Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kathy. you’ve got it right. I thought there must have detailed exposition somewhere of the thinking behind the gansey.

The trouble turns out to have been, that I didn’t refer to Barack Obama by name in the crucial passages, so the search failed. My sister sent me the famous picture of Theo and Obama on February 12, '07 (it’s on the first page of my website – see sidebar). I put it in the blog on Feb 13, along with a general discussion of knitting cashmere, a propos the then-new cashmere Koigu.
You wrote: “If cashmere Koigu will help your nephew help get That Politician elected, I'll contribute some!”

And I said, the next day: “Kathy in Juneau, you’ve hit a totally illogical nerve to which I feel absurdly responsive. Would knitting a cashmere Koigu for Theo somehow qualify as putting one’s shoulder to the forward propulsion of the BO bandwagon?

I had a similarly ridiculous feeling when my daughter Helen was pregnant for the second time.Her eldest son died at six weeks, and is buried (in K*rkmichael) wrapped in his shawl. For Archie, who came next, I knit this one, of Jamieson & Smith lace-weight. It was for me, at the time, a forward movement into the unknown, finer yarn and fancier lace than I had ever tackled before. And I constantly felt, as I worked on it, that I was helping God knit the baby. First the endless edging – it’s an Amedro pattern, and that’s the way she does things – while the baby himself took shape and Helen felt lousy. Then the fun part, while Archie grew and got strong.

So you may well have contributed to a sweater for Theo, if not necessarily to the next presidency, although we can hope.”

So that settles that. Thank you.

The idea of using cashmere Koigu was abandoned when I saw some -- it doesn't glow like real Koigu.

The gansey is getting on fine. The sleeve decreases have now become sensible. (The OED gives that meaning of the word first, although it adds “in this use, now rare”. I can’t think of an alternative.) I measured and did the calculations again last night, and find that continuing to decrease one-round-in-three will result in a slightly-too-long sleeve. I’ve decided not to change, though. I could accelerate during the plain bit above the cuff (where the initials BHO will go, on the right sleeve); or decrease more than planned in the round immediately above the cuff; or have a few more stitches than currently planned in the cuff itself.

This rummage in the archives has taken up so much space that it’s time to stop. Knitting-for-the-Games-in-ought-eight should have been on yesterday’s list of topics. Maybe I’ll start there tomorrow.


  1. Hi,Jean,
    This is really a comment on yesterday, but I was so amazed I didn't reply at once.
    I had no idea that you had actually checked out my dormant blog. I stopped posting because I got disheartened. I had hoped to develop some interaction, but there were so few comments I felt as if I were posting into a void. I really related to your post when you had no comments that Sunday.

  2. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Jean, reading your entry on Archie and the same Amedro shawl you recommended for me to do, reminded me that I haven't managed to take a decent picture it myself - the duvet cover it was blocked on was also white, but you can kind of see it on ravelry (i am "raker" on there). In addition, I'm still in discussions with the local priest about the Christening (I know no other Catholics in England and sorting out godparentage is becoming very hassly) so there are no pictures of it in use yet - much to my mother's horror as my daughter is now 7 months old...

  3. Catriona -

    My sister was baptised (Catholic) in England, nearly 40 yrs ago now, and had proxy godparents who stood in for the "real" ones, who were in Australia and couldn't then travel over as one might these days.

    Could you have proxies stand in now for the "real" ones who are elsewhere?