Progress on the Neap Shawl feels slower now that there are so many stitches; in fact, it is moving forward nicely. I’ll stop increasing at the end of the present pattern repeat, and put in one of those stitch markers like a little plastic safety pin – normally a nuisance, but just what’s wanted here to mark the beginning of the long straight centre section. The kitchen scales assure me that there are still 57 grams in the ball -- and it's only required to get halfway across.
“Knitting” magazine turned up yesterday – I think I’ve had every issue since the beginning, although I haven’t added them to my over-extensive archives. I’ve never been tempted to knit anything I’ve seen there – is it the relatively unsophisticated photography? or the actual designs? I suspect the latter.
I was interested, however, in the pattern called “Arela”. The magazine says: “It’s two garments in one: a back-opening jumper and an elegant cardigan.” In Ohio in the 1950’s we often wore cardigans backwards. When I got to Glasgow in ’54 the notion was thought so very peculiar that I quickly abandoned it. What goes around, comes around.
But the major interest in the new issue lies elsewhere, in an article about independent dyers – much like Ginger Twist, where I recently spent a lot of money, although she isn’t included in the article. I had never thought of the basic idea of the article, that when one is laboriously constructing something, for weeks or months, it is particularly satisfying to be working with materials which are themselves unique and hand-crafted.
I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that, although it is a very interesting idea. Kate Davies’ Buachaille yarn isn’t hand-dyed (is it?), but when I finally knit something from it, I don’t think that will be a drawback.
The other idea which percolates through the current issue of “Knitting” is that of interchangeable needles (again). And, again, the drawback for me is that they don’t seem to come in the smaller sizes which is what I mostly knit with. Jeanette Sloan in “Ask Jeanette” distinctly implies that you can get them down to 2.75mm, although all the information I have so far clicked on, starts at 3.5mm or so. Jeanette used to run an excellent LYS overlooking the Meadows: I can’t count her quite as a friend, but surely an acquaintance, and always read her article.
But this issue is full of food for thought – and things to explore on-line.
I got the latest Knitter’s Review in my email in-tray this morning – an interesting article about British yarns, prompting enough thoughts that I’ll leave it until tomorrow.