Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Great excitement: the yarn arrived from Lerwick, and I cast on at once. Not the least of the attractions was the easy way in. I hope Gudrun won’t feel that I am infringing her copyright if I tell you that the first thing to do is to make a slipknot and place it on a needle. And then the first row is YO, K1.

And when one is feeling tired already at lunchtime, and battered by life, that is the sort of instruction one is glad to embrace.

I’ve now got about 50 stitches on the needle, out of a required 144. That’s not as far along as it sounds, but it’s a start. The needles prescribed are rather larger than I would have chosen; the fabric is soft; the gauge doesn’t matter a whit. Whoopee!

Catdownunder, I think it’s probably too late now to switch to knitting the final stitch of the row – the YO from the row before – through the back loop. I like the idea, and will try to remember it. When it comes to picking up the loops, I’ll take time and actually think about which way to do it. I could do a few and see how they look and tink back if need be.

And I was very interested in your granny’s diagonal centres, Jenny.

But that’s not all that happened yesterday.

Attached to the package from Lerwick by a useful Post Office rubber band, was another, smaller one. It was from Into the Whirled, and contained a 100 gram skein of Pakokku sock yarn in their colourway “Vampires of Venice”.

I can’t remember how long I have been occupied with the quest for that yarn, nor how it started. One of you wrote to me recently to say that it was available on the itw website. I ordered it – there was only one skein – even before I replied to her email.

At the beginning, I didn’t even know that “Vampires of Venice” had anything to do with Dr. Who. I just thought it was about vampires and Venice. Now that I’ve got the yarn, I feel that the colours are suitable for both.

When I had my wonderful 80th birthday party, in 2013, Alexander presented everybody with tea-towels on which was printed a “found poem” made up of lines from this blog. The Vampires of Venice are mentioned there – so I’ve probably been looking for them for four years, at least.

(I copied out the whole poem for you as soon as we got back from Strathardle that summer – you’ll find it in late August, 2013. It’s brilliant.)

And today, Amazon say they’re going to deliver Franklin’s colouring book!

Along with some more RC Sherriff. It was good to hear from a fellow-admirer of “The Fortnight in September”, Peggy. I’ve ordered Greengates, which you say disappointed you (comment, Saturday) and also the science-fiction one, The Hopkins Manuscript. Science-fiction is definitely not our genre. We shall see. I’ll try to remember to report back.


  1. Holy Crow, as my father used to say, that's a wonderful day! Now I want to toss everything aside and make a hap. Do let us know how Gudrun's compares to the Sharon Miller book. Or I could just buy the pattern and compare myself. Off to see if the library has The Fortnight in September.

  2. I have knit two of Gudrun's Half Haps now, I just blocked the second on Sunday. Regarding knitting the last stitch (the YO from the previous row), I just checked and while she doesn't say anything about it in her written pattern she does say that she knits that stitch through the back loop in her Craftsy class. I didn't knit them through the back loop on my first one as I started it before buying and starting the class but I did knit them through the back loop on the second and I don't think it really makes much if any difference. I tried both ways of knitting the picked up loops and within three stitches was able to decide which look I preferred (the crossed, less open, btw), so I'm sure you'll find that the easiest way to decide.

  3. What a great day for you! Just remember - you have surely earned it, by surviving all those gruelling ones.

  4. Its such fun getting packages for which you are waiting... i have to go and look at that yarn now... hmmm