Sunday, October 05, 2008

From Thomas-the-Elder yesterday:

“…You will be pleased to hear that 'the bear', resplendent in his swallowtail coat of a beautiful blue, made it to Call night and I hope my mother will email you some photos when she manages to upload them. I sat next to the Rt. Hon. Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe at dinner who told me about Thomas Erskine, who was a member of Lincoln's Inn, and his role in the seditious libel trials of the 1790s. In light of this I have decided to name the Bear 'Erskine'. I hope you approve…”

The Princess continues well. I should be near enough the end of the 7th repeat for a picture tomorrow. I increasingly think I will proceed with the pattern as now set, but we shall see.

I allowed myself yesterday to imagine a future in which the Princess is finished – I felt bereft. I wandered back to the Heirloom Knitting site, and learned that Sharon is now offering a cashmere-and-silk gossamer yarn in various colours. (Her 100% merino gossamer yarn, which I am using for the Princess and which I adore, comes only in white.) I’ve got the patterns both for the Unst Bridal Shawl and the Shetland Lace Wedding Ring Shawl – either would be a worthy successor.

But why?

The point of the Princess is to be a bridal veil for granddaughters and people like that. Even if no one ever wears it, I’ve got a reason for knitting it. But a red or gold Unst Bridal Shawl? What use would it ever be, even in imagination?

I’ve got plenty of time to think about it.

World Affairs

Another bank down, this time in Germany. A big one. And events in Iceland, of all places, border on the bizarre. One imagines a simple, frugal and rather prosperous people, devoted to knitting. It turns out they are foolhardy venture capitalists like everybody else, and they’re paying for it.

The numbers look good for Obama at the moment. I wouldn’t blame him for fleeing in horror from the prospect of that job. I hope he’s got team members with steady nerves and some grasp of what’s going on.


  1. What if a grandchild should marry in a part of the world where white is the colour of mourning? It would be good to have a red shawl just in case.

    Will that do as an excuse?

  2. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I think that a red or gold shawl, which family members could wear to balls, parties and other significant occasions, would be a stunning and very much appreciated addition to the family heirlooms....


  3. there is a lot of icelandic investors here and i think they are not very pleased these days. they invested in department stores here after house of fraser had given up long time ago.

    the shawl colours sound great and actually i see a lot of interest in heirloom pieces in young people.

    even lesser pieces than those you are knitting are taken very well care of. at least by young people i know.

  4. Anonymous6:54 PM

    Red or gold. . . a Chinese wedding. Or simply, a wedding for anyone who feels white is funereal. Gold would be appropriate for a golden anniversary, of course. Either color would be right for a grand, joyous occcasion. Take the plunge!
    -- Gretchen

  5. Anonymous8:03 PM

    I agree with all of the comments above. Knit Unst in a color that makes YOU happy. I'm knitting Princess in Azure cashmere/cotton, and the color is a constant delight. It makes the process so much more enjoyable.

    Erskine is a great name for a bear!


  6. the bear is so charming ... and I am sure a complete "hit" -- when did the original idea come to you?

    Princess shawl -- yes, an heirloom. Colored? ikk. But young people want "color" -- I've now seen Orenburg type shawls in same sort of wool/varigated colors and the pattern just don't come out. But they look lovely with a coordinated outfit!

  7. Thankyou for being such a great chronicaler, Jean. I'm all nicely caught up over here. Congrats to T.t.E. on his Calling and what an achievement! All that endless study, not that it'll be over if what a barrister friend of mine says is anything to go by.

    I guess the religious ceremony makes sense with Law being considered a vocation. I imagine if I had time to look at the history books, I'd find that 'clerk' is derived from cleric and that law was a practice of the Church. A friend of mine did an honours thesis on instances of clerical law's prevalence in Australian non-criminal law.

    I'm looking forward to a breather where I'll be able to mess about with the colour generator. In the meantime, dreams of After Princess knitting are lots of fun. Your speculations only serve to widen my knowledge of what's out there : )

  8. I would cheer on anyone who knits one of these complex wonders, in any colour.
    If you or your family/friends would enjoy it in red or another non-traditional colour, then it will surely be worth it to knit it.