Sunday, January 07, 2007

Swapna has gone over to the new-style Blogger, too. This is all a bit like the Stepford Wives, or maybe I mean Invasion of the Body-Snatchers. I like the family pictures she’s now got in her sidebar, so yesterday I put in some of my own.


I finished, perhaps, the body of the Calcutta Cup sweater as far as the armholes yesterday, and started the first sleeve.

That means I looked out sets of DP needles, a tedious chore. (I don’t like the two-circular solution. I keep finding that I’m knitting with the wrong end of the wrong needle, and it all gets into a tangle.) A few years ago, I bought this device for circulars in Cambridge, MA – from the very shop, I think, where Sean now works. It has saved me an immeasurable amount of both tedium and time. I need a similar solution for DP’s. It was a topic often discussed on the Knitlist, but none of the ideas really grabbed me.

There is a review in the current Economist (where else?) of a book called “A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder”. Procrastination is praised, as well as physical disorder, and we are told that the US Marines “never make detailed plans in advance. Leaving important things to the last minute reduces the risk of wasting time on things that may ultimately prove not important at all.”

Yes, but – as the reviewer says. It doesn’t work for surgery, or doing one’s income tax. But it nicely expresses my approach to life. I gave some thought yesterday to how many stitches I needed to cast on for the sleeve, consulting the Sweater Wizard and EPS. But I haven’t decided how to shape the sleeve increases, nor have I worked out – and it will have to be done very precisely – how long I want the sleeve to be, and therefore at what point in the pattern I must begin, to have it come out even with the body at the armholes.

Dear Spinning Fishwife, it is sad indeed that I didn’t know you had the Calcutta Cup last summer. I emailed the SRU after the Famous Victory, and learned that the Cup was going to travel around. I have paid at least some attention since, and logged in occasionally to their fairly useless website. (We’ve got the mug commemorating the victory in 2000, and hoped for another one.) I heard that the Cup had visited an Edinburgh Tesco’s – perhaps, who knows? it was my local one – and not only the Cup, but Chris Paterson with it. But I heard that after the event, too.

I should be brave and just ring them up and ask if I could go see it. In less than a month, now, it will almost certainly be transferred to Twickenham, and it may not return in my lifetime. And I am surely the only person in the universe who has knit it twice. (The other time was in granddaughter Kirsty’s Christening shawl – you have to scroll down to the bottom of the page.)


Thanks for all the leads on luscious bedsocks. I mean to follow them up today.

Catriona, I’m awfully glad you’re going to knit that shawl. I must warn you that the first is the worst – Amedro begins, as with all her designs, by having you knit the entire edging. It’s not difficult, but it’s definitely tedious. When I did it for Archie Drake, I consciously thought of myself as helping him and my daughter through those early awful weeks of pregnancy, while God is knitting the baby. After that, you’re flying, and it feels as if the work is going faster and faster as you decrease towards the centre of the shawl, and the baby gets fatter and stronger.


  1. Anonymous10:19 AM

    You have really inspired me to move my own blog from the german provider I am using, to blogger - it looks so much more clean, and will hopefully enable a few more advanced functions: Visitor maps, blocking single comments and commentors (IP's) and easier alteration of the template :-)

    I really love the shawl you knit for your grandchilds birth. It is so beautifull and looks very comforting. I had also toyed with the idea of knitting a shawl for every newborn in the family, but instead I opted to make a quilt for each - one so far! I especially admire the detail of initials, calcutta cup and date. It is so ingenous.

  2. Evvery time one of my nieces was pregnant I tried to knit a lace shawl and the first four times, I gave up in despair. However, at the fifth try, I got the hang of Feather and Fan and managed to produce something pretty, although it was a long way from Gladys Amedro.

    I would like to thank my nieces for producing as many babies as it took for me to produce a shawl. They haven't had any more babies, although I have knitted more lace.

  3. Anonymous3:50 PM

    Jean, there was an article on the very subject of messiness recently in the NYT -- I found it quite interesting, and copied down the titles of two books they mentioned. The first was the one by Friedman/Abrahamson you mention in your post; the second by Irwin Kula ("Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life").

    I fear this may be some reactionary development to the Organization Wave that swept through in recent times. I don't believe I should be letting everything go to hell in a handbasket, but I was feeling a little put-upon by the Organize Your Life movement, so I'll be curious to read the two books.

  4. Anonymous8:10 PM

    Circular solution also makes a double point needles case, made out of canvas, with pockets for the needles, and the size clearly marked on each small pocket. It rolls up. I personally corral mine in sets of 5, using small colored rubber bands to color code them and stick them in cheap toothbrush cases. This works well for all but the chubby sized ones, which require use of soap cases or, for longer needles,tampon cases. Yes, I'm blushing here. Then I vow to set them all neatly in their designated box together. Somehow, they migrate to many areas of my home anyway. But I can always tell which size is trying to escape by the color case or rubber band they're confined in. At least, they escape in sets this way.
    I'm enjoying watching the Calcutta Cup sweater progress and the layout of the new blog.

  5. I am so not a Stepford wife, however, body snatchers....yes that could be me! Anyway, thank you for the compliments, and I must say I love your new blog as well. BTW I did post some pics for you on mine, as promised. Hope you enjoy them!