Sunday, February 01, 2009

So, farewell January. The first of my seed orders arrived yesterday -- '09 is truly underway. I've got (amongst much else) a climbing French bean called "Cherokee Trail of Tears", the idea being that the Cherokees carried seeds of it with them when driven from their homelands in Georgia. Who could resist? They came from the Real Seed Company.

Sorry about yesterday – and today will be a bit of a rush.

All day Friday I kept checking my email every ten minutes, hoping to hear from the Owner of VKB Sixteen. Nothing, and nothing yesterday morning. But now we’re back in touch, and she has sent me photographs of it. It’s shabby but it’s complete, and has its cover. She hasn’t actually said that I can have it, but that result is strongly implied.

Bonnie, I won’t collect anything else. Too old. Anyway, there’s more to be done here. First of all, I have numbers 6, 7 and 8 only in the bound volume recently purchased. I’d like to have them separately, with their covers. So I’ll keep looking. Secondly, some of the ones from the 50’s and 60’s (and one wartime one) lack their covers. Those are mostly ones that I bought live, off the newsstand, many decades ago, and then read to death in the bath.

eBay offers a pretty steady supply of VKB’s from those dates. I think prices are a bit lower than they were a couple of years ago, too. So I’ll try to get better copies.

Then I want to buy an American one, pretty well at random, and see what the overlap consisted of. Were all the patterns the same? Covers were different, and the ads will be different. In those days knitting magazines didn’t go in for articles, except perhaps for a few introductory paragraphs from the editor telling you to get gauge right or she’d come around to your house with the heavies.

Then – or, indeed, sooner– I want to have a thorough look at Vogue Knitting at War, and perhaps attempt an essay on the subject. Number 16 is crucial to that project – its date is spring, 1940. Number 15, autumn, 1939, although technically a wartime issue, must have been completely ready, and perhaps even on the newsstands, before war was declared on (I think) September 1. Then followed the winter of the Phoney War, during which – among other things that were going on – number 16 was produced. Hitler made his move in May, 1940. So number 17 is post-Dunkirk, and things were really serious.

As for knitting, I cast off the collar of Ketki’s sweater last night. Did I make it quite long enough? Pic tomorrow. I’m now gingerly approaching the sleeve-set-in question. Just think: I may be knitting the Princess within the week.

And as for travel, many thanks for all the tips. I am pretty well resolved on the London-Amsterdam-Hartford route, which may limit my chances of a bargain but I’ll keep watching. Yesterday I secured Lizzie, Rachel’s younger daughter, as a travelling companion. She's second from the right in the Grandchildren picture in my sidebar. Rachel says she is keen on airports, so we should have a grand time in Amsterdam.


  1. An essay sounds wonderful - perhaps an article for the current Vogue, or Piecework. If you are interested, I have a US VKB from 1960, I'd be glad to offer it up in the interest in the interest of Historical Research.

  2. It is always much nicer to have a travelling companion - to help read the signs, watch the bags etc.

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