Thank you for help and sympathy. A light box, I take it, isn't the same as one of those super-lights one gets for winter knitting? Ott Light? If the solstice doesn't help, I'll do something. The fear of death is the essential difficulty here – and nemo potest impetrare a Papa bullam numquam moriendi. I'll leave that in Latin.
I remembered yesterday a present I must give, and last night I dreamed the perfect thing. I realised in the first seconds of waking up, that I had forgotten what it was.
Loop rang up at lunchtime yesterday to say that they didn't have that skein of madelintosh DK in Tart after all. We settled on Robin Red Breast (or words to that effect). It doesn't look quite as rich and wonderful as Tart, but it'll do. I was impressed with the level of service.
Archie's sweater has now advanced 11” from the underarm. There's lots of Archie to circumnavigate, and this is a late evening, post-lace-knitting job, so it's going slowly. I hope some peaceful days at Loch Fyne will speed things up. At 17”, it divides into front and back, and the flaps thus produced end in hems – that's where red comes in. So, maybe before the holidays are over?
I also extracted the edging-pattern page from the Queen Ring Shawl envelope. It's 16 rows, a bit more complicated than the Unst Bridal Shawl 12-row'er. The Queen Ring is not exactly Sharon Miller's design – she is copying a huge and wonderful Shetland shawl she was able to buy for her collection. It is knit edging-inwards section-by-section, so that at the end you have to sew the pieces together at the mitered corners of the borders.
Even Sharon clearly found that tough going, and I am not even going to contemplate it. I will master the Fleegle System before I start the borders, and knit the whole thing round and round.
The edging numbers are unexpected. Sharon says that the original – I hope I've got this right – has fewer points in the edging than are needed for the start of the border. The difference is made up by a vigorous row of increases after the stitches have been picked up from the edge of the edging. Sharon has done the maths for both ways, and I very much prefer the idea of knitting the edging to the length appropriate for the borders, as I have always done.
We had some seasonal pictures of Prince George in the paper yesterday – a bonny lad. He was wearing a blue sweater with red-coated guardsmen around it, in intarsia. It was bonny too, and I don't suppose it will be long before a copy-cat pattern is available.
Last Saturday was apparently Horrible Sweater Day in aid of a charity – Save the Children? And all the papers had articles about the phenomenon. I was in a Tesco Express yesterday, and complimented the young man at the check-out on his sweater: it was a cheerful, mostly red-and-white, small-patterned Fair Isle (with, I noticed, some bands inside out, as we had been talking about here recently). Seasonal without being hideous, I told him. I was afraid I was being patronising, but he seemed delighted and told me some things I didn't understand about Primark.