Monday, June 02, 2014

There was a certain amount of what passes in old age for excitement, around here yesterday.

First of all, an email from my friend Lindsay (the Rowan Person at John Lewis) to say that Arne and Carlos are going to be at the Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street in mid-July. Here's the link. Tickets are free, but it's a good idea to book.

That got me thinking about Arne and Carlos. I thought I had pre-ordered their new book, which will – at last! – have some sweaters in it, but Amazon says it's not available for pre-ordering yet. But I went on thinking, and got Pagoldh's “Nordic Knitting” down from the shelf. She's the one who produced the Grandson Sweater for Rachel's son Joe, perhaps my most successful sweater ever. What about the Spjall sweater for Archie? It's a two-colour all-over pattern, shown in red, but one could knit it in grey and lighter grey to conform to Archie's wish for obscurity.

Then you suggested Jared's Grettir, CSJ0423, and I thought this must be fate – Nordic for Archie. But then you suggested Cobblestone, Kristie, and it's perfect. A single yarn (as opposed to a two-colour all-over Nordic job) would produce a more pliable fabric. I think I have every IK since its inception, and will try to find that issue today. It's as if you were acquainted with the boy.

The other excitement is that Rachel phoned in the evening to say that she is coming up on Friday to take us to Strathardle for the weekend. She even claims to be able to do the driving, on her insurance.

I did particularly well with food when Helen and Archie were with us – enough beans, not too many. I have a slow cooker there, ideal for beans. We had a bean salad one day, using Waitrose' Ten Bean Mix, and a mild black bean chilli on another occasion, and otherwise ate canned or frozen fish. I will give serious thought to this weekend – meat no longer needs to be eschewed, but beans are still nice.


I finished round 113 of the borders of the Unst Bridal Shawl, and have turned the first corner of 114. It's slow work these days. The object is to do at least one complete circuit, and a little bit more, every day. The May Ball is still not exhausted, although by now there's lots of naked cardboard on the inner cylinder.

Kristie, I think traditional Shetland knitters use the belt and long dp's for lace as well as Fair Isle. (I'm not going to attempt to master that.) Shawls were traditionally knit – the books agree – one border at a time, edging first, then inwards towards the centre. That gets over the problem of how to create garter stitch in the round, since there is no round, but leaves you with the mitered corners to sew up.


Thank you for your help with the keyboard. Sure enough, \ and / are both there, did I but look. Melfina, I was overjoyed to discover that I'm not the only one to be confused by the words “forward” and “back” as applied to slashes. It depends which end you start from.

Eeny Meeny: it didn't appear on the Sunday Times best-seller list yesterday. Ron, that was indeed a bit uncanny, about your recent purchase, It was Lou who commented on Saturday that she had just bought it, and hers was the name I meant to type yesterday when in fact I put yours. Liz, I like your phone's suggestion of Went Menu as an alternative title. That's a feature of the modern computer that drives my husband wild.


  1. Patience12:02 PM

    Literary news here in the states is that Amazon can't get publisher Hachette to accept Amazon's latest contract terms and so Amazon was first not shipping those books and now is inviting people to order them from other suppliers. Big showdown and authors are furious at Amazon. Shannon Okey (Cooperative Press) gave a talk at our guild that Amazon really holds all the cards and over the years they've cut both prices and royalty percents of those lower prices.

    Boost for indie bookshops with online ordering.

  2. I realise now that it was rather unkind of me to avoid mentioning just how long it took me to find"\" when it has been there all along!
    I tend to regard that one as the upstart interloper, since I spent so many tedious hours as a child doing money sums: eg £1/3/5d + 7/4d. Thus exercising "/" properly. Which is which? - been told but never remember.

  3. Cobblestone in a nice tweedy grey would be lovely and never go out of style, if Archie cares about such things. I knit a grey EZ shirt yoke sweater for a former boyfriend nearly 30 years ago, and he told me he wears it still.

  4. I bought, read, and thoroughly enjoyed Eeny Meeny. It was exactly the format I enjoy the most - short chapters so you can read one or a few between other tasks.
    I have also knit the Cobblestone pullover and it was extremely easy and fun knitting. My husband does't wear sweaters, but my good friends husband is always cold so he will inherit it. I make one sweater for my husband every 4-5 years thinking/hoping he will change...but I think I scared him off with a Kaffee many years ago. He does wear handmade socks tho....I did my Cobblestone in a blue/grey tweed that has tiny flecks in burgundy and a lighter blue. It came out beautifully, but after 3 years of sitting in his closet, it is going to a home were it will be loved and worn!
    Leslie in NJ...

  5. elginknitter5:33 PM

    Oddly, this new book from Arne & Carlos IS available for pre-order from (Canada). Go figure...
    Ruth in Ontario

  6. Cobblestone looks like a great pattern - the garter stitch at the sides really lifts it. Hope Archie agrees!

    Not sure if this will work as a link: it may well need copy and paste. This is a firm that as far as I know has no connection with that Brazilian river.

  8. I do sort of feel acquainted with Archie, and I'm sure many other readers of your blog do too. I wonder if he has any idea he has a worldwide following? I'm glad the Cobblestone suggestion hit the mark. I have always wanted to knit that pattern, but don't have any sweater wearing guys in my family.