Wednesday, April 08, 2009

All is well with my travel plans, more or less. The KLM booking has been cancelled, Lizzie and I will fly from Edinburgh to Newark with Greek Helen on Thursday the 23rd of July. I hope there’ll be a nice view of NYC as we land – Lizzie has never been to America. “More or less” refers to the fact that I have paid all over again – I won’t get my refund from KLM for ten or twelve weeks. And that’s assuming that both KLM and Trailfinders are still trading in July. I think I will spare my husband that knowledge, which could only distress him.

I’ve got my three books piled up beside my passport – the new Kate Atkinson, a popular science quantum physics book about Schrodinger’s Cat, and Eudora Welty’s “Delta Wedding”, a re-read which seems appropriate to the occasion. I remain anxious about running out, but I’ll have my knitting and I’m not traveling alone. Much of the time will be filled with animated conversation.

When my mother was alive (until quite recently) I used to go to the US twice a year, most years, to visit. I often ordered yarn to be delivered in advance to my sister or whoever I was staying with, to avoid custom’s duties and VAT. Sometimes they charge, sometimes they don’t. It can come in quite expensive when they do. So I’m giving some pleasant thought to doing that again -- Franklin’s Panopticon colourway in Lorna’s Laces sport or worsted, for instance? And I like “Amy’s Vintage Office” and “Roadside Gerry” from other favourite bloggers. An Adult Surprise with an intervening solid to tone them down and hold them together? Pleasant to speculate.


Vogue Knitting Book No. 18 is now on offer on eBay – spring, ’41 I think. 270367636870 if you’re interested. It’s got three days to go and is already up to £17. I am surprised anew that I got No. 8 so cheaply the other day. Maybe the attraction is the war?

The Last One of All is also on offer – 180344564272 – No. 8 in the little British series that followed the death of the Anglo-American Vogue Knitting Book proper. The seller has included lots of photographs, and I think you can see in the photography an elegiac sense that the end has come. I love that issue. Some good designs, too.


I’ve embarked on row 10 of the final repeat. It’s wonderful to be doing each row for the last time. In recent weeks, the experience has been uncomfortably like that jolly movie “Groundhog Day”. One toils on and on, and finally gets to the end of a repeat – and there it all is to be done again, and again. But now it’s just like this week of Lent – there’s the last Tuesday done, and today is the last Wednesday.

I’ve used lacy lettering to sign and date knitting before now. This one was knit for the baby who proved to be Fergus Drake, now of Athens. As you can see, the lettering is really too big for the bush. It’s going to work better on the Princess because the shawl is so enormously big, and the yarn so fine.

In general, I was rather proud of Fergus’ design. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces “Helen’s Lace”, I think. The border alternates roses and thistles with reference to the English and Scottish origins of Fergus’ parents, and the center is meant to be interlocking Greek crosses for the land of Fergus’ birth.


  1. Now that is what I call an heirloom shawl. Your design is quite lovely. I have just ordered the Queen Ring shawl and I am hoping that I will be able to personalize it in some way after watching your progress on the Princess. What yarn and needles are you using for the Princess? That will be my next big decision.

  2. I think the trip across the ocean will be much improved by the companionship of your family.
    You can check the plane seating arrangement, and scout for better locations, at, as long as you know the model of the plane.
    Another useful site can be You can use your "trip locator" code or ticket number to check the full itinerary. This is generally more useful for trips with multiple legs, to double check layovers, terminals etc. but it should list the plane used for each flight.
    So glad you were able to find the seats on the Edinburgh-Newark flight!
    Lisa in Toronto

  3. At least you are free from the travel plans worry and it should be exciting if it's clear to point out the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. I could see them last time I flew into Newark from that direction. And that baby shawl is breathtaking. It fills me with shame to think of the the worsted weight feather and fan I just completed for the most recent great niece.

  4. Anonymous4:27 PM

    The shawl for your grandson is a true work of art. What a masterpiece.
    Ron in Mexico

  5. Feel free to ship to Lyme if needed. I promise to fondle the yarn as little as possible until you can claim it.

  6. =Tamar8:59 PM

    If you will be in the air around dawn, look for the horizon rainbow. I saw it once on the way back to the US from the UK and it was lovely.

  7. Fergus' christening shawl is lovely! Is the photo pretty true to the color of the yarn?

    Be sure to check out WEBS for any advance purchases to be shipped within the US - they've got an anniversary sale going on right now.