Sunday, October 07, 2012

Not much achieved yesterday, but I finished the first sleeve of the mitered jacket, including grafting, and picked up (the right number of) stitches for the second. When I was young, a long time ago, the problem with picking up stitches was to find as many as the pattern specified. Now, it’s all the other way:  the difficulty is to get around the circuit in no more stitches than the number allowed. Me? Old age? Or a subtle shift in pattern-writing?

It remains less than my favourite knitting activity.

I wound the final skein (as far as the jacket is concerned – one more remains unwound). No breaks – all the more remarkable because I could swear I saw a third end for a moment as I was arranging the skein for winding.

I got in a bit of a panic yesterday about all my fine plans. Ed’s sweater! The Cousteau hat! A great big scarf! A couple of Wingspan shawls! Where do I think the time is coming from?

We’re planning to go to Strathardle tomorrow. I’m scared, but I have pretty well decided the only thing for it is to go on going there as long as it can be done. If we have a medical crisis while we’re there, we won’t be (much) worse off than any other elderly couple in the village in a similar plight. I was surprised, sorting through photographs the other day, to see how often we were there last winter. My husband must have gone downhill since then. So have we all.

Anyway – to resume the train of thought: I had been thinking of bringing the Japanese shirt back here. It is not progressing very briskly, and deserves better. This is the perfect moment, with the Mitered Jacket about to be finished, since I can’t start Ed’s Gardening Sweater until (I have the yarn and) I have measured a comfortable sweater of his, and discussed necklines – and that won’t happen until the  Franklin-Loop-husband’s-birthday weekend in November.

But at the moment, I’m thinking, on the contrary, of taking a Cousteau hat up there: a pile of moth-eaten oddballs, and the pattern. I’ll do that. And probably bring the shirt back, as well. The great thing to be said for Christmas is that it speeds us through the worst weeks of the year (=clocks go back until winter solstice) in a panic about getting everything done. Oh, catdownunder, I feel so sorry for you, speeding perforce through the best ones.


I still consult Zite and Flipboard on my iPad, without, somehow, finding much of interest these days. But today I was led to buy Nicky Epstein’s “Knitting in Circles”. Either I hadn’t seen a notice of it before, or I had confused it with another book, also current, about circular knitting, which I modestly think I have mastered.

And Flipboard led me to Alexander’s Facebook page, where he has posted this:

I think we can safely conclude that it is the work of his sons. Alexander is a superb and meticulous cook; he provides the family meals. It has been observed before that the boys – close in age, and brilliant at playing together – pay a great deal of attention to what is going on around them.


  1. Ah, we put the clocks forward last night - and I regret losing the light of early morning!

  2. Hi Jean, when I have to pick a certain number of stitches for sleeves, I use a smaller needle (2 sizes smaller does it for me) and pick a stitch for each row without paying attention to the numbers I pick. When this is done, I count the stitches and figure out how many I have to decrease on the first row I knit. So I knit the first row and do the decreases using the "regular"needle size. Result: the picked up stitches look very neat while the decreases are visible only if you scrutinize closely thanks to the smaller needle. I don't know if this could be useful for you.

  3. Anonymous12:58 PM

    We have spent the last 2weeks in Michigan, the western edge of US Eastern time zone. tomorrow we head back to New Hampshire, close to the other edge of this time zone.....close to 900 miles difference. We will lose an hour of daylight just making the drive home!

    Barbara M. (usually in NH)

  4. "L" has beautifully described the method I figured out and used only a couple of days ago. It worked to my entire satisfaction, and I really thought I had invented something - no, I was just sticking to the EZ principles!

  5. I use the pick up and decrease method also but it never occurred to me to use a smaller needle -next time

  6. I love the Madman's Cake recipe! Whoever came up with that figured that it needed the vinegar to add a little sharpness to counter all the sweet from the flowers, candy floss, and ice cream.

    I do a version of L's pick up tip but don't use the smaller needle to knit. I'll have to give that a try.