Sunday, March 22, 2015

I'm sure you're right, Susann, that that mosaic (two days ago) shows Dionysius and his panther. A cat, in a sense. I'll tell Helen. The mosaic is in the museum in Antalya (Turkey). I hope we're going to see lots of mosaics while we're in Greece.

I'm now in countdown mode. One week from right-this-minute I should be aloft, well on my way across Europe, knitting my sock. I have made a schedule of the days, assigning tasks to each, keeping Friday clear Any spare time, and I can drag a task forward from the dwindling stock of future days. Whenever I find myself thinking, I mustn't forget to... and whenever my husband says, You've got to... – down it goes on the schedule.

Today's top-of-the-list job is to finish tidying and (alas) mending Hellie's shawl, and put it in a box, and label the box clearly, and put it near the front door to go to London on Saturday. Here's the shawl:

One comfort (as you view that gaping hole) is that it is a lot easier to mend lace up to the galloping-horse stage than a lot of other sorts of knitting. It won't pass muster with Sharon Miller or the Shetland Museum, of course.

Yesterday's knitting went well. The rugby did not – Scotland lost by a fearful margin, the worst score of a disastrous season. We've won the Wooden Spoon, fair and square.

I got that last skein wound for the Tokyo shawl. And of course you're right, Liz and Lou and Skeindalous, that plastic bags would solve the problem of identifying the near-identical yarns. The fifth one, which I've just wound, doesn't just add itself to the sequence of the other four. That is, it won't form the next broad band but will pop up unexpectedly later on.

I finished band six, one of the narrow accent bands, and decided that that was a good place to stop. My fear about leaving anything is not that I'll forget it, just that today will never be quite the right day for resuming it, again and again until too late. Exactly as happened to the Green Granite Blocks, as you say, Weavinfool. I'm less inclined to that sort of thing than I used to be. That's some comfort.

So I cast on another trial Pocket Square with the new yarn from Webs. It's a fingering yarn and the point of it, you will remember, was to produce something less bulky than the last two DK attempts. It's looking good. And there should be plenty of time for it to get to London this week. With the first one, I stopped increasing and started decreasing when I had 62 stitches and it Looked About Right. I've gone on doing that. This time, since the yarn is finer, I thought I'd need more stitches – but no, 62 is About Right again.

I think it's going to be firm enough. Garter stitch helps a lot. I could perhaps go down another needle size, if need be.

I've mentioned that I've been getting a lot of emails from Craftsy. Yesterday I fell for their special offer of a course on Continental Knitting. I thought I could try it out in Athens in the intervals of looking at ruins and mosaics and shopping for Greek knitting wool. Am I too old for a new physical skill, one wonders? I think, if I can make any progress, it will be a good start towards learning to use a Shetland knitting belt.


  1. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Thanks so much for the photo of the shawl - it is so lovely. We will look forward to seeing the photos on the bride.

  2. I think those 2 goals of learning to knit the continental way and learning to use a knitting belt are well within your reach. Enjoy the anticipation of your travels.

  3. One mistake I made with a fair-isle project was not labeling the bags, or keeping a few strands with the label. I had the yarn nicely separated and couldn't remember which color was which. You are perhaps a bit smarter than I am on that front. I have bookmarked the June HH page with the knitting belts. A bit pricey, but a girl can dream. I'd like to learn how to use one. I taught myself to knit Continental at some point from a book (long before the internet or even videotape) and have never looked back. I's sure you can learn, it just takes determination and project you don't care too much about the tension.

  4. The shawl is beautiful, Jean. And had we been able to hold those shawls in the museum and inspect them closely I'm sure we would have seen holes the Shetland women repaired. I bought the same Craftsy class last week. It looks quite good.

  5. The shawl is beautiful and looks more appealing in your knitting than it looks in print. It has life. Congratulations.
    While you are flying to Greece, I will be readying for an annual spring party and wondering why we do this each year. I'd rather be knitting a beautiful shawl like yours.

  6. The shawl is lovely!

  7. Anonymous12:52 AM

    I meant to add that a number of years ago I knit a baby surprise to practise knitting in Continental style. I haven't turned back …
    Perhaps the pocket squares could be good practice for the change.