Friday, November 07, 2008

Tamar, I don’t deserve you. I am printing the results of your careful work right this moment, and will keep the print-out with my own inadequate notes for the knitting of Alexander’s sweater.

(And don’t worry about Obama – yet. I had a message from Helen in Athens yesterday, along much the same lines: all the excitement reminded her too vividly of the Princess of Wales. The difference is that there is a cool intelligence at the centre of this fuss, and plenty of people to cut him down to size – starting with his wife, I feel sure, and an ambition not just to be president but to be a good one. It’s a tough assignment, with the world as it is, but he’ll try. We shall see.)

While we’re on the subject of politics, yet again, Labour won the Glenrothes by-election yesterday by a handsome margin. You read it here first, on October 14: “I predict that Labour will hold Glenrothes, and rightly so.”


So yesterday I switched from the swatch cap to a simple swatch. I feel happier. The green-y “multi” makes a nice fabric. I can use the contrast colours I had already planned for the ribbing and collar and Calcutta Cup band. The blue-y stripe looked nice enough as a background colour when I was doing a Fair Isle pattern on the swatch cap, but doesn’t seem to me to speak to the other yarn at all, when used as a stripe.

So I'll leave it out. I'm afraid I've got plenty of yarn.

And the pattern is here on this computer, so I’m all set. I’ll finish the swatch and adjust the pattern to the actual gauge if need be (and I know, swatches don’t work), and I’m ready to roll.

I spent a moment yesterday re-reading the “one-yarn intarsia” article in the current Knitter’s – but it won’t work here, because the individual colour runs in this yarn aren’t long enough. I then went back to this article about knitting an ikat fabric. I coiled the yarn on the floor and found, to my own surprise, that I was able to re-create the skein, so to speak. But there’s a lot of complication between that and knitting a sweater, so I shelved the idea, sadly.

I like the way the colours pool on the swatch, and if the body numbers can be tweaked to be a multiple of 48, I'll do it. But will even that work, since the body will be knit circularly to the armpits?


  1. the front page of the newspaper was quoting michelle for saying: you will still have to take out the garbage.

    and why do they say he is of afro american descent???

    doesn't that mean that one actually has a long 'black' pedigree in the us?? wouldn't it be more correct to say that he is of african and american descent?
    i just wondered and you would be the person to ask. not that it matters but since it is so emphasized.

    swatching is great. so much fun to evaluate possibilities. i wonder how long it would take to make all the barbara walker swatches as a really nerdy project. i know that there is a project going on on the internet but anyway.

  2. Jean, for light, I've got a couple of Ott lights in my house. One that may be nice for you (portable to go to Strathardle) might be something like this.

    I'm shocked at how much easier it is to read using these lights, much less work on knitting - especially any darker colors.

    I commend Knitich for finding swatching fun. I'm too eager for that - I want to cast on immediately, not "waste" time on a swatch, and have it turn out perfectly. Yes, I know. That is not a rational way to proceed and often will end in disaster.

    Do you wash/block your swatches when working with a yarn you haven't worked with before?