Saturday, July 29, 2006

Well, where are we? I am threatened with nothing-to-say. The sun has left us, for the moment, but the weather remains oppressive. Mood is low.

I spoke to Helen (in the country) on Thursday. It has rained, she said, confirming her son Archie’s report, and my vegetables are in splendid form. They are eating courgettes – a few days earlier than I reckoned when I said goodbye to them ten days ago. She and the boys will be here tomorrow, to meet her husband at the airport. And James, I believe, has arrived from China and joined his wife and children in the midlands.

So what? I am tempted to write. Let us get back to our knitting.

I’m well advanced with the fifth repeat of the centre section pattern of my Long Shawl. Today should bring me within sight of the end. I finished a ball of yarn last night – that’s a real event, the only ball finished in July.

Directional decreases

Myrna Stahman, safely home from Shetland, wrote to the HeirloomKnitting group the other day quoting various people on the subject of directional increases. She promises to improve and repeat the message soon, when she’s caught up on sleep. I was struck with the writers’ meticulousness, which involves swatching and comparing ssk, sl1-k1-psso, and k2tog tbl. The most I would ever do is work a decrease with the slope in the right direction (if I can remember what that is), in whatever way seemed easiest to me at the moment.

I was surprised – I’ve said this before – to learn from Sharon's book that direction doesn’t matter when you’re knitting in fine yarn and garter stitch. The writer of the Paisley Long Shawl says the same thing. But – and here is the meagre point of these paragraphs – it is easier to see the structure of the lace if the charts are done with the directions indicated. Sharon always does it that way; the Long Shawl charts don’t. It’s much easier – as “Mary” says, quoted by Myrna – to read and learn Sharon’s charts, whichever way you decide to do the actual knitting.

I almost got to meet Myrna this week. She was passing through Glasgow on her way home from Shetland. It would have been wonderful to talk to her, and to hear about her experiences up north while they were absolutely fresh. But excessive heat and the need to catch up on life a bit between sessions with grandchildren, were too much for me.

Lene, thanks for your help in yesterday’s comments. Improving my very limited grasp of HTML is very high on my Wannado list. The difficulty with your suggestion, in my feeble understanding of it, would be the question of where to leave the picture. That is, what would its URL be? I could put them on my website at the moment – but that’ll go when I give up my dial-up connection at the end of the year. The whole thing will have to be heaved over to a new site.

I think I know what to do with Flickr now – I’ll try that when I can think of something to take a picture of.

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