Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Ides of March

Princess etc

The 12th centre repeat is finished. I can’t offer a picture this morning because I am in the middle of Row Four, no less, of the 13th repeat, the final complete one. I’ll try to find an inter-row moment today for photography.

This means that I ought to be able to polish off the tedious early rows of this repeat before we light out again – to London, a week tomorrow.

I try not to think ahead except in small snatches, like that, but the concept of Finishing looms larger and larger. According to Cynthia’s Formula, I have now knit 75.7% of the centre. That means I have knit about 25% of it since I resumed in early February. Does that mean I’ll finish the centre by the end of April? Answer: no. Too much time away from Edinburgh in the near future.

The Calcutta Cup ’09 will be fought for on Saturday, I think, so there’s plenty of time to incorporate it in the unlikely event of Scotland’s winning.

That is a picture of the Scottish captain and the Cup in (I think) 2000. I knit it into a Christening shawl that year.

I am more and more taken with the idea of a stole, and very grateful, Maureen, for being pointed in the direction of the Unst stole in Sharon’s “Heirloom Knitting”. It is interesting that you say yours is too short – it looks enormous in the photograph. How long do you think would be about right? It’s a delicate and important question.

But one that doesn’t have to be settled in advance. One can plunge in, and elongate the centre when one gets there.

Couldn’t one start with the edging for one end, Orenburg-fashion, pick up stitches and knit on? Less provisional casting-on, which I have never entirely mastered. Then one would have to do it again at the other end, and knit the edging for the two long sides attaching as one proceeded and making it come out even for the corner joins.

Cynthia, thanks for the pointer to your Scandinavian Queen shawl, which is beautiful. I had thought of knitting the borders by turning around at the end – I think I got the idea from Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, long ago; I used it once for a baby shawl. The turning-point was conspicuous, but less so than my sewing would have been. However, it hadn’t occurred to me to knit the borders one by one and have four joins – that’s an elegant refinement of a brilliant idea.

Now, London

We talked once of trying to arrange a little knit-in at….I’ve forgotten the name of the shop; near Vauxhall, wasn’t it? Now that the opportunity looms, I feel a bit scared a) at the idea of letting my husband wander about alone (he’s 83) and b) for fear I would be boring and tongue-tied at my own party.

However, we’re going to be in London for a whole week, so maybe this is our chance. Thursday or Friday the 26th or 27th would be best for me. Is anyone interested?


  1. Hello Jean - I would be interested except I'm going to be in London this coming Thursday and Friday, not the following week, alas.

  2. I was hoping to catch the train over from Bristol to meet you, but the 26th and 27th I'll be in Iceland. I will be at loose ends in London the afternoon/evening of the 25th (flight is at 9pm) and the morning of the 30th!

  3. Anonymous3:37 PM

    I would like an extra couple of repeats in the center of my Unst Lace Stole...but remember, I am pretty ample so my shawls need to be pretty generous in the wingspan dimension. Part of the problem is that it's pretty wide, as any of the square shawls will be if you make them into stoles, so it seems to need a bit more length to drape well. As you said, it's a decision you can make as you get there!

    Regarding using the Orenburg construction, how would that work for the directionality of the borders? If you did both ends and knit you'd have to graft, grafting in lace is not my strong point! I know there's a stole in one of the Japanes knitting books that is constructed this way but I haven't knit it. I've thought about it but have never knit a shawl in the Orenburg style so that has been a question for me. Anyway, I use the crochet cast on as a provisional, I've gotten pretty good at that now so I can stick with it for this. LOL You can always use a lace cast on as Sharon directs but there's a chance it won't be loose enough...don't ask me how I know this!

  4. Anonymous5:44 PM

    I'd be very happy to meet up on the afternoon of 26th March. I think the shop you're thinking of is IKnitLondon which is now near Waterloo. I'm meeting up with my daughter to go to the Old Vic in the evening so could be there earlier, so if you decide to do so I'd love to see you htere.

  5. I could make Thursday 26th March in the afternoon easily and also the Friday 27th March with a little rearranging if this were better for you.
    here is the link
    and Ravelry page here
    Afternoon is easier for me for travelling into London. I could be at I Knit probably any time after 1pm. or later if that suits you and others.
    I knit have a table and chairs and a licensed bar where we can sit and knit and chat. The shop is delightful as well. Thursday is one of their knit nights but that starts at 6pm and I could not stay that late anyway. They also do not open until 11am each day. If you plan a meet up it is probably a good idea if we phone them and tell them for I think they will be keen to welcome you and your blog followers and they can get the chairs out for us!

  6. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Jean, I could do the 27th at any time, but not the 26th (can't please all the people...). It sounds like a great idea and if you decide on the 26th then I can live vicariously by reading about it :-)

  7. Try not to be concerned about being an effervescent host. All you need is you and your knitting. Even if the conversation falters, it is still a comforting activity to be sitting and knitting with others.

    Oh, to live in London so I could knit with you all.

  8. Anonymous11:05 PM

    You can start the stoles with the end pieces. If you hunt through the photo archives of the Shetland museum, you'll see stoles the were knitted this way. You can tell because of the direction of the stitches, and the appearance of some of the motifs (some look different depending on the direction they were knitted).

    The other thing to look for is a graft in the edging on either side of the stole, at the level where one end would be attached to the centre. Sometimes the edging's pattern repeat was a bit too long or short and you'll see a break in the continuity or the pattern. Or you'll see something is visually "off" at that location, which, I think, is where the grafting didn't completely "work" .

    Amedro has a stole in her book that starts with a short strip of edging and some fancy corner turning. The piece is worked as a continuous length, but you could easily start with one end and continue it through the centre part; then work another end, and graft it to the live stitches of the centre. Work some samples, though, because any woosling in the graft of your edging will be visible.

    Hope that all made sense.