Saturday, June 27, 2009

Four and three-quarters top edging repeats to go – I’m going to miss my Princess dreadfully. It’s almost a different craft from other knitting.

Much of my internal monologue yesterday was accordingly devoted to jabot-knitting. My husband says I should go to the Museum of Scotland and get them to show me the ones (if any) in their collection. My husband has a strong tendency in this direction – to set the initial hurdle for a project not impossibly high, but high enough that the whole thing is likely to remain un-done. Enterprises of great pitch and moment with this regard their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action.

However, in this case I am confident of my ground. I don’t care how Bonnie Prince Charlie wore a jabot. I want to know how a modern one is shaped, and how a modern gent attaches it to his neck. The difficulty – and it’s bad enough, as difficulties go – is that I’ve got to visit Kinloch Anderson. And Kinloch Anderson have moved out to Leith, which might as well be in the Western Isles these days. Because the City Fathers are tearing the city apart, slowly, to install trams in it, and the road between here and Leith has been in a state of terrible upheaval for months.

Edinburgh is stuffed with silly kilt shops, of course, but K.A. is the only one I think I could trust in this matter.

However, I had a thought just now. Today is the day of the annual Drummond Place Garden Party. A neighbour usually plays the pipes. He won’t be wearing full fig, it would be inappropriate, but he will be wearing a kilt and it’s worth asking him, in the quiet intervals while he’s drawing breath – does he own a jabot? Does he know anyone around here who has one? I’ll do it.

I got Christine Duchrow out last night, and sank down in despair. I doubt if I’ll ever manage to knit one of her patterns. “In order to knit one of these patterns, you need to find all of its parts,” Judy Gibson begins. On the other hand, I can look at the pictures; I can fire up Stitch and Motif Maker and start sketching some ideas for a roughly trianguloid piece of lace, and I can swatch it in the sample of Cashsilk which Sharon sent with my recent purchase of the Queen Ring Shawl pattern.

The Faculty Meeting Knitter knit her Princess in Cashsilk, and I think Sharon used it for the prototype of the Queen Ring shawl.

Sharon has written an absolutely fascinating letter to the Yahoo Heirloom Knitting Group this morning, quoting at length from “Harley Radington”, a novel by Dorothea Primrose Campbell, 1821. It describes the practice of knitting, and Shetland costume, in what sounds like highly authentic detail – from the time before lace knitting took off. Tamar, maybe you’d better join the group just to read it. It’s more historical than many of the posts to the HistoricKnit group.

Sharon is a serious scholar of Shetland knitting, as well as a serious technician when it comes to understanding how a particular piece of lace was constructed. My husband should have married her


  1. Jean - I'm not quite sure what to make of your last sentence. Do opposites attract? I was voted Best Athelete in high school and ended up marrying a man who would not have received such an accolade - but certainly is worthy of many others!

  2. =Tamar8:39 PM

    I already belong to that group. Thanks for the tip! As for relationships, I was once told that most people marry without realizing they are finding someone to teach them something by experience. I'm not so sure.