Thursday, April 05, 2007


Toni, I removed yours. I have never done such a thing before. The Knitting Personality you mentioned is an occasional visitor here, and I was very anxious not to cause pain.

Theresa, yours startled me, but on reflection I think you were absolutely right. Some people are always going to irritate us, in face-to-face life, in the virtual world, among the famous. It rarely if ever is a good idea to talk about it, at least where anyone might hear. And especially here, where my job is to write about knitting.

I shall reserve the right to be as rude as I like about irritating politicians, however.

A lace alphabet

I got a plug from Franklin this week, temporarily doubling my readership. It was about a knitted lace alphabet, and I think some people may have come here in search of one, and gone home to the Panopticon disappointed.

I can’t help. What I once did, in gratitude for his direct responsibility for Scotland’s 2006 winning of the Calcutta Cup, was introduce Franklin to Bridget Rorem’s knitted lace alphabet in Piecework magazine, May/June ’98. I did some googling yesterday on both “knitted lace alphabet” and “Bridget Rorem”, and I think I can say with some assurance that the alphabet isn’t out there. Oh dear. “out there”. …isn’t available anywhere.

In this blog -- Feral Knitter: July 2005 – I found a reference to a forthcoming book from Bridget. That’s exciting news, and offers at least slim hope that the alphabet may one day be within our reach again. The Feral Knitter is coming up “unavailable” this morning, but she was fine yesterday.

And from this one, which is working -- Gail's Good Yarn – I learned of a Debbie Bliss eyelet alphabet in “The Baby Knits Book”. I don’t have the book, but the alphabet is illustrated in the blog. Scroll down.

It’s beautiful, but the letters are perforce rather large. The difficulty with lace and the alphabet is that you can’t put two or more yo’s next to each other or directly above each other– and quite a few letters involve vertical or horizontal lines. (Any of us could devise a colour alphabet.) Bridget’s solution is brilliant, and it deserves to be permanently available. There will be a small but steady demand forever. If I knew her email address, I’d write to her. We did correspond once, and I know she is approachable and generous.

And meanwhile…

I have finished row 180 of the Princess border. 181, Sharon says, is where the nodding motifs begin. I can see a major change here, but I cannot detect any actual asymmetry until row 184. Proceed with caution.

I got the First Holy Communion veil onto my website yesterday. The next target is the Amedro Christening set, complete with Bridget Rorem lettering and Calcutta Cup. Angie (comment yesterday) you must never feel guilty about not knitting anything. That’s the whole point. Knitting is the world into which we withdraw and live at peace.


  1. The Interweave website shows that PieceWork May/June 98 is still available. And for just under $5, an absolute bargain.

    I know, because last year, when I was trying to chase down a lace alphabet, I found your Communion Shawl (which is gorgeous), and what you said about Bridget Rorem, and virtually ran over to Interweave, to get one of my own. Bridget's alphabet is a stunning bit of work, beautifully executed. ( The Debbie Bliss one is good, and competent, but not nearly as exciting.)

  2. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Your comments on the alphabet patterns are very helpful. I have finally realize that knitting should be signed and dated-at the very least dated.
    Please be rude and unpleasant to politicians-most all deserve it and more.

  3. Oh, my you responded in your blog to my comment, I am honoured. Your turn of phrase is delightful. BTW, since you are in or very close to a land where they cherish their tea, do you have any suggestions? I prefer PG Tips and Typhoo, but am looking for something a bit new.

  4. I think you underrate your blog if you think Franklin's redirections only temporarily increased your readership. Thanks for the source.

  5. Being rude about one's politicians is usually a national sport in most countries and therefore can't be treated in the same light as ordinary offensiveness ; ) In Australia we often caricature our politicians 'pollies' as parrots as they utter loud, raucous and repetitive statements. Thanks for publishing your alphabet sources : )