Saturday, October 27, 2012

More cheerful.

The Wingspan proceeded well yesterday. I finished the 4th triangle, started on the 5th. At the end – after the 8th – one has to knit four rows across the whole top edge, before casting off. That means that if one is using two 50-gram balls of sock yarn, as I am, it is important that the first ball is not entirely exhausted until somewhere in the 5th. And that is what is happening.


1) I found my new “Fair Isle Knitting Patterns” book from the Shetland Times.

The idea I was trying to remember yesterday is this:

Patterns must (obviously) fit into the number of stitches available. This book says that “the patterns should be of similar size in terms of number of stitches so that they sit on top of each other vertically”. So, for instance, if you have a convenient number of stitches in total like 240, you should restrict yourself to a “family” of pattern repeats: 3,6,12,24 or 4,8,16, or 5,10,20,40.

I’ll have to think about that. I don’t remember that I’ve ever met that idea before, face to face, although I’m sure it must be there somewhere in Starmore. I’m quite sure I’ve never employed it in my own Fair Isles.

[Else, that was an interesting remark of yours yesterday, about the Prince of Wales’s neckline. Here’s another for you, although not so dramatically low: Beverley Nichols when he published his autobiography at the age of 25, in 1926. “Authentic” costumes on our screens endlessly dress men in Fair Isle, but never with a scooped neck.]

2) I got “Sock Yarn Studio” from Amazon.

The back story there is that when I found earlier in the week that my credit card didn’t work for digital downloads, I tried buying a flesh and blood book to see what would happen. It went through without a hitch, leading both me and the nice lady at Amazon to think for a while that only digital downloads were blocked.

What had actually happened was that Amazon was briefly out of stock. One isn’t charged until the book is actually dispatched, and by the time they were ready to do that, the problem had been resolved.

It’s good, the "Sock Yarn Studio", including a really rather super ear-flap hat from Franklin. Goodness, the man is clever.

The point of the book is, how to deal with one’s sock-yarn stash. There are patterns for the odd balls – my odd-ball bag is now far weightier than my sock-yarn bag – and patterns for a sock’s worth of yarn if you don’t want to knit socks. Like me and the Wingspan at the moment. Seriously good patterns. Good value.


  1. Thanks for the Sock Yarn Studio review. Just yesterday I was thinking about the mess of odd balls I am going to have left after I finish my Sky Scarf. All to be added to the odd balls accumulated from ten years of sock knitting. And then there is the stash...

  2. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Hi Jean,

    That Fair Isle sweater you made for your daughter is stunning! I really enjoy the non standard (at least to me) repeat patterns. And the colors... ahhhh.

    For your enjoyment, here's a link to another fine work:

    Thank you for writing this blog. I've learned many things, knitting and non, from you.

    Jeanne in Rochester

  3. Jean, I've been thinking of you this weekend as I'm in Chicago and have met up with Franklin. He's really looking forward to his trip to London. I met Carol Sulcoski, the author of Sock Yarn Studio. Her personality alone was enough to recommend the book to me - your recommendation now put that over the top.

    Hopefully this book can brighten up the ever-shortening days. I feel as you do - it seems as though December 22nd is a long ways away.

  4. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you and Franklin will meet at last. Everybody else better have cameras at the ready.

    Beverly Nichols has a shelf at my local independent bookstore. His gardening books have been reprinted recently due largely (probably) to the efforts of one man who lives locally and loves the books. How awesome you mention him on the same day I saw the shelf!

    This morning I also saw two Wingspans, one being worn, the other in progress. Both lovely.

  5. Hi Jean,
    This is my first comment although I've been enjoying your blog for some time. With reference to your note about odd-balls and leftover bits of sock yarn, I read this post:
    just this morning. It shows a pair of colourful socks made of lots of different sock leftovers. The main colour choice is important, but I think I now have enough sock leftovers to try this.