Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hello, March. Here we are 1/6th of the way through 2009 and I have not bought a single yard of yarn.


Real progress. The 11th centre repeat is finished. I’m halfway across the third row of the 12th.

I had a moment of real gloom, seeing it spread out like that. It's bigger than the picture suggests. It’s too elaborate. No bride is going to want to be submerged in it. But then I remembered Cynthia’s remark, that we are knitting it (she and I) like Everest, because it’s there. It must be the largest and most complicated piece of lace ever published in English; quite possibly, anywhere.

According to Cynthia’s formula, I’ve now knit 63.3% of the centre. That begins to seem about right. The 11th repeat was 10% of the whole. The 12th should take me near 75%. There are nearly 14 repeats in all. I’ve now got 517 stitches on the needle – no wonder the rows are slow.

I seem to have five more stitches on each side than I should, still to be picked up (and five fewer on the needle – I am astonished that the numbers coincide). If I had exactly the right number, I would end, I think, in an inappropriate place – another four rows would round things off nicely. But I’m in a position where another ten rows would be required, so I think a couple of k2togs would be in order.


Perhaps it is time to confess my lapse.

I keep my precious Vogue Knitting Books in box files. I have one box that ends with No. 62, and another that encloses the eight issues of the New Series that appeared after the original disappeared. The New Series is very British, and very good. I presume the British tried to go it alone, after the American VKB went down.

But that’s by the way.

I am spending time on eBay these days trying to replace the shabbiest of the ones in my collection, and also ever searching for numbers Six, Seven and Eight which I have only in bound-volume form, without their covers. I spotted a Number 63. Wha?

It turns out 62 was not the end. The series went on at least until 69. (That would be autumn, ’66.) The covers and contents are very familiar. I have never thrown away a knitting magazine in my life, I don’t think – certainly not a VKB. They must be here somewhere, unless they got lost in the move from Birmingham to Edinburgh 15 years ago.

But I am buying them again. They’re relatively recent, and relatively cheap, compared to the rare and expensive pearls of 20 and 30 years earlier. They turn up regularly, and I am close to having them all. But it was an embarrassment to discover the gap.


  1. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Oh Jean, it's beautiful!!

    You never know, it still might be used as a bridal veil. It will certainly become a treasured family heirloom...oh wait, that's why it's called Heirloom Knitting!!

    With every row from now on, your percentage completed is going to increase much more rapidly.


  2. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Jean in our newspaper was an article by a gardening wizz recommending dividing snowdrops carefully(after they have flowered ofcourse) rather than planting new bulbs because the new bulbs almost always are dried out. It does explain why mine are fabulous: I divided them by mistake and now they form a field of white. Regards, Marcella

  3. Anonymous2:03 PM

    I'd wear it Jean, with a really simple dress to show it off to its full extent!

  4. Anonymous2:18 PM

    Not a yard of yarn purchased yet this year!! Does that make the princess shawl an integral part of any yarn fast?

  5. Anonymous5:47 PM

    If you can obtain the Summer 2003 issue of Interweave Knits, you can see an entire knitted wedding dress, complete with voluminous floating skirt. It's almost entirely stockinette, however, so must have been a boring slog to knit.
    -- Gretchen

  6. Anonymous2:13 AM

    Jean, it's truly beautiful. Someone, sometime, will be glad to wear it.