Sunday, March 11, 2007

The match was a thriller – Scotland lost by one point.

I finished knitting the Calcutta Cup ’06 sweater. The neckline came out better than I expected. I’ll leave it for now. We’re going to London in early April (alas!) and it can be tried on Alexander then and comments solicited from the whole party.

“Finished knitting” does not, of course, mean “finished”. I’m working on the ends – I’ve done both sleeves and am inching up the side. At least Fair Isle isn’t as bad as tidying up after Kaffe. (Yes, I weave the ends in as I go, but I never trust them not to un-weave themselves, so I secure them anyway.) Then there are the underarm stitches to be grafted, and the blocking. Fair Isle isn’t as malleable at the blocking stage as sweaters knit in single yarns, but I hope to be able to get a little bit more width on both body and sleeves.

Double knitting

The link Natalie supplied in a comment yesterday was missing an “L”. This is the correct version, which she sent me later:

And see Kate’s comment yesterday for another very interesting article about the technique, from a different issue of Knitty. I’m going to have to keep a closer eye on that publication.

(I wrote “an URL” here not long ago, and Alexander pounced. It should be “a U.R.L.”, according to him. I asked Thomas-the-Elder yesterday over breakfast which way he said it, when he had to say it out loud. His reply was, “link”.)


Do follow up the very interesting link Lorna provided yesterday. The plain-vanilla link to the blog is The writer has come into possession of a delicious stock of American Vogue Knittings.

She says, if you scroll down to the post where she introduces the collection, that there’s a gap in the 70’s. I suspect – I’ll have to contrive to find out – that it was a real gap, that after the VKB went down in the late 60’s, there was no Vogue Knitting for a while on either side of the Atlantic, until the present Vogue Knitting International rose phoenix-like from the ashes. To coin a phrase.

I wandered around American eBay for a while yesterday. If I were really serious about this, I’d have to visit it regularly. VKB No. 2, the real VKB, the No. 2 I bought last Sunday, is on offer there. If No. 2, why not others?

American sellers are generous with illustrations, and there is no doubt that there is a considerable -- ?total -- overlap of patterns between VKB and the American magazine. I was particularly interested in the American Fall/Winter 1961 – the American ones are dated, thank goodness -- because I think I actually knit the pattern on the cover. But I knit it in 1956 or, less likely, ’55, when I was an undergraduate in Glasgow. By 1961 I was knee-deep in small children. I’ll buy that issue if it doesn’t fetch big bucks.


  1. Anonymous9:07 AM

    Oh my, the sweater looks just wonderful! I am looking forward to seeing the recipient wearing it. Great, great design!

  2. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Congratulations on finishing the Calcutta Cup sweater - it really looks striking.

    That was a close match yesterday - I only saw the last 3 minutes - Ireland holding on by the skin of their teeth.

    Am off to London this morning via ferry and train - maybe some day our visits will coincide either in London or Edinburgh.

  3. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Congratulations! Can I get a look at the raglan shaping?

    Eunny Jang just posted a peek at a new design of a fitted fair isle with a compound raglan sleeve and what looks like short rowed darts for the bust. It's too fitted for my still-slim-yet-advancing-in-years self, but the answers she finds to the design problems are interesting.

    I double knitted socks back when I was reading War and Peace in school, and found the passage in the book. I thought I was very clever for having figured it out, but twisted a stitch and didn't have the instructions they put into the Knitty article for how to fix said errant stitch. A friend remembers me finishing them, so I must have cut and tied it off. I now remember that, in the early seventies, my mother made several large cowl neck sweaters with a reversible double knit rib. This technique must go in and out of style.

    In any case, Calcutta Cup looks great!


  4. Hurray! I have been following the creation of the Calcutta Cup sweater since you began it. It's great to see it finished.

  5. Anonymous3:05 PM

    Sorry to be a bit behindhand on the subject of double knitting. There is a pattern for a double-fabric blanket in the 6th edition of Woolcraft (approx 1920's) which has a garter stitch border and a double faced stocking stitch centre produced by working "K1 WFWD Sl1 purlwise Wback" on an even number of stitches. This produces a tube of stocking stitch which is joined at the edges by the garter stitch, but would be joined at the edges even if you didn't have the garter stitch, so I can't visualise where the other ball of wool would come into play.

  6. Not to pick nits but the accepted practice is URL. It is both an abbreviation and an acronym, since some people pronounce it "earl." I have never seen it written as U.R.L., even though it stands for Universal Resource Locator.

    Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications uses URL. That's what we technical writers use as a style standard.

  7. Anonymous7:14 PM

    I have almost always heard it pronounced as the three separate letters (U.R.L.) and the "earl" pronunciation is a joke. Since relatively few things remain "universal" in computer-land, I approve of the switch to "link" even though technically a URL is not necessarily a link. Anyway, the use of "a" or "an" should depend entirely on the expected pronunciation; it's "a U.R.L.", "a URL", or "an url (not capitalized because it has become a word in itself)". I find this is another example of the tendency to shorten common words and expressions to at most two syllables. The lesson is that if you want your neologism to last, make it short and easily pronounced.

    The sweater is elegant. I hope there's no need to frog anything!