Thursday, May 18, 2006

I took a timid step into the Third Millennium yesterday: I registered with eBay. Several old Vogue Knitting Books are currently listed – they’re all ones I’ve already got, but I wrote to the seller with the most, and have heard back from her. She’ll look. And I’ll keep watching eBay. This is a hopeful new avenue.

Yvonne, that’s the answer to your question of yesterday – I’m looking for British Vogue Knitting Books from the 30’s and 40’s. Where are you writing from? They’re not likely to figure in a collection other than a British or Commonwealth-Other-Than-Canada one. I’ll send you the list of the numbers I’m missing, if there’s any hope. But nineteen pages of books! What is your friend going to do with that list? I’d really like to see it, wherever on earth she is.

I have left all my knitting stuff to a friend in my Will, for fear that otherwise it would be shovelled out the door to the Oxfam shop while my husband was in too much a state of shock to notice.

Someone posted to the KBTH list the other day about – of all things – knitting elephants in lace. I responded, somebody else mentioned Sandy Terp’s shawl pattern in “Gathering of Lace” which includes a filet lace unicorn. The only instructions I have for filet lace – that’s where the motif is in solid st st, floating on a background of mesh – are those in Mary Thomas’ Knitting Book, and the trouble with that is, in a nutshell, that the technique takes up too much space for my purposes. They being, to knit an elephant into the Princess Shawl to represent the Calcutta Cup, which Scotland unexpectedly and gloriously won this year.

But I can’t understand the instructions in the book for Sandy’s technique. So I emailed her yesterday, and blow me! if there isn’t a reply from her this morning, agreeing that the book is unintelligible, and offering to send me a print-out of how to do it her way. What was I saying the other day about how the Internet has changed the world? And beyond that, lies the kindness of knitters.

I’ve got started on Comments, so I might as well go on. Mar, you said yesterday: “[Asbury Park] had only one thing to recommend it and that was The Stone Pony, Springsteen's alma mater.” Mar, it’s not just Springsteen. I, too, am a graduate of Asbury Park High School, and I won’t have a kind word said for it. There is a scene in The Sopranos, where Tony is seen standing on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, with the Convention Hall clearly visible behind him. That’s where my high school graduation took place. It was literally in ruins when my mother and I were last there. It turned out the scene in the Sopranos was a nightmare Tony was having, and that is just how I feel about Asbury Park.

Eleni, to turn to pleasanter matters: no, there was no special technique for charting Chinese characters. Fair Isle knitting tends to draw in, as the colour being carried behind tightens the fabric. The happy result, for the chart-er, is that a Fair Isle knitting stitch is square; you don’t have to take any account of the normal rectangularity of a knitting stitch. The great thing about Chinese, from my point of view, is that I have no way of knowing what I have achieved, if anything. James’s first Chinese teacher gave him his Chinese name; I don’t know how his wife Cathy got hers. (We’re talking about the wedding sweaters I knit for my daughters and daughters-in-law.)

Ted, I always feel honoured when you appear among my commenters. This whole fisherman’s-rib/brioche stitch thing is great fun, and I long this morning to throw away my lace and knit myself a nice cosy sweater. I have knit the hat you mention (from EZ’s “Knitting Without Tears”) a couple of times. But I had completely forgotten that sweater in “The Opinionated Knitter”. I’ve just looked it up. Yes! I think in KWT, EZ calls the stitch “fruity”. That’s absolutely it.

Polly, I’m not evading your question, I’ve just run out of space. I’ll reveal all, on the question of how I got from Asbury Park to Drummond Place, the next time I hit a slow day. (“Wafted by a favouring gale/ As one sometimes is in trances…”)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:12 PM

    Dear Jean,
    I am a knitter from Spain, a man knitter, and I try to undestand the instructions of Sand Terp's filet lace unicorn too. One of my knitter fiend has told me that the author has promissed you to rewrite those instructions and send them to you. I shall be very pleased if you could e.mail me with Sandy's aswer.In confidence I bought "Gathering of lace" because of that pattern and I was very disapointed because I could not understood them.
    Thank you in advance,
    Alvaro Meijide