The book is all we were promised, and I had a grand time.
I got there relatively early, 11:15 or so for an 11 a.m. “off”. The shop was crowded, and so was the little teaching-room behind where the signing was actually going on. Kate and the books of course were there. I had mine signed by her and Jen and also had Gudrun and Lucy Hague sign their patterns.
And, as in the preliminary daydreams, I told Lucy Hague (she’s wonderfully young) about the Dunfallandy blankie and the horizontal cable it incorporates. She knows the Dunfallandy stone but didn’t know about the blankie. And Gudrun is not scary at all, taller than I expected. She is in the process of moving back from Portobello to MA. They have been here a year and I think they meant to stay, but teen-aged children haven’t found it easy and want to go back.
After a while I went back out into the shop and sat on Kathy’s accommodating sofa and read much of the book. There is a lot of useful and interesting material about 19th and 20th century Shetland. A crisp chapter by Kate about construction is fully as informative as I hoped and expected. The Shetland way is to knit from the borders inwards.
On page 35, a simple method is given for determining which way a particular shawl was knit –attributed to Sharon Miller. If the auld shell holes curve over like bridges, it’s borders-in; if they are hooped under like bows, it’s centre-out.
Several of the original shawls from the book were there -- Kate's own Moder Dy, in both its Buachaille form and the J&S jumoer-weight one that she showed us in a recent blog entry. And Mel herself was there, who knit both. Kate said, endearingly, that she is a slow knitter. Just like me!
I also saw Jen's Nut-Hap, Tom of Holland's Hexa, Gudrun's Lang Ayre, and Donna Smith's Houlland. (That one is rather small -- you couldn't hap yourself in it.) Although Lucy was there, I didn't see the Uncia, but I might have missed it, The room was crowded and I kept noticing things I hadn't seen.
The idea of spending the rest of my life knitting haps, large and small, is rather attractive.