Friday, March 14, 2008

Scotland’s Calcutta Cup victory last Saturday has complicated my knitting schedule.

England and Scotland play for the Calcutta Cup once a year, and England usually win. It was made in Calcutta in the 19th century, and has an elephant on top, and cobras for handles. It is one of the oldest sporting trophies in the world. Scotland won in 2000. One of our grandchildren was born in that year – I knitted the cup into her Christening shawl.

Scotland won again in Ought Six, and that time I knit a sweater for Alexander.

It is more than a bit unexpected to have another victory so soon, especially as Scotland had been rubbish in their previous three matches in the '08 tournament (against France, Wales, and Ireland). I must certainly knit something this time. The alternatives, not exclusive, are to include a panel in the Princess shawl with both dates, ’06 and ’08 -- I was already working on it two years ago.

Or to knit a Fair Isle sweater for Ketki on the lines of her husband’s one. She’s the only possible candidate – Rachel lives in a nest of Englishmen of her own making, who wouldn’t like to see her wear such a thing. James and Helen and their spouses don’t know (or care) what the Calcutta Cup is. It would give me a chance to try what I think of as the Prince of Wales joke, where you choose a pattern which is symmetrical both horizontally and vertically. Then you can pick up the sleeve stitches at the shoulder and knit the pattern sideways (so to speak) down the sleeve, so that it looks as if it were cut from a single piece of cloth.

I meant to do that with Alexander’s sweater, and only realised when the knitting was fairly well advanced that it won’t work if you use more than two colours in the pattern.

A reference in Helen’s blog has sent me to Eunny Jang’s Autumn Rose pullover in “Simply Shetland 4”. I think that pattern could be tweaked into symmetricality, and like Helen, I like the idea of knitting something that looks circular. I wouldn’t attempt Eunny’s shape; I think you’d have to be 19, or seriously underweight, to wear that.

Today’s excitement, however, is the long-awaited knitting conference at the National Gallery, so I had better give some attention to breakfast now.

Fr David Gemmell

Thank you, commentators yesterday, for reading about Fr David on his webpage – it’s now back up. I was especially glad to hear from you, Mogs, who knew him. We will try to go to the funeral on Monday, but it won’t be easy to get in to the cathedral.


  1. Anonymous8:36 AM

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  2. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Ooh! I didn't realize you had access to the Pasold knitting conferences! Please do report in detail! The maritime influence on the design of (presumably Scottish) guernseys sounds particularly interesting.

  3. Oh that sweater you knit is just lovely.

  4. I think you should add the '06 and'08 victories into the Princess Shawl - what a unique way to personalize it.

    I second Tamar's request for details about the knitting conference.

  5. Checking in a bit late here, but I'm knitting Meg Swansen's "Russian Prime" sweater with the technique you describe - picking up the sleeves and knitting in pattern already established. It's not difficult at all, and looks very, very cool, if I do say so myself. In fact, the hardest part is not over-thinking the entire situation and making it more difficult for yourself than it really is.