Friday, May 25, 2007

The Little Boy sweater is finished: maybe one day soon we can have a picture of it with a little boy inside.

And I’ve started Sam the Ram.

When it came to a provisional cast-on for the second shoulder strap for the gansey at Kirkmichael earlier in the week, I used the idea Ted suggested: tie two yarns together, put the knot under the tip of the needle, then do an ordinary long-tail cast-on with the waste yarn as the one that goes round the thumb. Easy, quick. I did it again last night for Sam.

We won’t send for the champagne, though, until we find out how easy it is to undo. Both cast-on’s were brief, so there’s no great harm done if I wind up as usual laboriously unpicking.

Gansey comments

Thank you, Vivienne – I’ll look up that pattern today. I agree about the need for charting, and the tedium of pencil and paper. I have the program Stitch & Motif Maker. I use it rarely, but when I do, it’s invaluable. “Mrs Laidlaw’s pattern”, the basis for my gansey, isn’t charted in Gladys Thompson’s book, although lesser patterns are. I made a chart with that program – it’s quicker than paper and pencil, I think, and certainly more fun. But I was alarmed, as I checked the link just now, to see how expensive the current version is.

Donna, I’m glad to have a reason for mentioning the source of the gansey wool again: it came from Jan at Frangipani. Mine is “Herring Girl’s Pink”. Jan couldn’t have been more helpful, and the yarn is wonderful. Firm, brilliant on stitch definition.

Mary Lou, it was exciting to “meet” someone else who has knit Mrs Laidlaw’s pattern. How did you do the sleeves, exactly? As you see, mine are plain except for the broken rib panel and its attendant reverse-st-st pennants. I found the body tough going in patches, especially the part after I had divided for the sleeve holes and had to keep flipping the pattern over in my mind to knit the wrong-side rows. But at the moment, I am very happy with the result.

Rabbit comments

Does “Liquid Fence” work, Sister Helen? I think I have established via Google that it isn’t available in the UK. Even in concentrate, a liquid is going to be expensive to ship. And it’s expensive to begin with. But if it works, it’s worth anything.

Rabbits have been getting in to the inadequately-fenced portion of my garden. That hasn’t happened before, and I don’t see how they’re doing it. So far they have just eaten the chives and – feeling rather ill? – the parsley. But soon there will be all sorts of delicious things for them in there.

We have never eaten them before, but I am tired of this. I have quite a few tasty recipes lined up, but they will have to wait until James comes in the summer. My husband won’t clean his successes for me, as he doesn’t much care for eating rabbit. Too much like the War, perhaps. James is less squeamish.


  1. Anonymous8:45 AM

    The little boy sweater is neat - I can just picture it being worn.

  2. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Jean my Mrs. Laidlaw sleeves are plain except for the panel - just like yours. In retrospect, something else might have helped the panel recede less, but too late now. I'll try to get a picture up on my blog. I just washed and put away for the winter -unblocked, of course, so the receding will be quite obvious.

    Working the pattern flat for the armholes did cause me a bit of grief as well. And I am a bit less sanguine when ripping out rows worked at 7 sts per inch, that's for sure, but it had to be done more than once as I recall.

    I also laboriously charted out Mrs. Laidlaw with an old mac shareware program. I now have Stitch Painter, which is also not inexpensive, but a good program.

  3. On behalf of the rabbits, may I suggest just getting them drunk and then driving them far away and letting them out of the car?

    Well, it always works to get rid of me ...

  4. Anonymous10:31 PM

    I love the pocket on the little boy sweater. Neat for little boys to stick all kinds of finds in during their busy days. As for rabbits, they go best with barbecue sauce and that lingering aftertaste of vengeance. Just be glad they're not groundhogs. Nothing daunts them and nothing stops them. Sometimes I even believe they wear kevlar. And you can't eat the nasty things.