Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The first one fits. My husband didn’t notice the arch-fitting shape, although he spotted that there was something odd about the sock. He has lost a lot of the feeling in his feet, due to diabetes. At least he doesn’t object to arch-fitting.

I’m half-way down the heel flap of the second sock. This speed is little short of exhilarating, especially perhaps to a Princess-knitter. Photographed on the front doorstep, with the tomatoes, for the sake of the feeble morning light.

One of the packages the postman gave me yesterday morning was a big bag of KF sock wool from Modern Knitting. I don’t think I’d ever heard of them. Ordered on Saturday, arrived on Tuesday, and they seem to have the whole KF-Regia range. The bedsocks are going to clean me out of KF oddballs altogether – I had to order more.

The Grandson Sweater

Yes, I know, I know. I mustn’t even think of such a thing.

Looking around for yarn yesterday, I found this site, which I think will do nicely. Norway isn’t in the EU, but they are members of the European Free Trade thingy so knitting wool should be free, except of course for paying for it. Better than ordering from Meg, in that respect. Pagoldh wants a 2-ply wool at 1600 yards to the pound. Nowadays she’d just give a yarn name and a nordic website, but this was 1987. I laboriously did the conversion, starting from the fact that Finulgarn offers 175 meters to 50 grams, and I think it’s about right.

In the course of messing about, I found this very useful site run by Beth Brown-Reinsel, listing sources for all sorts of traditional yarns.

“Reversible Knitting”

Lynn Barr is fiendishly ingenious. She is an engineer. She pushes knitting right up to the edge.

“Reversible” doesn’t just mean same-on-both sides, like garter stitch and simple ribs. It also means, looks-good-on-both sides. She has a section on double-knitting in which the flip side is not just the original pattern with the colours reversed, but Something Completely Different. Talk about magic.

There is a section called Divide and Combine which will sound familiar, even ominously familiar, to anyone who has wrestled with one of her more advanced patterns in “Knitting New Scarves”. This time, she has set herself to create patterns in which each row is complete, with no dp needles dangling anywhere at the end of it; and cutting and re-attaching are not allowed. A relief. The results are still sensational.

The second half of the book offers reversible patterns from various designers, not necessarily using stitch patterns from the first half. I like Eric Robinson’s hat that you can turn inside out, and Wenlan Chia’s sweater that you can turn upside down (how on earth do the sleeves work?), and Veronik Avery’s “lice jacket” would be a fine vehicle for any of the double-knitting patterns. But in general the patterns are Not Me.

In fact, I think my primary use of the book will be as inspiration for future scarves.

Helen C.K.S., do you have your copy yet? Please blog about it.


  1. I think the Nordic Fiber Arts place is actually in the US rather than in Norway, their address on their webpage says New Hampshire, US. So postage and duties would be from the US if I am understanding it correctly. I would love to know if they do post it actually from Norway though, that would be very useful.

  2. Thanks for reviewing that book - I am intrigued! Grumperina blogged about it recently too.

  3. =Tamar11:01 PM

    From the photo (on Grumperina's blog?), the sleeves seem to be very stretchy and slightly set in; the "underarm" stretches enough to cover the shoulder point without being too bulky under the arms.

  4. =Tamar11:28 PM

    My mistake - I just checked the photo on Grumperina's blog and the shoulder is stretched out from the body, with the sleeve top dragging down by the bicep. I'm not fond of cowls anyway. If I tried that one, I think I might experiment with setting the sleeve in and making the sleeve-top extremely stretchy.