Monday, February 27, 2006

Well, I’ve calmed down somewhat. Lorna, I’ve emailed the SRU to ask if the Calcutta Cup will be on public display, and then, in what I thought was a stroke of genius, emailed this to the letters page of the Scotsman: “Are there any plans to put the Calcutta Cup on public exhibition? Photographs would suggest that it's quite an interesting object.”

We shall see.

As to knitting it, Laurie, you’re a mind-reader. A friend had already asked if I were going to do another shawl, and I put in a bit of time yesterday with that theme to my background-thinking. There’s no realistic prospect of a baby on the horizon, so a shawl per se is out. My first thought was to run up a fisherman’s-gansey thing for Alexander’s son James with the Cup and “2006”, translated into a purl-on-knit pattern, in the plain bit between welt and pattern. There were drawbacks to that idea – the transitory nature of a child’s sweater, the fact that my knitting programme for Ought Six is already pretty full.

Then I had what I think is the answer: set it into the Princess Shawl. The shawl is so big that it won’t be distressingly conspicuous. I will create a lacy frame around a little box in one of the outside panels of the border – which I am actually knitting at the moment – and simply drop it in, the Cup with “2006” beneath it.

To this end I got out my notes for Kirsty's shawl. They are distressingly sketchy – I presumably thought it couldn’t possibly happen again in my lifetime – but there’s something there, and I remember that the curved handles of my lacy Cup, which presented the greatest problem, are based on Pattern 63 in Susanna Lewis’ “Knitting Lace”, and her subsequent development of what she calls an “intriguing diagonal faggot pattern” on page 145.

I would have to re-draw the charts anyway, because I will be knitting bottom-up and the other time it was top-down. Reversing lace can throw up unexpected problems. I’m afraid I’ll actually have to swatch it.

This plan may mean that Thomas-the-Elder won’t let his bride wear it on her wedding day, but that’s up to him. By then England will have won the Cup so many more times that maybe he won’t mind.

The Cup itself figured in many a photograph in yesterday’s papers, and is even more interesting than I had remembered. The three handles are pythons, and the surface is covered with engraving. It’s quite big. I’d really love to have a close look.


Neither of my newly-ordered yarns turned up on Saturday, so I’ve still got them to look forward to.

I did row 43 of the Princess Shawl border last night, and turned around and made a start on 44.

Beadslut, I was delighted to hear that you downed a celebratory draft in Edradour – that’s our local distillery when we’re in Strathardle. The smallest in Scotland, I think.

Swapna, I can’t phone Rachel. However sollicitous and motherly I tried to appear, she would know that I was seething with happiness and I would know that she was miserable because the men she loves are miserable. We’re hoping to go to Strathardle later this week, when I would hope to finished her striped Koigu. We’re hoping to go to London in mid-March, so I could take it to her.

Alexander is 46 today. He was born in a Leap Year and has never been entirely forgiven for not holding out for the extra 48 hours.

I’ll try to get a decent photograph of the finished Nudibranch today.

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