Saturday, December 01, 2012

Today, panic and gloom. I still haven’t started the Christmas cards. I can’t find the piece of paper on which I’ve written my passwords. It’s December. There are only three weeks to go. (Alexander is planning to come and get us on Saturday the 22nd.)

I ordered a Microsoft Surface for my husband’s Christmas yesterday. The credit card company phoned from New York within the hour, asking if I really wanted to spend that much on the silly old fool. I am grateful to them for looking out for me, but apprehensive about what will happen when I try to use the card today.

This annual misery is all very well. Three-weeks-until-Christmas-HELP really means three-weeks-until-the-solstice-HURRAY. I worry – I’ve said this before – about Catdownunder and her friends, who are being hustled through the best weeks of the year.

Odds and ends

Schaefer yarns are about to disappear. Cheryl apparently is going to retire, without selling the business on.

Jamieson and Smith have some nice new kits ready.

Packages are arriving by every post – the great thing about shopping on-line is that it feels as if I get a present every day. But “Knit Your Own Scotland” isn’t here yet. I look upon that sort of knitting as utterly fiddly and not-me. But on the other hand, the few times I’ve tried it – I think Sam-the-Ram would count, and Arne and Carlos’ Christmas tree ornaments certainly do – I’ve enjoyed it. So I am at least open to the possibility of knitting Scotland.

The program for next year’s Games is out already, and the knitting categories are dreadful. “Fish and chip baby suit (Pattern supplied: to be donated)” and “Cushion cover (no pad)”. A recipe is supplied every year for one of the baking categories – it’s a “smiddy loaf” this year – so that the playing field is completely level. I suppose it’s an interesting thought, to apply the same idea to knitting.

Unfortunately, the pattern isn’t supplied, at least not yet. I would do very badly, I’m sure.

The new VK turned up yesterday – I didn’t even know I was expecting one. There’s nothing there I want to knit, but the magazine is exciting.

Kaffe had some interesting things to say on Thursday. Avoid white and bright yellow when you’re mixing colours – darker is better. He regards the colour wheel as the work of the devil. He doesn’t (I gather) knit socks himself, but it sounds as if the sock yarns he has designed for Regia have been a nice little earner for him. He doesn’t like most hand-dyed yarns. They look stunning in the skein, but when you get them home and knit them, they look like cat’s vomit. I think that was his analogy.

He showed us a scarf knit with two space-dyed yarns in which the colours change slowly – just knit eight-row stripes of each yarn alternately, and let them change as they will. I think I’ve seen that idea somewhere before. The result was very nice. Maybe that’s next year’s Christmas scarf?

I am currently pressing on with the brioche scarf.


  1. Anonymous9:22 AM

    Didn't Jared do the striped scarf with 2 different shades of Noro? Narrower stripes though.

  2. "Hustled" - yes, a good word for it. We have already had some torrid heat and bush(wild)fires in this state. There was a wild thunderstorm which has also done considerable damage. Neighbouring states have had a tornado, heatwave and more fires. But, you have had too much rain and other wild weather.
    And, if it is any comfort to you, I have not written the Christmas Cards either!

  3. rosesmama2:11 PM

    I think I first heard of Kate Davies here; I see on Ravelry that she has a new book:

  4. This time I clicked on your link knowing I would be in no danger. :-) As lovely as the new J&S kits are, I am holding out for Kate's new book. I plan to knit several items from it, so I don't dare add a J&S kit along with my yarn order from them.

    The short, dark days of winter never used to bother me, but that is no longer true. I can't wait until we turn the corner and the days start getting longer again. But as you say, we only have to wait three more weeks.

    I hope you find your list of passwords. Maybe if you just do a couple of Christmas cards this weekend you will feel like you are off to a good start. And if your Knit Your Own Scotland book hasn't arrived yet I won't be looking for mine to show up any time soon. Darn.

  5. easy to say about the colour wheel, when you have an extremely well functioning sense for colour mixes! I'd say the colour wheel and some of the theories behind it make it easier to mix for the rest of us mere mortals! and I partly agree with his disregard for handdyes - but only partly! a lot of yarns do look like "clown's barf" - but often only because they are used with unsuitable patterns... what's ok for socks doesn't necessarily work well in lace etc... sweaters in sock yarn, jacquard dyed are awful, as are most shawls, because of the change in colour spread with changing row length... just my opion, of course:) could luck with the christmas cards - I didn't write a single one yet:(

  6. sorry, good luck I meant....