Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Here we are in Lent. No one would expect me to give up knitting, so that’s all right.

Not much knitting yesterday. We went to an inaugural lecture because the new Professor of Spanish was billed to talk about Velasquez. It cut across our normal end-of-afternoon insulin-injection-soap-opera-and-tea routine and necessitated therefore a lot of forward planning, even after all of which had been carried out, my husband wouldn’t go alone. I didn’t find it very interesting (nothing about knitting) and the seats weren’t comfortable enough to sleep in, but he enjoyed it so it was all probably worth while.

I’ve nearly finished row 46 of the Princess Shawl border.

The exciting thing on the knitting front, however, is that I figured out that horizontal stitch I was asking about yesterday. I don’t like thinking, and I’m not clever at figuring out knitting, so I was terribly proud of myself.

If you ever want to draw a horizontal line in monochrome knitting (it could conceivably be useful in a fisherman’s gansey design, perhaps, as well as for rendering the Calcutta Cup in lace), proceed as follows:

Having arrived at the point in the row where you want your line to start, M1.

Return the newly-created stitch to the left-hand needle.

*Creep around behind it, knit the second stitch on the left-hand needle tbl, knit the first stitch in the usual way, slide both off needle.

Return the first stitch on the right-hand needle to the left-hand needle.*

Repeat from * to * as long as necessary. Then eliminate your travelling stitch with an SSK.

I’m taken aback somewhat to discover how big this insert is going to be. Apart from the frame, I’ll need four plain rows at the top and bottom, and another four between the date and the Cup. Or would two be enough? Maybe. ‘2006’ will take 13 rows, and the cup itself seems to be 31. That’s 55 or so – plus the frame. There’s plenty of room (the border is 220 rows deep). The main difficulty is that I had planned to lay the Princess aside again at roughly the end of March, to start my sister’s birthday shawl. I can’t possibly get the Cup done in the time.

The only thing to do is to swatch it, chart it very carefully this time, and get started.

The Malabrigio yarn (I think I spell it differently every time) still hasn’t turned up. I feel twinges of anxiety. She said on Friday that it was going in the mail straight away.

The weather is savagely cold, but there’s no snow here. The weather forecast speaks of lots of snow up north. How north is Strathardle? Decision on that issue – shall we go tomorrow? – has been postponed.

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