Monday, April 18, 2005


I can't remember ever liking weekends.


I finally finished off the second cuff of the Fair Isle jacket, and am now tidying cut steeks, not a very photogenic occupation. I was surprised, nay, alarmed, to find an inch and a quarter or so of patterned fabric inside, where the sleeve joins the body. Not exactly a steek problem, but a matter of having maybe followed the wrong stitch when I was picking up the sleeve stitches. However, it seems to have happened on both sides and, more importantly, the whole thing looks even. Maybe I'm OK. I think I've been sloppy about this job, knitting it for winter comfort and for stash reduction without paying enough attention to the details which contribute everything to the result.

There will still be the front bands and neck band to knit when the inside is tidy. My sister told me once that the wine you find left in the bottle when you've had your pudding and coffee is called "King Olaf's Soup". That's how I feel about the knitting left over at the very end of a project like this one that requires a lot of tedious finishing.

The Prince of Wales

In London, we saw a picture by Sir William Orpen of the Prince-of-Wales-Before-This-One in a golfing sweater. It's in an exhibition currently on at the Imperial War Museum. The picture belongs to the Royal and Ancient at St Andrews. It appears above, I hope (I haven't tried to take the photograph yet). It's not the famous Fair Isle sweater; that portrait of the Little Man, reproduced in many a knitting book, was painted by Sir Henry Lander, an artist unknown even to my husband, which is a pretty rarefied level of obscurity.

This sweater is Shetland -- a simple geometric design in natural colours. The pattern repeat is about 2 1/2", I would guess. The fun thing is that the pattern seems to flow continuously up the sleeve and into the body. That is because the pattern is both horizontally and vertically symmetrical, so the designer has been able to take advantage of the squareness of a knitting stitch in colour work to calculate a join -- there is clearly a seam at the dropped shoulder line -- where the sleeve stitches can be connected to the body rows, one for one, and the pattern appears to be uninterrupted.

The very same trick that Meg Swansen employs in the cover sweater of the current Woolgathering!

My husband is no knitter, but he has a sharp and critical eye.  He commented on that feature as if I might not have noticed it. But I had.

(Assuming the photograph appears): Isn't the neckline horrible?


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