Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We’re all set to go to Strathardle today – we’ve decided to overlook the possibility of snow, and just plunge ahead. I should be back here Saturday morning, D.V.


I took an hour yesterday to chart my signature (JMM/2009/AMDG). It was only this morning, pondering a problem, that I realised Bridget Rorem intends you to knit alternate rows plain. I think I can do that all right without re-writing the chart – but it means quite a few more rows than I thought at first. I must start pretty soon.

I’ve reached row 41 of the 12th repeat. That means, barring disaster, that I should finish the repeat (46 rows) next week. I’ll then stop, as usual, to take stock – but this time I’ll figure out exactly where the centre is going to end, and what adjustments I’ll need to make to get there. And where to start the signature box. If Scotland win the Calcutta Cup this year, per impossibile, it’ll have to go off to the side in a little box of its own.

I’ve heard from Mike Miller – my Queen Ring pattern is on its way. Cottage industry it may be, but the Millers are extremely pleasant and efficient to deal with. My friend with Chronic Knitting Syndrome, who knows more about the ins and outs of the Internet than anyone I’ve never met, sent me this link to a better picture of the museum Princess.

K1 Yarns

When I got there on Saturday, I was thinking Aran cardigan as a possible "child's cardigan" entry for this year's Games. But Mrs Fyberspate – who sounds American – had brought a Baby Surprise with her, which she had ingeniously altered to make it double-breasted. And I thought, why not? My triangle idea, only easier. I’m not clever enough to size up a Baby Surprise, but I thought I could size the Adult Surprise down. So I bought some Scrumptious (she must be American) DK, 45% silk 55% merino, half solid, half hand-painted.

The solid seems much more lustrous than the hand-painted, but the proprietress said all I had to do was treat the hand-painted skeins roughly and they would begin to glow.

The Adult Surprise is in The Opinionated Knitter (I thought I had the Spin Off leaflet, but I can’t find it.) And it’s done on the famous Percentage System, so there’s my scaling done for me. There are even suggestions for alterations to make it more cardigan-like, less jacket-y.

I don’t understand the pattern; blind following will be necessary. Meg says, in a note, that it’s a good idea to knit a Baby one first, to get the general idea. I must have knit half a dozen Babies through the years, and I still haven’t the faintest notion how it works.

I think maybe I’ll take this along when we go to London for some art at the end of the month. I’ve sort of gone off socks. They can’t take knitting away from me on a train.


  1. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Dear Jean,

    Your yarn is indeed scrumptious. Your 'American' comment regarding 'scrumptious'surprised me so I looked it up. I always thought of it eluding to edibility even for things that were not edible but the definition did not mention edible. Always good to learn.

    The baby surprise should be a good shot for the Games. When you first mentioned the category, I was thinking about the cardigan I saw on a blog which the blogger designed based on the Hungry Caterpillar. I haven't been able to find it again, but it was a work of art.

    All the best for your trip to Strathardle. I will be experiencing the Scottish spring for myself very soon.

  2. Another reader sent to the dictionary. I checked the OED, which mentions food in definition 2.b. The first definition is "fastidious, hard to please," which has me rethinking the implications of the character "Truly Scrumptious" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    Jean, I read every post you make, and, as many others have written, your blog is my morning treat while drinking my coffee. My readings are certainly not counted, because I've been reading through Google for well over a year, so you may add a daily hit from the Finger Lakes of New York State.

    I read your blog because I remember you from the knitted lace list; because you write beautifully, whatever the topic; and because, more than anyone else's, your posts send me off to make inquiries in interesting directions. For example, I now know the proper definition of "scrumptious," have been reminded that Ian Fleming wrote the book on which the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was based, and have learned that "Truly Scrumptious" does not appear in the book, but was invented for the film. All in about five minutes.

    Safe journey, and happy planting.

  3. I give up!
    I have posted a fat list of blogs to visit three times and each time blogger has chewed up the post!
    I will email instead.

  4. Jean, when I did the Baby Surprise Jacket, I had to follow the pattern blindly - something I don't do well with a pattern that does not lead the knitter. While I love EZ, Meg, and SHP, I'm one of those knitters who slavishly follow directions.

    I actually bought the video from SHP so that I could follow Meg's knitting of it. The pattern itself didn't answer specific questions I had, but closely watching Meg and what she did on each step gave me the solutions.

    And if you can't obtain a video, emails to SHP with questions on the pattern are usually answered promptly.

  5. Anonymous5:22 PM

    About twenty years ago there was a surge of interest in knitting and one of the Sunday papers published lots of articles over the course of a few weeks. One of these was about EZ and there were patterns available for both adult and baby double breasted jackets. I knit several of these before I came across the single breasted version and I think I still have the pattern if you're interested. The Baby Surprise Jacket DVD is available from the KCG library for the cost of the return postage.
    Just checked,, I have got the pattern and as it was free, I can certainly send you a copy. It is slightly different in design, but uses the same principles.

  6. who knew so many of us would be walking down memory lane with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Truly Scrumptious ... and yes, the yarn is lovely LOL