Sunday, September 17, 2006

I’m near the end of row 115 of the Princess border, and I’ve calmed down. I won’t finish the border in the current Princess-knitting-session, which must end around the 1st of November. But I’ll pass some more landmarks, like the big half-way mark (row 110) just behind me.

-- After row 120, the remaining rows will be counted in double figures (not triple).
-- After row 138, I’ll be on the third and final page of border charts.
-- The rows are not quite evenly distributed among the charts, but after row 147 or thereabouts, I’ll be 2/3rds of the way through the border.
-- And I might make it to row 165, the 3/4's point.

Jean K’s calculation that the centre bit may be slightly bigger than the border, was a bit of a bummer when first encountered (in a recent comment), but I think I’ve risen above it. I don’t know how much to calculate for the Laurel Leaf insert, or for the final edging. But it occurred to me last night while cooking supper, that the final edging has got to be less than the edging already done, because it forms the third side of a triangle, and the third side has to be shorter than the other two sides put together. That was cheering.

So maybe, altogether, I’m about ¼ of the way through. Not much, but something, and I seem to have re-attained zen-like calm in which I enjoy the row I’m knitting, and look forward to the next one, and as for the rest

Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere et,
Quem fors dierum cumque dabit, lucro

Sorry. I was looking up the poem (Horace Odes I, 9) as a possibility for Franklin's wintry mittens, and got carried away.

After the current Princess session, Alexander’s Fair Isle.

At some point in ’05 I went to an Orpen exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, in which I saw and later posted here, I feel sure, a portrait of the Prince of Wales (not the current one) in an all-over patterned sweater in which the pattern flowed unbroken down the sleeves. But I can’t find the image on my computer, or the postcard I must have scanned. I certainly wouldn’t have subjected the exhibition catalogue to the scanner.

The trick is one that Meg used in a recent Woolgathering. Two-colour knitting pulls the stitches in from their normal rectangle to something very like a square. So any over-all pattern which is both vertically and horizontally symmetrical could be picked up at the shoulders and knit downwards for the sleeves, without an apparent break.

It would have to be a fairly small pattern, probably, because it needs to come out even at the shoulders (so as not to spoil the joke) as well as at the sides, although the half-way point would be OK at the sides. And also needs to be accommodated to an Alexandrine shape.

So I must bend myself soon to the pleasant task of planning this thing thoroughly, and ordering yarn where necessary. I’ll do as much as possible out of stash, but I’m not going to be fierce with myself about it. I’ve recently discovered Alice Starmore's Virtual Yarns. The Knitting-Beyond-the-Hebrides group claims that the yarns aren’t quite Shetland jumper weight, but surely a few could be incorporated if used with caution. They’re stunning.

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