Monday, August 18, 2014

Again, little to report. I stuck with Rams & Yowes. I've finished the gaulmogot stripe and proceeded to katmollet – they'll all have to be done again in reverse, remember. I'm almost finished straightening out the stitch counts and will be very glad to stop counting.

I did the arithmetic. The original pattern has the same number of rows as stitches. That means Kate was counting on the tendency of “Fair Isle” knitting to pull the stitches in and make them square instead of the familiar little rectangles. If it worked, the blankie would be square. She has you pick up that number of stitches on each of the four sides.

But it doesn't work, and people were having trouble with wavy edges – that is, picking up too many stitches.

Artemiswolf found (after the event) that her gauge over the centre pattern was 28 stitches and 32 rows to 4”. My own gauge was very similar – it's quicker to go back to her excellent blog than try to remember where my note is. She then made a garter stitch swatch – we both did – and calculated the pick-up rate from that. And that must mean that she, like me, has more border stitches top and bottom than on the sides. Not square.

I was comforted by your comment yesterday, JeanfromCornwall, that blankets aren't meant to be square. I could wish, in this case, that it was the other way around, and the sides were longer than the ends, since the pattern is so emphatically longitudinal. But it's not so and I shall give it no further thought.

I was interested in your observation, too, that bugs like yellow. (Follow the link, for that one.) I've got a lot of what I think might be black fly on the courgette flowers on the doorstep but hadn't associated their unwelcome presence with the colour of the flowers.


I finished the new Ruth Rendell and can now get back to my life. It's uneven. It's not her best. But I enjoyed every page.

I continue to worry about the Games. How on earth do we get the picnic to the field? The car has to go down the night before, in order to secure a good place. It'll be full of beer and cider and plates and plastic tumblers and napkins and forks. But the actual food will have to be refrigerated overnight. Then what? We didn't go to the Games last year because of having had my 80th birthday celebrations (wonderful!) instead – and I simply can't remember how it's done.

I'll ring up the butcher in Alyth today and make sure he makes lots of his pork and leek and apricot sausages this week. Essential.

Poor Annie Modesitt is having a dreadful time with (apparently) shingles. Alexander had it a couple of years ago and by comparison, got off lightly.  


  1. I think the pattern on the Rams & Yows could perfectly well go top to bottom, if you want the longest sides that way - after all there is a change of direction across (or down) the middle and the beasties could perfectly well be looking to right and left instead of up and down. See what you think. If it is wrapped around a child, the directions are inclined to be all over the place anyway!

  2. I agree! No further thought is required! That blanket is going to be loved by the wee man and his family and I can't see anyone sitting around wondering about its shape. The finished product is going to be very impressive.

  3. I wonder how many stitches Kate herself picked up on each edge when she made the sample in the first place? I do think that it is a very striking design which a child might enjoy in different ways. However, I would be concerned about the texture of Shetland wool - and its washability - for a child's blankie. I suppose others must already have experience of this.