Monday, February 26, 2007

I finished the second sleeve, to the very last stitch, but got no further. Insh’Allah, a picture tomorrow of the whole thing put together. I did the arithmetic; it all seems to work out rather well. Elizabeth’s Percentage System must somehow resonate with the universe.

To be specific, leaving 8% of K unattached at the underarms on each sleeve and at the corresponding points on the body (32% K abandoned altogether) leaves enough stitches that if you then decrease 8 of them every other row, as instructed, until 40%K are left for the neck – the yoke comes out quite a reasonable size! I want it a little longer, so I’ll do half a dozen plain rows first. All the instructions are terribly keen on some short-rowing at this point, but the pattern forbids that.

The only other news on the knitting front concerns VKB on eBay.

We’ve had a long lull lately. Last night I bought, for what seemed to me a very reasonable price, No. 36, spring 1950, because my copy lacks its cover and this one was described as being in good condition, including a cover. I may even, for the first time, have reaped the benefit of late bidding and steady nerves.

I wasn’t going to put in my nuclear bid just for a cover, and I wasn’t too agitated about whether I got it or not. My bid, by good fortune, was 30p higher than the underbidder’s one. You can’t tell how high the opposition is willing to go, in eBay, until you enter a bid. Then, the maximum the opposition has specified will either outbid you at once with no further action on their part, or you’ll be top and their maximum will be revealed.

The latter scenario was what happened in this case, and I may have moved so late that she didn’t have time to re-think and re-group. Another of my coverless ones is coming up this afternoon, but that's already too expensive, I fear.


That’s interesting, Gwen, about KnitPicks needles being heavy. The one I’m using for the Princess – I got it from Sharon, I’m pretty sure – is wonderfully light. Part of the pleasure is the glorious lightness of the whole thing, lying in one’s lap like a misplaced cloud.

In having a quick look at the Heirloom Knitting site just now, to make sure I had the right URL for the link, I saw that there’s a new pattern, the Nesting Shawl. Hmmm.


Hozzat? as I gather we say in cricket.

We have a forsythia bush in Strathardle which we put in at least 10 years ago. It grows and flourishes, but doesn’t go in much for flowering. The only suggestion the books can make is that you’re pruning too hard, if that happens. Certainly not our problem. Last week, before we left, I cut a few branches to bring home for forcing – and look what we’ve got! It can be hard to tell the difference between a leaf bud and a flower bud, with forsythia, so all this golden delight has unfolded before our delighted eyes since the return.


  1. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Lovely Forsythia! Ours is nowhere near that stage. Thing with Forsythia is that if you want to prune it, do it just after it finishes flowering, then it makes next year's flowers. We have one that is half in our garden and half next door, and our neighbour gives her half a severe haircut every August - I leave our side strictly alone, and we get nearly all the flowers on our bit!

  2. Anonymous1:12 PM

    Congratulations on devising a workable percentage system. I have just finished a top down sweater and feel challenged to do better on my next one. The top part is actually o.k. but I didn't keep track of what I did and there are various adjustments I would want to make on my next top down with that yarn.

  3. Anonymous6:42 PM

    Could another element be that forsythia shouldn't be over- fertilized? I know lilacs won't bloom if they have too much nitrogen; mulch them with wood shavings which take up the nitrogen and they bloom.

  4. it sure is late february with the forsythias. fascinating colour. and your knitting turns out beautiful. looking forward to seeing it when it is finished.