Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Income Tax is ready to file, as soon as I’ve had my porridge. Liz Lovick has done hers, and bought a lovely wheel with her lovely rebate. We got a big rebate last year, but then they lowered our code so I am not expecting good news this morning.

The sweater progresses. The slowness of the decreases means that there is no feeling of acceleration such as one has with a raglan yoke. But the size looks plausible.

That’s about all I have had to say about knitting for some time past, I feel. But today there are titbits of knitting news.

We’re about to have an Edinburgh Yarn Festival day, March 16.

These ponies were in the Scotsman yesterday, amongst the snow pictures although there doesn’t appear to be any more snow on Shetland then there is in Drummond Place. (I think that's water in the background.) We’ve seen pictures before now of lambs wearing Fair Isle sweaters, looking as if the children’s cast-offs might have been pressed into service. But the most barrel-chested farmer wouldn’t have anything in his drawer to fit a pony – and these sweaters not only look fresh and new, but also appear to have colour-coordinated to the ponies themselves.

I keep getting emails from Evernote. James is keen on it. This morning on Zite there is a blog entry by a woman who uses it to organise her knitting. Would it have any advantages over Ravelry? Wouldn’t it just consume a lot of fiddle-time that could be better spent knitting?

Zite also has a tantalizing article about Franklin’s Knitted Tesselations class at Vogue Knitting Live. Alas, without photographs or any text by Franklin himself, making it impossible to visualise what is going on. Still, it sounds exciting. Perhaps we will hear more.

Rip Van Winkle in Central Edinburgh

I had a mixed morning yesterday. After polishing off my business with Santander, I went shopping at John Lewis.

I needed a blanket – Old Faithful had started shedding in its old age. Blankets are out. Duvets are everywhere. (We sleep with both, in weather like this.) At last I found a small rack with a poor selection, and bought one of them.

We need a bedside rug. Various searches had come up with nothing. We thought of getting a length of patterned stair carpet – that red Turkey pattern, if that’s the word, which used to cover every stair in Britain. Lewis’s could surely cut a length off and bind the ends for us. There are no stair carpets of any sort at Lewis’s any more. You have to cut a length of broadloom up the middle if you want something for your stairs these days.

(There must be some somewhere. We’ll go on looking.)

I had an idea. There I was at the top of Broughton Street, near Ladbrokes. Rachel says she doesn’t like Andy Murray. I would place a bet on him to win the Australian Open and send her the slip (which she can easily cash in London, if it proves to be worth anything).

So, after discussing the odds with the helpful girl behind the counter, I said I wanted to bet five pounds and added, “…and I’ll pay the tax.”

“We don’t pay tax any more,” she said. (Elderly British gamblers will know what I mean.)


  1. Thanks for the link to the Edinburgh yarn festival. Will you be going? I might just manage to waddle around the stalls with my pregnant belly - although I'm tempted by at least one of the classes.

    Well done on the tax - all still to do at my end.

  2. re Carpets: When we replaced the fitted carpet on our stairs to a more traditional strip, we did exactly what you describe, except that we took the roll of carpet - oriental looking, with centred medallions - to a man on an industrial estate who had the overlocker required. He also bound a piece for a rug in the hall. We found him in Yellow Pages.
    However, out of town shopping malls are likely to have carpet shops with ready-made rugs. Is there one near you?

  3. rosesmama12:18 PM

    If you put Franklin’s Knitted Tesselations into
    Google Images, a lone photo appears to give an idea of what he will be doing.

    The pony sweaters made my day.

  4. Blankets do seem hard to find but there are some online retailers and some UK manufacturers still. I have found this one to be excellent
    They also have some lovely baby shawls and blankets but the shawls must be machine knitted I think.

  5. I've been lurking(I made it here from Franklin's blog)but the ponies have de-lurked me because I knew them!

    Heather from Texas

  6. I took a class in Tesselations from Franklin at Madrona last year. He is a very good teacher, and he makes a fascinating and complex subject understandable. Interlocking tile shapes range from as simple as a square to as complex as M C Escher. I have done several tesselated blankets in hexagons, and of course, domino knitting can be considered a form of tesselation. I have some photos of the ones i did on my blog.

    Thanks for the pony sweater link. The video is sweet. As always, I enjoy your blog, and read it every morning.

  7. AnnP in NY10:49 PM

    Just curious, is there no UK income tax software program you can use such as we have in the US? A British equivalent of TurboTax? Even as a former IRS employee, I wouldn't dream of tackling it without this guidance. The Q & A format makes it *almost* fun.

  8. I told students in a recent class that they could use cream rinse to remove 'itchiness' in wool and no one knew what it was. Your travails in the decreasing department reminded me of a favorite quote from a Gladys Mitchell book from 1938 -“Yes, yes,” replied Mrs. Bradley (The detective/psychologist), taking up her knitting again and doing some rapid decreasing which she felt she would regret later on.

  9. EVERNOTE is wonderful as a repository of all those bits and bods that you find on the internet (you can install a clipper that will let you right click on a page and add it to your evernote account) you can access from the web and also have it as a program on your computer . it works on all operating systems including all flavors of mobiles and tablets, ipads,etc.

    i would be lost without it... i have recipes, receipts, opera schedules, nephews measurements for knitting from, ideas, articles, financial documents (its encrypted), and pdfs and on and on and on... it will hold images, pdfs, attachments of all flavors.

    highly recommend it... i am slowly moving all my paper to evernote - already dont have pieces of paper laying around with notes on it. just open a note and add it .
    also you can email to your evernote account. i send blog posts, articles, emails with info that i want to keep or refer to later.

    really the most useful app.

  10. one more thing, there is a scanner that will actually scan RIGHT INTO Evernote. that is on my wish list.

  11. Anonymous1:34 AM

    Hi Jean,
    You can buy or download free patterns in PDF format from Ravelry and read and store them in Evernote and I think you can make notes in them too.
    In case you don't know, there's a group in Ravelry called I Love My iPad and the members are very happy to answer any questions so you could get info from them about Evernote.

    But I think an even better app for pattern reading, using, annotating is Good Reader. You can use it to keep track of your place in your pattern, highlight rows and a whole lot more. The I Love My Pad group has a whole thread (20 pages) just on using Good Reader.