, otherwise they will not be the right size."
    Perhaps it has been a while since Oxfam bought wool?

  4. I also agree about the Oxfam blankets. I would rather donate £35 than buy yarn, knit it and donate a blanket that is highly likely to be discarded at a festival. Even using up old yarn seems a high price compared to the charge they are suggesting. I also do not think that people who go to and can afford festival ticket prices are in need of gifted blankets. There are other charities such as Ray of Hope http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/your_community/ray_of_hope/
    etc who do need gifted blankets.

  5. I agree with you on the blanket, Jean. I check your St. Mungo's link - rather like the Hats for the Homeless project here in Minnesota. Warm hats for people who need them.

  6. Gerri6:01 PM

    Ditto to what's been said about the Oxfam deal. Been burned on knitting for charity sales. Best was when the organizer changed a price on a scarf of mine to $4 and immediately bought it herself. They made more when I started donating what I would have spent on yarn. I just keep busy with A4A.

  7. =Tamar7:01 PM

    Based on that Q&A, I think it's been a long time since OxFam revised their documents. Clearly they were thinking in terms of caricatures of the 1950s - or were they using the term "wool" to include all yarn, including the cheap acrylic of the 1950s?

    I agree completely - put the work where it will be appreciated, and donate the cash.

  8. Jean, we were overjoyed that Tolly the dachsie is home, a small miracle!

    Another vote for simply donating to Oxfam ... me immediate thought re. the £35 for the blankets was 'how silly'!

  9. Coming rather lately here, read you comment on Oxfam, and looked at comments to see what's up. It reminds me of a memory I have of my mother carefully embroidering pillowcases for a "tag sale" at my Elementer School. (Oh my gosh over 50 years ago). I remember that she went down to help at the sale, and promptly bought them herself, as the price that was put on them was very mimimal. I remember her saying that she would never again work up a handwork item for a sale, as they were never priced to reflect their value. I guess that somethings never change, and yes I would rather donate money and give my handworded items to those that enjoy them. Shame on Oxfam, for falling into this type of lack of respect.