Wednesday, September 09, 2015


All the Queen now has to do is live until tea-time, and she's got her record. And it's not one that =o;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;panyone alive on earth is at all likely to see surpassed.7 (Perdita is being a Very Great Help; she still doesn't understand that cats aren't much use at copy-editing.)

But the big news came in a phone call from Thomas yesterday. We are to be great-parents!

In March. Not the least happy aspect of this news is that he and Lucy have toiled through the first anxious weeks on their own. They've had the first scan. All appears well.

Rachel phoned in the evening, a bit concerned that the child will be born in the middle of Lent. I'm not going to observe Lent next year, so that's all right.

So – the Dunfallendy blankie from the last-Knitty-but-one, I think. I'm sorry that it's done in bits and sewn together, but one can't have everything.

Yarn and colour? The pattern is written for worsted-weight. What weight will Buachaille be? Has Kate mentioned that yet? (And was she wise to pick a name not only so difficult to pronounce but also to spell?)

Colour is a problem which her Highland Cow shade might solve – the blankie can't be pink or blue, for fear the baby turns out to be the other sex and thinks it's second best. An Irish friend (of all nationalities) told me once that it's unlucky to knit in green for a baby. That doesn't leave all that much. My current thought is tosh Vintage in “Tart”. Loop has got it, so I don't need to wait or to pay more at the door. Red is the Hindu colour of joy, the colour brides wear.

There are some tasteful pale colours on Loop's shelves – “Antler”, “Celadon”. The pattern would show up very well in one of those. But I think I prefer joy to tastefulness this morning.

I paused for a while over Jared's “Shelter” which Loop has also got. But the shop's description of it was uninviting for a baby blanket: “This yarn must be knit gently as it breaks a bit easily. It has a rustic feel to it and has some vegetable matter spun in it from the natural fleece; this is part of its nature.”

And of course a BSJ. That can be executed from stash with the application of the colour principles I will by then have learned from Franklin. I must get back to swatching.

As for actual knitting, I didn't finish the back of the Sous Sous yesterday, but it's a not-impossible goal for today.


  1. Her Majesty will be in Newtongrange today, awaiting the train to Tweedbank. That's a first!

  2. What happy news of your expected great grandchild. and what opportunities for future knitting!

  3. Congratulations!!

  4. So happy to hear of the new baby! Congratulations to you all. And loving your phrase,"I think I prefer joy to tastefulness this morning." Not to muddy the waters (tosh tart is a lovely color for almost any purpose) but have you looked at the range of Fleece Artist colors in, say, bfl sock? I've knitted two baby sweaters of BFL sock as well as a range of socks, of course, and it was marvelous for the purpose, beautiful and sturdy.

  5. Wonderful news of the grandbaby! It seems to ahve become the etiquette now to not announce until after the first scan, or about twelve weeks. That has come about since I was in production. Is it perhaps a case of not wanting to tempt fate by cheering too soon?

  6. Congratulations! What fun to browse yarn and patterns. Jared's yarn is not baby friendly at all, to me. Neither soft nor washable. Tosh would be a better bet. And sock yarn baby sweaters are just right. Hard wearing yarn, washable, and good colors.

  7. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Mazel tov! Congratulations on such joyous news, a lovely respite from the more recent, bleaker, items of concern!

  8. Congratulations!

  9. Congratulations Jean! A few weeks ago you were wondering what knitting project to do after you get the current WIPs off the needles. This solves your problem!

    I'm sitting in the Vancouver Airport waiting to board my flight to Ireland, and enjoying the memory of being here two years ago anxiously waiting to start the adventure that included that wonderful time with you in Shetland.

  10. Congrats! Looks like newborns only see black, white, and grey, then start seeing red, then the other colors. Bold geometric patterns seem to be best for stimulating eye development. But the blanket is as much for the parents as the baby, and humans managed for thousands of years before we knew this stuff, so knit what you like and what you think they'll like.

  11. skeindalous2:55 PM

    What lovely news! And what a lovely blanket. O my. A true heirloom piece. I have knit baby blankets in Shelter. I love it. The only problem is that it must be washed gently, as a first class sweater would be.

    BT has a wonderful range of greys. Very urban modern!.

  12. Congratulations - what wonderful news! I'm itching to knit one of the lovely blankets from Tin Can Knits - they have many:

  13. Oh, and a second piece of advice from a 34 year old who still has her Quilty (held up remarkably well, considering) and Pilla (I stopped sleeping on Pilla once I realized it was so worn that the cloth only had threads going one way left, but Quilty went to college with me and is still on my bed now. Sure, I'm a grown-up, but I still find it comforting to touch, like a hug from a loved one or a cuddle with my dog).
    Durable! If it ends up the baby's comfort thing, it'll go through a ton (it may not, I had three blankets, and the only store-bought one is the one I latched onto. Babies are not known for their appreciation of handcrafts, sadly). But better to be safe and make something to last. Even if it doesn't become this baby's comfort, there'll be other babies and how awesome would it be if your blanket got passed down to great grandbabies not yet even a twinkle in their parents eyes!

  14. Congratulations!!! How exciting! I absolutely love the idea of a baby's blanket in Tart. Any baby welcomed into the world with a red blanket would surely be destined for a lifetime of joy.

  15. Congratulations, Jean. I did read the description of how Dunfallandy is to be constructed and it seemed quite complex, because of all the tightening and sewing involved. I wondered also about how that stocking stitch border would lie against such dense cabling on the central panel. I was rather taken by the biographical details of the designer, however.

  16. My mother knit hundreds and hundreds of baby sweaters in her lifetime and would NEVER knit a green one. Her background was Irish as well.

  17. Hooray for the QUEEN and your great grand!

  18. Anonymous12:17 AM

    A new life in the family - wonderful news! (I suppose Thomas and Lucy realize how farflung the rejoicing's bound to be, with your blog?) Loved that baby blanket from the moment I saw the pattern in that Knitty.
    - Beth in Ontario

  19. Anonymous12:19 AM

    Kate's Highland Coo is a rusty coral. The weight is 120 yds/50g, so a DK weight. It's a lighter shade than Madtosh Tart. Of course the Vintage is superwash which should be an advantage for baby blankets and a plus for Moms.
    You can see the colors of Kate's yarns if you sign up for her newsletter ( on the blog page).
    Pat Brunner in Seattle

  20. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Congratulations, Jean! I think any color you love will bring you joy as you knit it. Perhaps even a subtly done multi-colored one which would not show up baby dirt as much. Koigu makes some beautiful baby-worthy but somewhat sophisticated color combinations. I don't think they would obscure cables. And surely Lent was not meant to dampen joy of a new life being born! Chloe

  21. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Investigated further and there is no worsted weight OR machine washable yarn on Koigu's website. But I have used their KPPPM for a beautiful baby hat that was a joy to knit. And always loved the Big Bad Baby Blanket in the first Stitch and Bitch. Chloe