Not much knitting yesterday. An old friend came to see us, with some welcome art-world gossip for my husband. I fiddled with the Knitcircus sock while she was here, and am very near the toe. I was too tired thereafter for anything else.
Madtosh “Tannehill”: my sister found Chelsea yarns on the internet, and offered to bring the yarn when she comes to see us in the summer. She and her husband are currently in the throes of selling up in CT and moving to a retirement community in DC, where they used to live. It sounds like a sensible move, and it sounds as if this is the moment to do it. But if you really want a recipe for feeling old, having your younger sister – and her even younger husband -- go into a retirement community will do it.
Meanwhile, one of you most kindly contacted Chelsea Yarns and reserved on my behalf most of the 11 skeins they claim to have. Before I went to London last month, I calculated that I would need 10 skeins for a v-neck sleeved sweater for my husband, and in the current circumstances I think I might as well take all 11.
I’ve forwarded their messages to each other, and am sitting back bemused, and grateful. One good thing is that there are only 11 skeins – I can’t find much of any, anywhere else. So whatever happens, I won’t be inundated.
As for carbon footprints, I’m pretty irresponsible; and I love madtosh; and I have accumulated valuable data by knitting that recent v-neck for my husband, a great success; and Archie’s sweater, perhaps slightly less of a success but still not too bad.
The big question remains, Georgia O’Keefe? My memory and my notes confirm that I knit my husband a sleeveless pullover in that shade. The NHS swallowed it last year. It was green. Those statements are facts. But Georgia O’Keefe now, from any source, looks blue. My husband is peculiarly anti-blue. I have no doubt that the lost sweater was not blue. It’s all very odd.
My oldest knitting book is “The Knitter’s Friend” from 1847. It has a pattern for “the much-admired SHETLAND SHAWL”. On four pins, cast on any number of stitches divisible by 22. The first round is: “bring the thread forward, and take two stitches together, take two together three times, bring the thread forward and knit one stitch five times, bring the thread forward and take two together, take two together twice, knit one, bring the thread forward, and take two stitches in one.” (it adds up to 22 all right.)
The 2nd, 3rd and 4th round are plain knit. Then repeat the pattern round. And so on.
The result would be a large cylinder, wouldn’t it? People in the 19th century weren’t stupid. I can only assume that one was meant to know how to decrease towards the centre of one’s shawl.