Monday, March 19, 2007


Laritza, the yarn for Ketki’s gansey came from Jan at Frangipani. She was tremendously helpful – traditional 5-ply Guernsey wool is the only thing she sells, and there’s an excellent range of colours.

Helen, my mother too went a bit soft on Mother’s Day towards the end. I disapprove with every fibre of my being, but perhaps the same thing is happening to me – at any rate, Rachel always phones on Laetare Sunday. Neither of us makes any reference to the purpose of her call, but I’d miss it if it didn’t come.


I knit happily on, on the little-boy sweater. I don’t seem to have kept any notes about how to translate the Wonderful Wallaby pattern, which is written for worsted, into a finer yarn, but I’ve done it twice so it can’t be too difficult. The last time through someone suggested – and I wish I could remember who, to thank her again – putting in a line of purl stitches where the bottom of the wallaby pouch is going to be attached. Even with worsted, I found it very difficult to keep going in a straight line. So I’ve done that.

I like the way the colours are working out, a lot. But I’m going to leave it one more day before taking a picture. It’s not ikat, more a wonderful swirl. Natalie has warned me to be careful to wind each skein in the same direction. That is something I’m sure I’ve never heard of, but I think I can see what she means now that the knitting is underway.

There was an article somewhere once about getting ikat effects from a hand-painted yarn. Does anyone remember? It was probably in IK, probably in a general article about knitting with hand-painted yarn, not terribly recently. The general idea was that you coiled the yarn on the floor and measured the distance between repeats of the colour sequence and somehow incorporated the measurement in your knitting. It sounded like a lot of trouble when I read about it, and it sounds like trouble as I write it now, but I’d like to think about it again, now that I have discovered The Yarn Yard. I could try Google.

The books I ordered a fortnight ago are beginning to flow in, and there is still much to write about the Vogue Knitting Book, but I’m going to leave it all for another day. Since there’s nothing to illustrate this morning, I’ll quit with the usual picture of My Garden. Nothing much is happening under the rhubarb-forcing pot, but I got a few spadesful of earth turned over, and humped a load of manure in – you can see it piled up – and prepared four of the eventual eight stations for courgettes: that’s them under the plastic water-bottles.


  1. Anonymous9:35 AM

    I think the IK issue you were mentioning was Fall 2004, on page 122. Also, Kim Salazar on her wiseneedle site, I believe, uses the technique in a couple of her free patterns. Looking forward to your pictures.

  2. Thanks for the yarn info. I have her color card!

  3. Anonymous6:18 PM

    I was thinking of Kim Salazar also, though it may have been on her String or Nothing website.

  4. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Estelle Carlson, a southern California knitter who died a year or so ago, was known for this technique. An old Cast On magazine had an article on the technique. If you don't have access, there is a great summary here: