Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Who would have thought we’d ever actually get here, to November 6, 2012? It will be an odd morning to wake up to tomorrow, no campaigning and no election. It’s a funny way to run a country, all that vast expenditure of money and energy and time. One thing, perhaps it’s valuable for the president to have seen and experienced the whole country, even from within his bullet-proof security bubble. And for the electorate, to be reminded of how important they are.

We watched an interesting (contemporary) documentary the other evening about Kennedy’s primary battle with Hubert Humphrey in (I think) Wisconsin. How different it all seemed! Jackie was there, no sign of a Mrs Humphrey. She (Jackie) must have been the first of the now-pretty-well-obligatory Ornamental Wives.

In 1952 I cycled 10 miles or so with some friends to experience an Eisenhower whistle-stop. Remember whistle-stops? I wonder if that was the last election in which they figured.


Well. The Wingspan is done. I hope I’ll polish off one or two loose ends and block it today. It is time I got back to the loose ends on that hat, too.

The new KnitPic needles arrived. I still don’t find brioche stitch entirely comfortable – the stitches don’t slip quite freely enough along the needle. Can’t see why.

I tried a few rows of fisherman’s rib (using a second ball of yarn). That felt much better. I did it in what I regard as the classic way – k1, k1b throughout. Barbara Walker in the 1st Treasury gives it as p1, k1b which would be much fiddlier. Nancy Marchant in “Knitting Brioche” says that the resulting fabric, using k1, k1b, is the same as brioche stitch but “I personally find that I work the brioche stitch much faster and much more evenly than fisherman’s rib”.

Much faster, no, not for me – fisherman’s rib is the real Cocoon Experience, for me. But after a couple of inches, it was absolutely clear that brioche stitch was producing a tidier and nicer-looking fabric, so I’ll go on with that.

EZ rather avoids the issue of whether the two fabrics are the same – I think Marchant is right about that, myself. EZ says: “This stitch is sometimes mistaken for Fisherman’s Rib, where you knit into the stitch of the row below, but if you try them both on the same swatch, you will see that Prime Rib [=Brioche Stitch] is well worth the trouble of learning, as it makes a much richer and fruitier rib.”


L, yes, I saw your earlier comments about the Colinette website. (Blogger sends them all to me as emails.) And you’re quite right, “Vatican Pie” is on the colour list. There seem to be a number of unalphabetised colours at the top of the list – I had just scrolled straight down to the “v’s”. I suspect you are a rather good librarian. 

I heard from them yesterday that my yarn has been dispatched!

Catriona, thank you for the link to the article in the Guardian about the Shetland Craft Trail. I think maybe I’d better download and print the map for my archives, despite the cost of ink jet cartridges.

FiberQat, that’s interesting, and rather comforting, that you have had rotation problems with pictures taken with an iPod touch. My one is right side up on my computer – but persistently sideways in Blogger.


  1. Dear Jean,
    I also was pleased with the link to the Shetland Craft trail.

    I have never been to Shetland, some day perhaps.

    The Burra bears are really lovely. Shame I dont have an old fair isle jumper to get a bear made, though she does make bears from new fair isle too.

    I dont read the comments on all the blogs I read, but I always enjoy reading yours.

    All the best

  2. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Hello Jean! I was born on the day Eisenhower was elected, so I've always said I like Ike. Mom didn't vote that year.
    I, too have stacks of books on the floor which the cats climb and dislodge and then gravity takes over. Repeat from asterisk. That's a recipe for silting if ever there was one.
    Good on you for persevering with Wingspan.
    Marilyn in Minneapolis

  3. In the summer of '68, Bobby Kennedy took a train across the country and stopped at many a small town - mine among them. (Living beside the tracks meant that I was able to see the train, but not him.)

    He was on his way to California.

  4. Whistlestops still happen, now by jet airplane. Romney's voting address is a few towns over from me. He starts today voting there, then they added short-notice trips to Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before he comes back to the Boston Convention Center tonight to wait for the results to come in.

    Along with the advertising dollars, both parties in this election season spent an awful lot of jet fuel.

  5. Jean, I think the documentary you saw was called "Primary," My husband and I just saw this and were shocked to see our little town in the first 6 minutes of that film. The cameraman is in the back of the car, JFK in the front passenger seat, and I realized they were filming our town as the car was coming into town. (I recognized the courthouse tower above the houses.) There's a brief shot of our courthouse from the front. As far as we can tell, JFK in our town is only about 4 minutes worth of film. Jackie wasn't with him in our town, but the rest of the footage of JFK was from stops in Milwaukee and Jackie was there. We've only lived here for 4 years and had no idea any presidential candidate had ever been in the area.

    I was also shocked to see Humphrey, walking the streets of Tomah (a small town near LaCrosse, WI) handing out business-card size campaign literature. First, the idea of a presidential primary candidate walking a town's main street was surprising. Second, what a difference between campaign literature then and now. Every day for the past 2 months, we've gotten at least 2,3, or 4 flyers in our mail that are glossy, heavy paper stock 8x11 inches.

    The amount of $$$ spent in this election cycle was obscene.