Saturday, March 14, 2009

Safely back. Where to start? There were some good Lolcats waiting for me.

Princess etc

I reached row 45 of the 12th centre repeat for my Princess last night – I should finish the repeat today. I’ve printed out my signature square, as charted by Stitch and Motif Maker – here’s a scan of it, enough to convey the general idea. Now I must add in the alternate plain rows in the letters and numbers, and figure out exactly where to put it.

The pattern for the Queen Ring shawl turned up in Tuesday’s post (I ordered it on Sunday afternoon), just before we hit the road. It’s pretty wonderful. This limited first edition is numbered and signed, as the Millers have done before. I ordered on Day One, and mine is no. 19, so I think it safe to assume that initial sales have been brisk.

Sharon was trying to recreate an antique shawl she had found, using the original technique. The result is rather a lot of sewing-up at the end. Sewing-up is not my style, so I have been forced to think, and have concluded that I may attempt a stole, using the Queen’s edging and border and centre patterns. There are prototypes in this excellent leaflet which Jamieson & Smith used to sell. I hope they still do.

One would have to start at opposite ends and graft the results together in a convenient garter stitch section. That’s do-able: I rather enjoy grafting. The truly happy aspect of this conclusion is that I can revert to thinking of the deep colours in Hairloom Knitting’s “cash silk”. A sample came with the Queen Ring pattern, and it’s pretty amazing.


The Strathardle weather was on the grim side, compared to a fortnight previously. The soil was workable, but wet and bitter cold, very hard on one’s poor knitting fingers. I thrust the strawberries in rather unceremoniously the evening of our arrival. They look reasonably happy so far. I took greater care with the rasps the next morning, wrapping their toes in some nice warm, dry compost.

I found this website recently. It’s too diffuse – I won’t be spending much time there. But I bought his book, because it was cheap and because I hoped it would bring me up to speed on soil chemistry. It hasn’t, but it contains the astonishing statement that rabbits don’t like lettuce. I certainly won’t venture the whole crop, but I’ve got to test that. (Some of my garden is fenced, some not.) I might as well see what rabbits think of salsola soda while I’m at it.

(I don’t know anything about its cultivation – how did I get started on this? – so I looked it up. The Royal Horticultural Society says that it prefers poor soil and a cool, wet summer. I would suspect a lesser source of trying to be funny.)


  1. Anonymous11:19 AM

    My shawl pattern is in the mail, ordered Monday morning. Maybe I'll be in the first 50.

    If you want to avoid the seams on QRS, you can knit all 4 borders at once, going back and forth while increasing at the corners, and doing a wrap and turn join at the end of the round. You could also knit one side border, and then knit the others, joining by knitting the last stitch together with the "bump" of the corresponding row of the finished side. Either makes a much less obvious seam than the sewn version. You can see my join on my finished Scandinavian Queen shawl on Ravelry ( cindersall)

    A stole is also a great option. Or both!


  2. Anonymous4:57 PM

    I've been planning on making stoles from several of Sharon's patterns, because I don't wear my square shawl...and it would be less fiddly but still use all the patterns! And then I might be able to knit them all in this lifetime!! I would do them per the Unst Lace Stole instructions in the book: cast on (I would use a provisional cast on) and knit the center and then one border, then go back and pick up for the other border and follow with the edging all around. No sewing or grafting except the beginning to end of the edging!!

    My Unst Lace Stole is a bit short, so I would make sure I knit the center longer than instructed for the square shawl, more rectangular than square.

  3. I think the stole is a wonderful idea. I was looking at Heirloom Knitting and the Lerwick Shawl book thinking of a stole just this morning. Something much less ambitious than yours, of course.

  4. Jean I have that leaflet you show if you would like it? email me at amber(dot)moggie(at)virgin(dot)net and I'll send it out to you.