Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shandy, that was sweet. Thank you. But a Terrible Event is certain, in a sense. They can strike at any stage of life, they often do, they always come as a surprise, but one of the differences between old age (if you’re lucky enough to get there) and the rest is that you have occasional flashes when you realise for sure that one (at least) is really going to happen to you. As I did on Monday evening -- reduced sight could mean loss of driving license and therefore no more Strathardle. Was it actually happening?

A Tom Stoppard character observes in Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead, that we all remember making interesting discoveries about sex, but can’t remember when and how we found out about death.


The v-neck vest is finished (again) except for a final try-on this morning. I don’t think I’ll block it again. I resumed the Crazy Zauberball socks. It takes half-an-hour or so for the fingers to readjust themselves to smaller needles and round-and-round. Once that happens, one never wants to stop.

Zauberball is new to me. It looks from the label as if it will take a whole sock for the colour changes to work themselves out. What fun!

This is the pair on which I mean to learn the Afterthought Heel, and I found myself worrying last night about the question of how much heel to allow for, when measuring foot length. A bit of Googling this morning, and I think 2” should be about right. Maybe now that I’ve got the bit between the teeth, I’ll go ahead and finish this pair before knitting the snood.

That could involve starting the next pair at Loch Fyne next weekend, where knitting-time increases. And if so, the overall plan needs adjustment. I had meant to do the Andersson Heel next but I do not understand it at all. It needs to be reserved for quiet evenings in Edinburgh. I’ll pick something else from the list and make the necessary plans. Hundertwasser is to be the yarn.

Helen C.K.S. reports, in the blog entry I referred to yesterday, that she decided to frog an entire shawl at the stage when it was being wrapped in pretty paper for dispatch. Observe that she wound the yarn into skeins, not balls, and then washed them because they were so crinkled.

Is that necessary? When I frogged the top of the vest recently, my husband fretted that the crinkled yarn would knit up differently. I didn’t think so, and I didn’t notice any difference when I was re-knitting it. Sometimes I was using ravelled yarn, sometimes new (because I found I had enough and didn’t need to repeat the alternate-skein thing to incorporate lighter yarn).

Nor is there any discernable difference in the result, as far as I can see. I’d better write to Helen about this.


I’m glad I posted about my vision thing yesterday, and grateful for comments. I’ve learned a lot. I feel you’re very likely to be right, Theresa, that an allergy is at work here. I know I am very sensitive to house dust, in which I am embowered. But what’s new lately? Maybe just spring pollens?


  1. I don't bother washing unknitted wool if (a) I'm going to knit it up again straight away, and (b) it's only part of an item. If I was taking out an entire shawl and starting from scratch I would wash the wool before re-balling it though.

  2. I've noticed a couple of things lately -
    Someone has been stuffing concrete into my sinuses.
    The pussy willows have turned that lovely golden colour.
    Tree pollens are supposed to be nastier than the rest.

  3. I wouldn't always wash yarn before re-knitting, but the point of re-knitting the shawl was to do it on smaller needles so that it would be a tighter gauge; I didn't think it would be tighter if I knitted it with *very* crinkled yarn. The 80/20 was savagely crinkled, being very tightly spun. So to be fairly sure of actually getting a tighter tension the second time, I thought it best to wash it again. A friend of my mother's used to knit sweaters from unravelled yarn and then wash them: her husband and two sons (eight years apart) would wait breathlessly to see who it fitted.

  4. Oh, and I wound the wool into balls, and then into skeins, washed it, and then back into balls again. I love my work.

  5. GrannyPurple1:19 PM

    And, of course, Helen had already washed the shawl, which would really set the crinkles in the yarn...

  6. I agree with Helen's method for her situation. For yours I think the second blocking on the vest will reset the memory of the yarn. You didn't mention any change of gauge when you knitted it up so I think you're fine.