Saturday, February 02, 2008

I think we’re making real progress on the swallowtail coat front, thanks to helpful commenters.

I am going to run with Helen's comforting notion that anything goes, as long as it has split tails in back. She provides a delicious link in her comment yesterday to Ruskin in court dress. No wonder his wife ran off with Millais.

I had thought like you at one point, Karen, that a swallowtail coat had to be cut off abruptly at the waist in front – the costume, in fact, when rendered in red, of a circus ringmaster. That was the stage I had reached when I decided the Poet’s Coat wouldn’t do – it would have to be changed too radically.

But further research suggests at least that the term can also be applied to a coat which looks, in front, much like the Poet’s Coat, but which “swoops from the waist button to the center back in an arc”, in Fuzzarelly's most helpful words. Beatrix Potter’s Jeremy Fisher wears one at home, as Helen pointed out yesterday. Johnny Townmouse’s friends and relations do too, when they dress for dinner, but the pictures of Jeremy Fisher are more helpful.

So the swoop of the Poet’s Coat will have to be altered, so that it doesn’t finish until a point near the centre back. I think I would divide the tails in back somewhere near the waist, but only slope them very slightly on the inside, perhaps an inch or an inch and a half for each tail.

The next thing is to find some yarn – it must be of a beautiful blue. (I wonder if any of you will see where this is going.) I agree with you, Tamar – comment a few days ago – that alpaca, as prescribed in the book, is not what’s wanted. I should think a good honest DK weight in good honest wool. What one needs is a good honest LYS. Then a swatch. Then a plan actually done on knitter’s graph paper.

Miscellany and Politics

Dawn, I read and enjoyed Go Knit in Your Hat’s venture into politics. Manic Knitter, I had begun to hear rumbles of the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket. Trouble is, if Clinton goes top, the VP (unelected) will be named Bill: would Obama settle for that? My sister pooh-pooh’d the idea recently, on the very sound grounds that Clinton and Obama really don’t seem to like each other. I don’t understand why Edwards couldn’t run as VP again, but apparently not.

Here are the KF socks. I use slightly more than 100 grams to knit a pair of gent's socks, and have learned to save on yarn-buying (!) by finishing the toes from the odd-ball bag. In this case, the odd ball is the same KF colorway, in the stripy version.

And here the gansey:


  1. Anonymous12:00 PM

    From the gansey alone, Obama should win. That is lovely. I think Edwards' wife's health adds to his all or nothing attitude. VP, barring Cheney, has so much less influence, and travels so much more. . .

    I'm glad it is close enough that for once my primary vote will count on Feb 12.

  2. There was a US vice president once who described the job as not being worth "a bucket of warm spit." Edwards may feel he's paid his dues running with Kerry, and he may feel it's only worth putting his wife and family thru the wringer for the gold medal, rather than the silver.

    Thanks for the shout-out, Jean! I appreciate it.

  3. I would not mind a Obama/Edwards ticket. I see it here as win win. Can't see Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton. But it could happen.

  4. I'm so glad you're back, Jean! I love the swallow tail coat you linked to a couple days ago... don't know if you noticed, but there is a "bottle pocket" in it. Not that I think that a coat for a toddler should have a bottle pocket, but I do think that is a fun and feisty addition to any wardrobe.

    As a Canadian only somewhat removed from U.S. politics, I am very pessimistic about either Clinton or Obama getting elected. I really don't think that the American public is ready to elect a woman, or a young(er) man, never mind his race!
    I am, however, VERY willing to be pleasantly surprised!