Monday, March 06, 2017

Here’s where we are:

…with the second sleeve very nearly to the point where it joins the body. I've also done the back, although it doesn't figure in this photograph. There is an egregious mistake in the middle of the sleeve you see, and a less serious one in the middle of the sleeve I’m still knitting. Miraculously, both mistakes are much less visible on the right side. Tinking brioche is virtually impossible.

The suggestion in the photograph that the sleeve is of a somewhat different tint to the body, is, alas, true.

I would be very grateful for your aesthetic advice. The pattern wants only ribbing (and buttonholes) at the neck. I am thinking, as I have said, of adding a collar. And I am thinking of doing all that in Roast Hatch Chillies. What do you think? Would that be too violent? I’ve got plenty of both yarns – that isn’t a consideration.

I’ve heard from Baa Ram Ewe so now I am fully equipped for the EYF. I remind myself that it would be wiser not to buy a sweater’s worth. We’ll see. And Nancy’s Vest might best be knit in Carol Sunday’s yarn.

I continue to watch Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Craftsy class on the Fair Isle Vest. I am increasingly enchanted by her. What fun it would be to go on the tours to Shetland which she leads with Gudrun Johnston! They stay at the wonderful house --  Burrastow – where Kristie and Kath and I stayed. One for my bucket list.

Mucklestone is devoted to swatching – not in a severe, schoolmistress-y way, but on the unlikely grounds that it’s fun. “You might never need to knit a garment again.” She says she knit all the swatches for her book “200 Fair Isle Designs”. By which I am rather tempted.

I will take the FT reproduction of Hopper’s “Gas” with me to the EYF to choose the colours I can’t supply from stash. After all this preparation, I think I will have to cast on a swatch-scarf even after we, predictably, lose the Calcutta Cup match on Saturday. That’s the day after the EYF, but it would be silly not to choose the colours there, eyeball to eyeball with the yarn, rather than wait and have to do it from a computer screen.

Here’s another job for you: I want to take squared paper with me to Hazel Tindall’s class. She suggests it as an option. I tried the stationery department in John Lewis yesterday: no luck. They’re busy knocking down the St James’ Centre, so Ryman’s is gone. But I know I have a knitting book – and probably more than one – which prints pages of empty squares. I’ve always thought that was a slightly cheaty way to pad out a book.

But now I want to find such a book and photocopy that page. Does anybody know what book it’s in? The chances are very good that I’ve got it, but I hesitate to start searching blindly.


  1. Anonymous10:09 PM

    I just googled "graph paper for knitting" and provided me with downloadable/printable paper. The squares should not be square to work with knitting stitches. I keep a template in the iBook section of my iPad.

    1. While regular stockinette is not square and therefore requires rectangular spaces to represent stitches Fair Isle knitting is usually square or close to it, so Hazel's request for squared paper makes sense.


    Dear Jean,
    Carol had the same idea as I did, and posted while I was looking up the address.
    If you can print, this is a good option!
    I am adding a tour of Shetland to my bucket list!

  3. I know the graph paper you are thinking of, but can't recall where to send you. Sorry!
    However I would happily vote for a Roast Hatch Chillies collar if it looks good to you when you put the yarns together. It would really give the sweater a lift.

  4. Other people got in before me but yes, (free) downloads are available from more than one site on the internet.

  5. dear Jean, I use this link

    it will print the graph paper to your gauge

    thank you so very much for continuing to post to your blog, it makes my day wonderful to know how you and your family are doing

  6. Anonymous12:25 AM

    This is my standby for graph paper.
    Make sure your printer is NOT set to "fit" into a page. It should print actual size for accuracy. Good luck and have fun at EYF!

  7. There s plenty of graph paper in different sizes on the internet, free for the download. You might try that.

  8. If you use a contrast for the collar then that will draw the eye away from any slight shade differences in the body.

  9. (looks at two packages of quad paper sitting on bookcase)

    Pity you're not local or I'd drop one by. I got some during the back-to-school sales for lace charting.

  10. I have had the pleasure of sharing a house with Mary Jane at Rhinebeck. You would have a wonderful time. Maybe I can get on that list, too! It is hard to judge the effect of the contrast collar from online photos. I say if you like it, do it!

  11. =Tamar9:45 PM

    My mother always used to have us wear red for school pictures to put color in our faces. I also recall reading that a plain red necktie is considered a sedate touch of color for a plain dark suit, so I think a red collar on a dark sweater is a good idea. You could pin the red yarn to the edge and hold it up to a mirror to gauge the effect on your in your usual lighting.