Sunday, December 17, 2006


I hope I’m not violating copyright by quoting an eBay description of VKB No. 47. You’ll have to hurry; it closes this afternoon. The current bid is only £40.51:

“This excellent magazine has been well used, and shows it’s age. Sadly the front and back covers are missing (I have not listed the patterns affected by this), the back and front pages are detached and have tears, creases and old sellotape marks down the spine. The centre six pages are loose, but although ‘dog-eared’, the rest of the magazine is in really quite good condition.”

I feel good. That “it’s” was not my idea, either; I’m quoting.

Calcutta Cup Sweater

Julie, I cannot thank you enough for those two references. I spent a bit of time with them yesterday, and got out Woolgathering 72. I really feel I’m making progress.

Meg, in both her sweaters, begins the pattern which is going to run down the sleeves, at the armholes. So she can set her pattern appropriately and doesn’t have to worry about splitting it. Feitelson’s “Ballasound Cropped Jumper”, however, is the real McCoy as far as the Prince of Wales joke is concerned. I had to struggle with her instructions (not because they are not clear, but because I am not good at visualizing knitting when it isn’t in my hands).

I’ve learned two things. She breaks the yarn when she gets to the armholes – so that henceforth the end-of-round new-colour join can come in the middle of one of the armhole steeks. Maybe everybody does that. I hadn’t thought of it.

And she leaves the pattern’s centre stitch behind on a holder at each side, below the centre of the new steek. It will eventually become a “seam stitch” for the sleeve. That's why the yarn has to be broken, I think.

For some reason already forgotten, I have elected to begin each round with the stitch before the centre stitch of the pattern. But I could leave three stitches behind, and I think I probably will.

Both Meg and Feitelson say to join the sleeve one row in, and to match the pattern stitch by stitch as you pick it up, not to try to pick up in the pattern for the next round. That baffled me for a while, but there is a photograph in Woolgathering which makes it clear. Meg says she used to pick up in “the next sequential round”, but now does it this way, implying a fair amount of experience in this sort of thing.

I had been sort of thinking of leaving a whole pattern repeat behind at the armhole, so that the sleeve would be set in. But I think I realized yesterday that that’s absolutely pointless in this situation, since the whole thing is going to flow as if cut from one piece of cloth.


There’s more to say, about the Fair Isle, and about Lorna’s and Jenny’s comments yesterday, but I’ve gone on long enough and a busy day looms. I’ve made all those beds, and dusted a bit, and at least it looks as if we’re expecting someone. The plan is for my husband and me to go back to Strathardle tomorrow, the Beijing Mileses to follow a day later when we’ve got the place warmed up. Once he gets there, James will wi-fi us up to the ears again, and I ought to be able to report in at least occasionally.

In case not, and in case I fail to turn up here tomorrow, Happy Winter Solstice everybody! We made it!

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