Sunday, February 15, 2009

Three knitting magazines in the post yesterday – five, if you count two old Vogue Knitting Books which I recently bought on eBay because they have covers and the equivalent ones in my collection didn’t. A Personal Best never likely to be equalled.

One of them was something called “Designer Knitting” which I had never heard of. Turns out it’s VK renamed “to comply with USA regulations”. Wha? Did that happen in the USA as well? I notice that it isn’t published by Conde Nast any more. Does Conde Nast still exist? Life is full of questions.

Still, it’s the real VK all right, with Jared’s promised cabled gloves, and very delectable they are. As a bonus, there is a picture of Jared, who is also rather delectable. And only twenty-six! I didn’t expect that.

Meg is writing about EZ’s snail hat. I attempted it once, but used far too small a wool and my result would hardly fit Barbie. It’s fun to do: might be worth ordering some Sheepsdown and doing it properly.

I was taken aback at the classification of Kaffe’s nice scarf as “very easy” and surprised to find a scarf in a stitch – intarsia – which is so resolutely one-sided. All the photographs have been arranged so that not a glimpse of the reverse shows.

As for knitting, I have embarked on Row 7 of the 11th repeat of the Princess centre. The early rows are rather slow, with lots of double decreases. Things open out after row 11. But it’ll remain slow, with all these stitches.

I never do k3tog for a double decrease any more – I’ve had too many sad episodes involving the escape of the middle stitch. I learned from Margaret Stove herself that the stitch the needle enters first, for any decrease, is the one that winds up on top. When it looks as if a double decrease ought to be centred, therefore, I do it by slipping two stitches as if to knit them together, knitting the next stitch, and lifting the two slipped stitches over. When it looks as if direction doesn’t matter, I do the easiest one of all, slip 1, k2tog, psso.


The current Economist has quite a bit on the subject of the Kindle and allied electronic readers, but nothing that seems to advance my case.


  1. Anonymous4:33 PM

    The Sony e-reader thing came out best in UK Good Housekeeping's tests of such things this month (scored 85/100) - although of course they did not have a Kindle to compare it with

  2. I should think that if I were to do an intarsia scarf, I'd want to work it in the round to hide the reverse, despite the challenges that poses. The other option would be to sew on a fabric lining on the reverse, or knitting a facing that could be sewn or crocheted on.

    I came within a few feet of meeting Jared at Rhinebeck a couple of years ago but was unfortunately busy dealing with customers to our booth, and he wandered off fairly quickly. And of course, I'd had someone asking me questions about Koolhaas the previous day, and I didn't get a chance to pose them to him. He was very prompt at responding when I e-mailed him about it later, though, and has always struck me as a very pleasant fellow.

  3. I saw on another blog that the British VK was changing the name and they didn't have an explanation, either. Quite the mystery. The information you listed about being compliant with some US regulation piqued my interest. Now I must find out the reason for the change and what (most likely) ridiculous regulation led to this outcome.

    I thought of your son, Jean, as I send away for a subscription to the Economist for my husband as his birthday gift. He used to have a subscription, but let it lapse shortly before we moved last fall, and he's been regretting it ever since.

    I found The Knitter in a bookstore (national chain) and I was quite please with it. It had a number of patterns I'd like to make - enough to justify the US price. I was already a bit biased in its favor as it was not in a plastic wrapper as the other UK knitting mags are. Another bonus was the printing quality and the heavy paper used. This is a magazine that will withstand being dragged around in a knitting bag.

  4. Anonymous12:13 AM

    I made the snail hat a couple of times, using some sort of very bulky yarn that wasn't Sheepsdown. It looked like the picture but the spirals of holes created during the knitting was so big that the hat wasn't warm; I ran a strand of yarn through the holes to fill them. Sheepsdown would probably fill it in better, but I think of the snail hat as a toy.

    I read somewhere that Kaffe's work always has loads of loose ends. If I made an intarsia scarf I would put a backing on it too, possibly a felted backing.

  5. Anonymous4:11 AM

    Jean, your blog has the most interesting comments (or commenters?) of all the blogs I read! Who knew there were so many Peter Davison, Margery Allingham or Lord Peter Wimsey devotees in the knitting world?

    I met Wimsey, Allingham and Marsh via Mary Cantwell's cooking column in Glamour Magazine, circa 1969... what can I say, I was young and naive! I've loved them ever since! Thanks for sending me back to reread them all.

    We have Netflix, and I find they feed into all my worst character traits, especially procrastination and avoidance. You can keep them as long as you want and never pay a late fee.... sometimes they sit for 5 or 6 weeks.... it would probably be cheaper to buy them!

    Barbara M.

  6. Dear Jean - I have found 2 of your daughter-in-law's books here in Hong Kong. I'm saving them to read on the plane on the return journey. I read War and Peace en route to Hong Kong last week and am now approaching the end. W&P in paperback is certainly bigger than a kindle but I still prefer to read a paperback or hardback copy of a book.

    Have yet to see any knitting magazines or yarn here in Hong Kong. But I did buy a wonderful wool hat knit in Nepal.

  7. he is a knitting wunderkind that one. only twenty six. doesn't tell in neither his taste or his writing or his meticulousness. he is one great pattern writer. equals even ms. starmore.

    oh the snail hat. it can be made in bulky lopi which may or may not be more easily accessible.

  8. catching up ... thanks for the k3tog tip ... I've noticed on my swallowtail nupps purl 5 (?) together that if I am not careful, there are "stray" loops ... and read I'd better go back and "fix" them LOL