Friday, December 05, 2014

Today's news is that someone from the Council phoned yesterday and made an appt for my husband to be “assessed” for the Disabled Parking Badge this very afternoon at the Astley Ainslie hospital, over on the south side of the city. I have worried and prayed four children from infant school through to their university degrees (and beyond – it doesn't end) and have never before felt so confident of a “pass”.

But getting anywhere for a specific time is stressful these days.

Yesterday's pleasant surprise was the arrival of the Early Winter 2014 VK. I didn't know I was expecting such a thing. Unusually, I don't really care for any of the patterns. The yoke sweaters at the end are mildly interesting, but Kate Davies is better. What I love unreservedly is the Jimmy Bean pull-out, offering and illustrating yarn bouquets as potential Xmas presents. “Flowers are so last year.” There are all one's faves, madelinetosh and Koigu and Noro.

Meg writes about provisional cast-ons. The wonderful thing in that article is her reference to the old one of crocheting a chain and then picking up stitches from the back of it for your cast-on. The chain can simply be unzipped when you want the stitches again. But “several times I chose the wrong loop and the chain would not unzip.”

That's what used to happen to me. And knowing that Meg Swansen could make the same mistake really made my day. The solution, of course, is to crochet the stitches directly on to the needle. Meg doesn't know who to credit for that great “unvention”.

All continued well with actual knitting – another 2 1/3 scallops done, on the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl, without disaster. Then I sank back with a couple of rounds of Archie's sweater. It had been a long, hard day of non-achievement and I wasn't up to much.

I'll take those poor, neglected socks to the hospital this afternoon.


  1. I have tried the crochet-and-pick-up-a-loop method and never yet managed to get it to unzip. I even found an article in a magazine that drew it and explained it in perfect detail, and still it wouldn't work.
    I still think it is a good way of doing the job, and have just resigned myself to undoing each stitch as an individual. Come to think of it, I always had trouble identifying the right bit of thread on the stitched-up tops of dog food sacks. Same stitch.

  2. Count me in the "can't find the stitch" group, and I'm so relieved not to be the only one.

    Good luck with your husband's test this afternoon, Jean. I guess this is one where we hope he fails in order to pass.

    And what do people do who must wait and do not knit? I feel smug as I work on my sock in waiting rooms of all sorts; don't you?

  3. Good luck at the as Astley Ainslie today - tis only a hop and skip from my house - and if you had time you could nip into be inspired fibres on marchmont road on your way home!

  4. Ellen1:35 PM

    I don't know if she invented the crochet on the needle technique, but I believe that it was Sally Melville who taught me how. I'm actually comfortable with crocheting into the chain. One of the secrets is to use a much bigger hook so that the loops are looser. Another is to crochet it without stopping (somehow when the work is interrupted, the chain gets twisted, and the back loop "disappears").

    Good luck today. Hope it all went as you hoped it would!

  5. I've never had luck with the picking up from the chain and started crocheting on the needle a long time ago. Not sure who gave me the idea, but it works better for me. Hope the Pass passes.