Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I was called upon at the Knitting Beyond the Hebrides - Lace Symposium yesterday! And I can confirm that Dolores is as gracious and glamourous in the wool as she appears when she allows herself to be sketched by her favourite artist.

The Symposium is a brilliant idea, brilliantly executed. I hope the site will stay up for a while, but it’s especially fun to log in day-by-day, right now.

It’s great to have Mary Morrison's blog back, after a long hiatus.

We watched on television last night – very much faute de mieux – is that spelled right? – an old colour film of travels in Britain, shot in the 1920’s. What should it include, but herring girls at work! They were filmed in Oban, on the west coast, well outside of traditional gansey territory. I could not make out that any of them were wearing coloured ganseys, but they were certainly colourfully dressed. One was wearing Fair Isle, and the commentator opined that she had knitted it herself. If the girls did knit coloured ganseys for themselves in other towns – and I don’t doubt it – there must have been records of the colours supplied in the archives of the traditional spinners. But that’s just the sort of thing which is first into the skip, when the firm goes down.

I looked up this website -- National Farmers' Union - RPA SPS Payment Progress a propos the remarks I made yesterday about Margaret Beckett’s balls-up. It’s pretty arid, intended for busy farmers rather than point-making, but the statistics are there.

I am a bit worried by this article, which Lorna links to in her current Blog entry. I think it makes its point, as polemecists so often do, by representing the opposition views in extreme and therefore absurd form. Anyone who takes however vague a religious view of the universe, must believe that the Hand of God nudged the evolutionary process – or that the result was pre-calculated, like a brilliant shot at snooker. It wasn’t just blind chance, in other words, which moved things on from pond weed to giraffes. That’s all I mean by “intelligent design”. It's fully as unproveable as the "blind chance" option, but it is an option.

I’m getting well outside my brief, here.


Here’s the current state of my sister’s shawl. The rows are definitely shorter now, and I’m flying along. I have included in the picture the ball-of-yarn-which-refuses-to-die. I worry slightly sometimes that its prolonged demise implies that the finished shawl will be too small. The stitch numbers and shape were determined by Gladys Amedro’s pattern, designed for Shetland cobweb yarn. Sharon Miller’s merino lace, which I’m using, is slightly finer. But the result looks OK. Currently, I’m a bit less than half-way through the patterned part, length-wise. Then there will be a considerable top edging, with more Amedro roundels in it. Then savage blocking.

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