Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This morning, Blogger consents to load the pictures. So here they are.

The shawl:

You see what I mean -- it doesn't look like half of a square.

The bag:

At present writing, the shawl lacks four rows of the completion of the tenth repeat, and I didn't get Milano out yesterday.

Two little bits of excitement, however. I have mentioned that one end of the Inox needle I am using has been bent into a curve, as Sharon Miller recommends somewhere. And, if nothing else, it means I can always tell which side I'm knitting on. Curved needle = right-side row. Except that last night I looked down at my hands and saw that the position was reversed. I was knitting a right-side row with the straight end of the needle.

The pattern is an 18-row repeat. The first 12 rows alternate lace and plain garter stitch, the last six are lace only. I think I must have left out a garter stitch row somewhere. The other hypothesis – two successive garter-stitch rows – seems very unlikely. I can't see anything wrong, looking at the knitting, but the evidence of that needle is irrefutable. And it means I must be careful when I get to the borders and try Fleegle'ing them. I was relying on those needle-ends to keep me in order, but it clearly won't work if I don't pay attention.

The other bit of excitement concerns the pattern itself. The chart for the centre, as one would expect, shows the repeat with a few extra rows to put it in context. Sharon's charts are brilliant. But it was only the other day that I finally noticed that Row 19 – the next one after the box delimiting the repeat – is slightly different from Row 1. And it shouldn't be.

The difference is at the edges, and is just a question of which side of a k2tog to put the YO on. But nothing is entirely trivial in an enterprise of such pith and moment. Row 19 makes more sense, and I'll do it that way henceforth.


Shandy, I hope Barbara vine doesn't disappoint. It's not great. And, yes, I've read The Stranger's Child, and enjoyed. It sounded familiar but I couldn't remember and looked it up on Amazon where |I was told that I had bought it in 2011. They would double their profits if they didn't include such useful warnings for Silly Old Fools like me, but I was grateful. I found it in the Cloud and remembered as soon as I had re-read the first sentence.

Other Comments

Susan, that is exciting about your trip to Scotland. St Andrews is a great place, and picturesque. Glasgow is good too, and relatively tourist-free unless you coincide with the Commonwealth Games. You must come across to Edinburgh – an hour's train journey, and they leave every 15 minutes – especially at the end of the month when the Festival will be raging.

But if you can manage a few days in Shetland, that would be the icing on the cake.

Gerri, what do you mean by the reference to your “mathematical knitting book”? Is this something I should know about.

Thank you for your concerns for my health. It's not something that is going to be soothed away by a few crocuses, I'm afraid. I'll make another appt with the nice dr next week, as I get to the end of his course of pills. I'll time the actual appointment to be a few days (or longer, as necessary) into Lent. I often feel more sprightly without cider, but haven't the strength of character to abstain now, with Ash Wednesday looming.


  1. Oh dear. Sorry to hear that the crocuses are not working. They lifted my spirits considerably yesterday! (That and riding my bike in the bright sunshine and gusty wind - it was most invigorating).

    Would it help to say: it took several weeks for my medication induced nausea to go away, so don't give up hope about the new regime. However, I think you are right to return to your GP.

    I do hope today (gloomy and wet, again) goes better for you in all things.

  2. I think that after blocking that lace will look like more than half. Lovely! I started Mansfield Park last night and was too sleepy to keep at it. I will be traveling for work, so I think a nice quiet plane ride might do it. Still hovering around zero F here. We may never see a crocus again. I finished a heavy sweater for myself, thinking I might not get a lot of use until next year. Hah!

  3. Gerri2:23 PM

    I apologize for that vague book reference. Here it is: Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects, sarah-marie belcastro (Editor), Carolyn Yackel (Editor).

    I got home way too late last night to do any looking at the SciAmer vs Belcastro/Yackel book. I think it has slid onto the weekend, or later, pile.

    Since knitting is all about counts and shape, it makes perfect sense that some will see the mathematics clearly.

    About that needle end: any finger nail polish or other enamel about? a dab of color on the bend end would catch my eye.

    Hope you feel better soon. Perhaps it just is taking time to clear the osteoporosis med from your system.

  4. Gerri2:25 PM

    One of my Captcha workds was Scotland! :-)

  5. Thanks for the suggestions! We will definitely have to make some time for Edinburgh!

  6. Ah! Mousa broch! In 2000 we took the ferry out to Musa, saw the broch and the basking seals. We also saw several great skuas - the bonxie.
    I thought the Barbara Vine odd. I've read a number of her books before, and there is usually a disturbing sense of menace, as she unpicks a convoluted family structure. In this one, she did seem intent on proving a point. Poor old Maud gets very little sympathy, but the book within a book seems pretty joyless altogether - the key relationship appears to have been a romantic illusion from the start.
    I do hope that you return to the doctor soon, if you continue to feel no better.

  7. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Jean, thanks SO much for the link to the Scientific American piece. Have forwarded to my statistician expert knitter/crocheter/quilter colleague who has used crochet to tutor young boys in match.
    So sorry you're not feeling well, sorry to comment so rarely - usually get to just skim the blogs every 2nd weekend or so.
    - Beth in Toronto

  8. Beautiful knitting. I don't find that crocuses and their ilk make me better, but they can make feeling awful marginally easier to bear. Hope the unwellness starts to lift soon, you have my sympathies, I find nausea extremely hard to bear.

  9. Anonymous4:38 AM

    I sort of liked Vine's / Rendell's first novels. I really liked her middle ones. I find that her later ones are just too dark for me to enjoy. I can't remember the title just now, but I started one in which the character was worried about some letters he had been receiving. After an hour of unrelenting dark reading, I tossed it into the give-away bag.