Sunday, June 01, 2014

As hoped, I have reached round 113 of the borders of the Unst Bridal Shawl. I didn't finish that ball of yarn (and may not even do so today).

I noted in my electronic Filofax that I had reached round 69 on the 1st of May – that's 44 rounds or so in the month, better than one a day. I should certainly reach round 136 (the end) in June, despite the steady addition of stitches, and barring, of course, disaster.

I have been wondering whether it's going to be possible to knit the Queen Ring in one piece, inwards, given that it will involve even more stitches and that things are a bit cumbersome now. I think I'm using the longest available circular. I comfort myself with the thought that it might not be so awkward when only the edging is hanging from the work. At the moment, I've not only got a huge number of stitches – no use counting, because there'll be more in a moment – but I also have almost the whole shawl suspended from them.

Round 113 is indeed a significant landmark – the motifs are at their widest and the trellis at its narrowest. When that happens again, I'm done.

I was finding things a bit tedious last night, doing four or five consecutive k2tog's on the second half of each Tree of Life, whichever direction I was going. The first half, inwards towards the trunk, was done with ssk's – much easier. I always -- well, almost always – angle decreases, including centering k3tog's, but I remembered my astonishment in reading in Heirloom Knitting that it didn't matter.

I looked it up, and sure enough – Sharon says that both / and the one that goes the other way but doesn't seem to be on my keyboard, mean k2tog. If that's true, it ought to be equally true that both can be rendered with ssk. So I started doing that and am finding things much easier and pleasanter.


Archie said the other day that he wouldn't mind having me knit him a sweater. It's got to be distinctly sub fusc, Kaffe is out, but cables are acceptable. I must think about this. There's a lot of Archie and the prospect is a bit daunting, but I want as many as possible to wear my knitting at my funeral and it would be sad if Archie couldn't qualify.

Ron, thanks for buying Eeny Meeny. That makes two, with Shandy. I will be submitting my claim for commission to Hellie in due course. It's not great literature, but if you're a thriller-reader at all, you'll find it compelling I think. I haven't been out yet to buy today's Sunday Times – that best-seller list will be the first page I turn to.


  1. When it comes to decreases, do what you find comfortable! I does make a difference when the yarn is fat enough for you to be able to see which stitch is on the top of the other and which way they are slanting, but with a laceweight, by the time it is blocked, I would defy anyone to tell which way the decrease is done, without poking it with a bodkin. Think galloping horse and be kind to yourself.

    The thought of nearly all the shawl hanging from the needles and keeping your lap warm makes me realise that you must really want to do this thing - in June, for goodness sake! Or is it much cooler where you are? I haven't been taking much note of the weather in Scotland.

  2. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the Unst Bridal Shawl when it's done, Jean.

    You've been very motivating for me. I decided to settle down a little and NOT jump into a full, traditional Shetland shawl project. I will "practice" on a slightly smaller scale with Rock Island by Jared Flood.

  3. Ellen1:49 PM

    Just an FYI: The longest available, all in a single piece, circular needle is made by Addi, and is 60" long (Until recently I worked in an LYS) and it is available in the "lace" as well as conventional styles. You can go longer with the interchangable types as there are usually connectors which will allow you to put lengths of cord together to obtain any length you want, but the connectors are a bump in the road and more noticeable with fine yarns that catch. 60" of needle can comfortably accommodate 240" of lace knitting (the perimeter of the work), beyond that, it begins to get crowded. Most LYS have to order those extra length needles, they are not always in stock, but in the USA the shipping time is usually ony a week or so.

  4. elginknitter2:19 PM

    I remember reading somewhere that the angle of the decrease (k2tog versus ssk) doesn't matter in garter stitch, so in my current piece of lace knitting, Kate Davies' Hap for Harriet, I have been happily substituting k2tog for all the ssk's. As jeanfromcornwall so wisely pointed out above, no one is going to notice! I confess to not being able to see the difference myself. -- Ruth in Ontario

  5. I bought "Eeny Meeny" last week for my e reader but how in the world did you know? This is scary.
    Ron in Mexico

  6. How sweet that Archie asked for a sweater. You could do a nice simple cabled on that wouldn't be too tedious nor too slow for such a large amount of knitting. He will love it forever.

  7. csj04233:42 PM

    How about Grettir by Jared Flood for Archie? My son asked for his first knitted sweater a year ago (he was 33 then) and I made the roll collar one for him. He loves and treasures it. He even wears it!

  8. Anonymous4:00 PM

    I've just downloaded went menu to my kindle
    Liz Phillips

  9. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Oh my! I wrote my message on my phone and didn't check my predictive! I meant eeny meeny!!
    Liz Philips

  10. I'm curious about something, and am sure you must have mentioned it before on your blog (or I should know the answer from our time in Shetland). Were the Shetland shawls knit with double pointed needles? If you are finding things a bit crowded now on your long circular needle how on earth did they manage, even with DPs?

    What about Cobblestone for Archie? It would be great if you could convince him he needs a vest, then you could use some of your J&S to knit him Kate's Machrihanish pattern.

  11. Have just consulted both my keyboards, and / is on the right, beside shift, as I'm sure yours is.: \, being the one you had mislaid, is right beside shift on the left hand side, same row.

  12. Wikipedia article with keyboard layout pictures might be some help for finding that key. I know where it is on my laptop, but American keyboards have it in a different place than British ones.

  13. Also, if it is any comfort, most people have to think about where those slashes are and even fewer know which is which (and I have no idea, don't ask me, I know what they're both used for but not which one is forward and which is back). I used to install servers over the phone, and pretty quickly learned to say things like "the slash on the question mark" or "the slash above/next to the enter key" and god helped me if I had to get them to type a ~ or |