Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday in Holy Week

Claudia, it’s wonderful to hear from you.

A full day back, not without its small achievements, leaving me overwhelmed – as ever, when we get back from anywhere – with the amount there is to do, and my incompetence at doing it. Life always seems so manageable when we are in Strathardle, because we don’t manage it. No mail, no ironing, no cleaning (someone comes in and does it from time to time, unlike here). And a dishwashing machine, also unlike here.

So let’s think about knitting.

You saw this picture yesterday – the swatch for Ketki’s gansey. The issue today is – how to set the pattern on the sweater? The pattern has a 40-stitch repeat, and seven repeats will give me a reasonably-sized sweater.

a) One possibility would be simply to start at the left-hand seam-stitch at the point where Gladys Thompson starts, and let the pattern fall where it will.

b) But it would be nice to centre either the stitch at the centre of that tree-of-life thing (we’ll call it the spine-stitch), or that bit of broken rib. The difficulty there is that you can’t exactly centre one stitch, or seven (the broken rib), in an even number. OK, so centre the spine stitch on one of the two centre stitches of the gansey, and hope no one notices the slight discrepancy.

c) But when you flip through the books, the ganseys all look so meticulously planned. Some one would notice. So perhaps I could stop perhaps four inches short of the top, introduce some definition rows (I think that’s Brown-Reinsel’s phrase for them) and then a panel, perhaps even seed stitch, of something un-centre-able. That would keep the spine-stitch far enough away from the neck to avoid detection. Perhaps.

d) Or what about removing one stitch, front and back, so that I have an odd number, and the spine stitch can be centered precisely. What about the back, in that case? Centre it again? In which case there would be a considerable discrepancy at the (false) seams.

e) Or centre the spine-stitch in the front, and from there, just knit the pattern, leaving out one stitch of it at each seam?

I think I’ll probably go for e), but I was taken aback to discover how many choices there are.

VK is here, not without interest, and Knitting must be about to arrive. There are still comments to comment on, from before we went away. But there I think I’ll leave things for today.


  1. Anonymous12:02 PM

    When I knitted guernseys I used to make sure I had an uneven number of stitches in the back and front (both) because the motifs seem mostly to have an obvious centre stitch. Then I could centre the one I wanted centred, and calculate how many stitches were going to be left over at each side - then there are patterns that do not have to have a specific width, or in some cases I filled the extra stitches with either stocking or moss stitch. Two stitches extra or less are not going to wreck the fit of the piece, so you may as well make it easy for yourself!

  2. i really like the cast-on beaded edge. Once again, i am tempted to buy BBR's book, but i don't really NEED another book. Well, maybe i just need to get rid of some of the books i have first.

    Oh! I was volunteering for the local public radio station fund drive and mentioned your mother's book to another volunteer (she was reading a story about black mormon pioneers) and she thought it sounded very interesting.

  3. My last 2 emails to you about Koigu in July have bounced. Will be at Waverly Station early morning on the 8th July, believe train leaves 8:40 am so we shall be there early enuff to queue.

    socklady at lincsat dot com

  4. Anonymous7:02 PM

    Assuming that you mean seven repeats on the front and another seven on the back (280+280=560), that gives you a central stitch on the front and a central stitch on the back. I'd center it on the tree. As Jean from Cornwall said, a stitch or two won't wreck it.