Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I’ve done a half-pattern-repeat, nine rows, on the Calcutta Cup sweater yoke, and have embarked on the first decrease round. All seems to be going well. Picture soon. I ordered the needful extra yarn from Jamieson and Smith.

My new copy of VKB 36, complete with cover, turned up promptly and has been given its place in the archives.

Thank you for the suggestion about backing faulty VKB’s, Anonymous. I’ll look into it. There are only two or three I’d really like to replace. Most eBay sellers send them out in nice plastic sleeves, which of course I retain.

Most VKB’s are undated, and most eBay sellers (except for the few who are in on the system) guess a later date than the correct one as they offer one for sale, -- a compliment to Vogue’s style, I think. But the Coronation makes an appearance in some of the advertisements in what must therefore be the Spring, ’53 issue, and it is possible to count forward and back from there. Since discovering that, I have bought a couple of immediate-post-war issues which actually have a date on the cover, and confirm my calculations.

(As far as I can remember, 9/11 is the only other contemporary event to intrude on those pages, in the modern incarnation of the magazine. The war is ever-present in the wartime issues, in the form of rationing and the need to keep warm, but there is no reference to Dunkirk or Pearl Harbour or el Alamein.)

I have just worked out, contemplating my VKB Desiderata List, that its life began when mine did, if one counts one’s intrauterine months as I believe the Chinese do. If it was published regularly twice a year from beginning to end – which I am now sure it was, right through the war – the first issue must have come out in the autumn of 1932. I was born in August, ’33. So there’s a factoid for you.

Moving on…

Some weeks ago I mentioned a stunning gansey, from Eriskay, which belonged to a friend’s father. She has now photographed it for me – for us all, as I have her permission to share these pictures. I love those silver buttons.

These pictures are all of the same sweater. I am sorry to throw them at you higgelty-piggelty, but I think you'll be happiest seeing them all. The pattern is concentrated on the upper yoke, as you see. The craftsmanship and attention to detail are breathtaking.


  1. Anonymous11:15 AM

    THANKS for the Gansey pictures. It is beautiful. Particularly the zig-zags on the cuff ribbing, which I will try to remember next time I plan one.
    By the way, I am not in Cornwall: I live in (hangs head in shame) Suburban Surrey, but I was born and bred a Cornishwoman, and feel it defines me! It is the Celtic business; impossible to shake off.

  2. Anonymous11:54 AM

    I loved the Gansey photos, one of the details is rather like the christmas tree motief in Ketki's gansey, isn't it?

    Regarding Jean from Cornwall's comment, I too feel defined by where I am from. Having lived the last 2/5 of my life abroad, I feel more Scottish than I would if I had stayed in Scotland. So, is it necessary to leave a place to be defined by it?

    Do you have the same feeling after many years away from your native land?


  3. Anonymous2:41 PM

    The Gansey photos are marvelous. Thanks so much for posting those.

    My comments on nationality - I guess I am a displaced American, born and educated in the U.S. but have lived "overseas" in various countries since 1966. My displaced Belfast born husband and I have been based in Dublin since 1968. I still feel American and am identified as same any time I open my mouth.

  4. Anonymous10:56 PM

    The gansey pictures are wonderful.
    I love the 'Nesting Shawl'! It seems like it would be big enough at 72" to just wrap yourself up it so cosy.
    The Calcutta Cup sweater is looking good, I am checking your progress on it, all the time.
    Thanks for all the treats.

  5. Anonymous12:58 AM

    The Eriskay gansey was worth waiting for. The cuffs are particularly nice; do you know whether that detail is unique to that gansey/family, or whether others do it? The pattern on the body below the yoke reminds me of Sanquhar work, done in texture instead of color.

  6. Anonymous8:19 PM

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