Wednesday, April 02, 2014


Archie is coming today. It is always good to see him. He has been on a brief tour, with a school party, of sites connected with WW II – Normandy beaches, Berlin, Auschwitz. I'll go pick him up at school at midday and look forward to being the first to hear about it as we drive back for lunch. Then, somewhere in what might be called the middle of the night, he'll get up and get a taxi to the airport (I don't mind early, but this one is ridiculous) to go to Athens for the Easter holiday.

I had occasion yesterday to boot up my husband's old DOS-based computer in search of a file which had somehow got left behind. (I found it.) Do you remember how fast computers were in the old days? It was almost like turning on a light.


Thank you for your help with my struggles.

I've just been watching the YouTube video of the German short-row which you recommend, Judy. It's most impressive. I'll Evernote it for future use. But it won't help here. My rounds are all full-length – it's just that at the end of each one of them, I turn around and go haring off in the other direction. The wrap holds the whole thing together in a circle.

Cam, I was very interested in the very lucid explanation you took the trouble to write out for me (comment yesterday). At first I thought, this won't do, because it involves TWO stitches, with one or the other being wrapped and turned-on in alternate rounds. I've only got one, the centre stitch of the fourth corner, with a lattice ladder on either side of it formed by YO's on alternate rounds. Those YO's are at the heart of my difficulty.

I think what I'm going to try today, when I get back there, is to add another stitch (so that there are a pair of them up the centre of the fourth-corner mitre) and do it Cam's way.

After all that night-time cogitation mentioned yesterday I decided to do each turn by knitting the stitch, when I first arrive on the scene, then turning, then slipping it back and wrapping, then slipping it back again and knitting forward. Observing myself doing this, I discovered that the YO tends to get slack during any subsequent struggles with wrapping and turning. I think that accounts for a great deal of the untidiness in that corner. So I decided that, for that corner only, I will always do the YO after wrapping and turning. With Cam's system, the wrapped stitch will always be one stitch away from the YO (I think) which should work even better.

We'll see.

I flipped through Knit One, Knit All before putting it back on the shelf, but found no help there. It's odd – isn't it odd? – that EZ never seems to have addressed this problem. She was ideally qualified – she loved garter stitch, she loved knitting in the round, she wasn't at all keen on purling, she brought an engineer's intelligence to the problems of knitting, she wasn't afraid to “unvent” a method never used before. There are all manner of ingenious construction methods in that book, as elsewhere in her work, but no garter stitch in the round.

Meanwhile I've reached round 19 of 136. It's a start. The border pattern consists of six rows of lozenge-shaped motifs, each row different, all framed by an all-over lattice formed by k3tog's. I've finished the first row of motifs, started the second – they're bigger, this time, but mercifully light on k3tog – and the lattice has just closed over the head of the first row of motifs.


  1. Hello Jean, good to hear you're feeling better! Regarding the fledge turns: doesn't she work them away from the corners in the straight garter section?

    1. That auto correct wasn't very helpful. fledge is of course meant to be fleegle

    2. I just looked at the lattice motif - moving the turns may not have been very helpful advice in this case... Hope it works out for you somehow.

  2. EZ may not be here but Cully is. He figured out how to create a Fair Isle ASJ. Perhaps he can figure a way to do garter in the round with no purls.

    I've been mulling over this since you've brought up your dilemma of the extra line. I'm thinking that you're stuck with it by its very nature unless you can figure out how to cross the yarns while securing that turn line. The wraps do the securing so that there isn't a gap created, but since there's twice the number of loops there is more yarn per stitch in that area, hence the more intense line. Maybe I'm just babbling and saying the obvious. But I'm thinking.

  3. Here's an idea. If you stop thinking about the situation at the corner as one similar to short rows (eg wrap and turn), and instead as a form of intarsia, it may make it easier. Simply cross the balls over each other, so they loop around each other instead of the working stitches. That's the general idea. Specifically:
    - Arrange your stitches so that the increases and the corner stitches are away from where you are turning your work. If there is an area which is consistently garter stitch, that would be the easiest location for the ball exchange.
    - At the beginning of the right side row, take the yarn which is on the left needle, and loop it over the yarn which is on the right needle. Snug the loop tightly to the stitch on the left needle. Working with the yarn from the right needle, work a right side row.
    -Turn your work such that the purl stitches are facing you, and move both yarns to the back.
    -Loop the left hand yarn around the right hand yarn, snug it up next to the first stitch on the left needle, and work a knit wrong side row with the right hand yarn.

    There will be a difference between the spiral knitting which occurs when you knit a round and purl a round, because you are actually going back and forth. However, I have tried a swatch with BKL DK weight on 3.5mm needles, and it looks pretty good.

    I am glad you are recovering strength. A weekend at Strathardle with helpers may be a shot in the arm as well. Spring flowers.

  4. Anonymous7:37 AM

    I went behind the great firewall to China for two weeks and really missed reading your blog - blogspot is still blocked there. When in Toronto I start my day with your blog. While visiting Taiwan I have to be patient until later in the day.
    Wow that Milano sweater was lovely. So glad Wanda could drop by with flowers for you.
    Also happy to hear you can see Archie in transit.
    best regards