Monday, September 08, 2014

Don't miss – as if you would! – Kate Davies' post about her fortnight in Sweden and Shetland. I am so looking forward to her yoke book And the news that Hazel Tindall – the world's fastest knitter, I believe – is about to release a DVD about Fair Isle knitting, is very exciting. That will get me back to my knitting belt and the Fair Isle supplies I bought at Jamieson & Smith a year ago, if anything will.

Thank you for the comments about how cold it gets in DC. Theo himself sent these pictures of his son Ted last winter.

I am sorry I was so gloomy yesterday. I am much weighed down by the fast-approaching referendum. This isn't at all funny. Linda, good luck on researching the issues (and please let me know anything interesting you discover). But I wonder how many people are paying attention. I see the issues as a) the currency – if Scotland can't use the pound, they'll have to do something else, and that will involve establishing a central bank with a considerable reserve of capital if they want to be taken seriously. Otherwise (for instance) bank accounts won't have a government guarantee as at present, and, I gather, EU membership will be ruled out. And, (b) North Sea oil, how much remains? Enough to fund Mr Salmond's promises?

But is that what they're talking about in the pubs in Govan?

I raised the question yesterday of what I will knit for a great-grandchild, if I'm still capable of holding the needles when one finally looms. The answer is, undoubtedly, a lace-weight shawl for use in the early weeks. An aid to modestly when feeding, and for general carrying of the baby around the house.

I knit one for Archie – my first venture into lace-weight – from a leaflet of Gladys Amedro's, written as “Gema Ord”, an anagram. I could go back to that. I designed shawls for some of the subsequent babies – I can remember only two, a disastrously cluttered one for one of the Little Boys now of Loch Fyne, and a rather successful – because simple – one for Fergus, younger brother to Archie and Mungo. It had alternate roses and thistles around the border, for England and Scotland, David and Helen, and interlocking Greek crosses in the centre for Fergus himself, born in Thessaloniki.

There must have been others. I'll look around a bit, and think about it.

Brioche stitch: The article in IK cites Principles of Knitting in its brief bibliography, the 1988 edition. I've got it, and I can't find anything. Nothing in the index under B for Brioche or F for Fisherman, nor anything appropriate in the many entries under R for Rib.

I must be doing something wrong. Hiatt wouldn't have omitted so important a subject.


Kristin, I wish I could watch the men' s singles final but, as you say, not at 2 a.m. The radio said yesterday that Japan is on fire with enthu*ia*m – my * key ha* *uddenly failed – but that no one expected this, so there are no arrangements for the match to be televised. S seems to have come back. Go, Nishikori!  


  1. Ellen1:31 PM

    XRX publications (publisher of Knitters Magazine) published a book awhile back called Knit One Below, that is all about Fishermans Rib/brioche knitting. I'm sure it is no longer in stores, but it is available through them, and is probably easily purchased on Amazon for less than the publisher price. This is not a recommendation; just saying. (I generally dislike this magazine, but some of the books focusing on one technique or style have been useful)

    Hiatt often invents her own terminology, just as she invented her own set of symbols for charts, which makes it hard at times to find commonly used terms in her book. The book is so inclusive that it must be there, but finding things sometimes involves going page by page through
    several chapters.

  2. The match is at 5 pm EDT. Which is 10 pm London time. Would that be too late? You could watch perhaps the first set

  3. Anonymous2:59 PM

    I'm a "lurker" who thoroughly enjoys your blog.

    Hiatt refers to tuck or knit below stitches. I don't have the 1988 edition but wikipedia mentions pages 29-32 and 85-86 in the first edition.

    I have the new edition and knit below stitches are referenced.


  4. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Forty plus years ago, when folks began to talk of "The Global Villlage" and the European Union, etc.,I (a Canadian/ American) was living in Inverness and waxed eloquently (I thought) about the UK having achieved it ... even though Scottish pounds were sometimes rejected by John Lewis in London .. and, so now, I watch on tenterhooks ... and pray.

    Elizabeth A.

  5. I have a book translated from German, The Big Book of Knitting, which calls it Shaker knitting, if that helps.

  6. Anonymous4:13 PM

    Jean, the referendum is being watched closely from Canada, with much ink on comparisons with/differences from Quebec's 1995 referendum, which was extremely emotional for most of us and ended up with 50.58% "no" and 49.42% "yes". New book out by a respected Quebecoise journalist reveals the "Yes" side were not nearly as united in their vision as we'd all thought, and seemed even at the time that a sizable proportion of the "yes" side weren't imagining complete separation, but a better deal within our confederation. Consensus is that at least the Scottish question is clearer on what the vote is actually about.
    My Life with MIddlemarch is a good read, not quite so satisfying as I'd expected from some reviews but interesting in terms of which of the couples that reader found most interesting at various stages in her own life. It has sent many North American readers back to the novel itself, I'm glad to say. Worth a read if it does come out in your electronic format.
    - Beth in Toronto

  7. The commenter above me summed it up quite nicely. I can remember the turmoil and worry Canada felt on the months weeks and days before the referendums. Too many unknowns in the fine print to dismiss lightly.

  8. Anonymous6:46 PM

    For Brioche in the Hiatt 1988 edition, refer to Honeycomb Stitches in the index (page 555).

  9. I was meaning to comment yesterday but with my customary organisation (!) didn't get around to it. It must be a worrying time, I think, from the recent reaction of the Westminster Villagers, that no one (down south at least) expected it to get this close to yes. But remember that you have a greater citizenship (no, not the US!), but in God's kingdom and whatever happens on the 18th September, He remains the same, always. The wonderfully wise Corrie ten Boom said, “If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest.”

    Hope that helps a bit. And the blanket could well become an heirloom, showed off with pride by baby Ted to his wife and used for his first baby.

    (And I know how hard it is to be positive at times, it is often hard work going against my natural inclination)

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  11. Heh, your progress on the Rams and Yowes is giving me incentive at any rate. I started it in September of 2012 and am only one color further along in the border than you are.

    I wish this was because I've knit a prodigious amount of other things, but this has been essentially my only project. I am busy with many things, a slow knitter, and nothing gets done in DC humidity during the summers.

    My 4 year old DC native daughter has repeatedly asked if the Rams and Yowes I'm working on is for her (not always quite that politely) so if that sample of one provides any reassurance perhaps you could answer a question of mine.

    I am likely going to be in Glasgow over Halloween with the previously mentioned 4 year old daughter. Since she's been talking about this Halloween of 2014 since approximately Nov 2, 2013 we're trying to figure out if trick or treating is something that goes on in Scotland. Would I have to run ahead a few houses of her and give candy to amused homesteaders to hand back to her? Gently prep her for missing Halloween? Give up on the entire foolish notion?

  12. I don't think I would take a 4year old out house to house in Glasgow or elsewhere where I did not live! Trick or treating, if done , here is usually only ever with close neighbours and friends

  13. =Tamar3:57 PM

    I've read that "guising" (from "disguise") was/is done in Scotland. I speculate that it may have been part of the origin of the US custom, which is now fading.