Thursday, February 16, 2006


Well, we’re hard at it, at least planning-wise. Alexander is a bit doubtful about Herring Girls Pink; it might be wiser to go for olive. And he also seems to be uncertain about the dividing line between Arans and ganseys. Good old Google came up with this interesting site first go – I have referred him there to make it somewhat clearer what we’re talking about.

Dawn, I’ve got Henriette van der Klift-Tellegen’s book – and isn’t it a wonderful name? – in English. Is that cheating? (Dryad Press, London, 1987, never heard of them.) I am glad to be reminded of it, and you’re right, it’s full of wonderful pictures and ideas. I’ve also got Mary Wright on Cornish Knit Frocks, Jean, and will bring that into play.

James’ wife Cathy is of Cornish stock, and their youngest child – the very Kirsty whose initials were recently knit into the First Holy Communion veil – was Christened there. I went down – it was a memorable occasion, just about exactly five years ago. I remember the feeling that I had travelled through winter into spring, and through England to be back among Celts again. Recalling Mary Wright’s book, I asked one of Cathy’s aunts whether the word “frock” for a sweater was familiar to her, and it was.

Tamar, I’ve found the passage you mention in Gladys Thompson's book about jerseys-and-guernseys which “differ by reason of the jersey knit…but it would take an expert in wool-craft to tell the difference.” I am inclined to suspect that perhaps the man who wrote it didn't entirely know what he was talking about, and that the two garments are the same. But I can’t find the other one you mention, about Gladys Thompson pursuing a garment and discovering to her disappointment that it was a jersey, not a guernsey. That might settle the issue.

This will be a slow business, because it’ll be done in Kirkmichael. Worse, it looks as if there’s going to be no escape from doing a substantial swatch. But I think I’ll go ahead and order the yarn. I’ve got an idea for an odd-ball sweater for some random grandchild, which I can use to fill the gap if the yarn hasn’t arrived before we next go north.


Meanwhile we’ve got rather behind-hand with the traditional return-from-Strathardle pictures, so here are both.

Since the garden was frozen solid, I thought I wouldn’t wait until the last morning to photograph it, but rather take advantage of the winter sunshine for a picture one could actually see. The pink noses of the rhubarb still aren’t visible, but I read somewhere in the last few days that you don’t need to wait, so that’s the forcing-pot in place.

And here’s Rachel’s sweater.


Mar, I had a Latin teacher too, at APHS, named Irene F Taylor. She was rather awful, no scholar, but one left her hands knowing one’s declensions and conjugations. I had what passes in cyberspace for a stand-up row with M*rg*ret V*l*rd once, over at Knitflame, about the plural of “virus”. She actually asked, “Where did you learn your Latin?” She is welcome to impugn my knitting, but that was an insult too far.

Franklin, thank you. Be careful what you pray for, they say – you might get it. It is good to be reminded that I did get it, and have no cause to be sorry.

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