Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Comments from Joe AND Mar AND Franklin yesterday. Almost as good as being at Rhinebeck, although not quite. I'm glad you like Heirloom Knitting, Franklin, costly though it be. I don't think it found its place on a bookshelf once in the first six months I owned it.

Franklin's tee-shirt, "The New Yoga", arrived yesterday. It's wonderful -- that heavy, comforting cotton that the British just don't seem to have access to. The artist has drawn inspration, consciously or unconsciously, from the famous late antique statue of Laocoon wrestling with the sea serpents, and thus it elegantly combines two of my major interests in life. And -- British readers note -- there was no duty to pay., but the site is down this morning.

I joined the sleeves to the body of the Wallaby yesterday, as hoped, and started up the yoke. I'm putting the knit-and-purl pattern in. It'll make it easier to count the rounds, if nothing else. Too early to say what it looks like.

Sad Story from Long Ago

Perhaps I'll tell you my rather sad writing-on-a-sweater story, inspired by Franklin's brilliantly successful Rhinebeck sweater with its quotation from Seneca.

Many years ago, during my major Fair Isle phase, I knit a sweater full of dark, muddy colours for Alexander who was then at Balliol (College, Oxford). I designed a motto for it, to go around the yoke, like the inscriptions you find on big bells: JMM me fecit GADM me gerit Coll Bal me videt AMDG. (JMM made me GADM wears me Balliol Coillege sees me AMDG) (If I had never knit that sweater, I would never have noticed that Alexander's initials are an anagram of AMDG which stands for "To the greater glory of God", in Latin.)

When it was nearly finished but not quite, we went to Oxford for a day, as we often did in those days, and over lunch my husband told Alexander that Mummy was knitting him a sweater and "it has writing on it". He was, quite properly, horrified, and there was nothing I could do but rip it out. But I think if he had seen the finished sweater, with the lettering sort of disappearing into the dark colours, it would have been all right.

I still feel a bit sore when I think of it.


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