Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Better, this morning. Simple knitting in bright colours (the ASJ) is a proven approach to seasonal gloom. And I resisted the Tempter’s suggestion that a glass of cider would help. It wouldn’t.

I’ve been taking a lot of Vitamin D lately, on the recommendation of an interesting article in the Financial Times about a professor who has devoted his life to it and thinks we should all – especially those of us who live near the North Pole – be taking much more than the official Recommended Daily Dose. He believes it is prophylactic against a whole lot of things you don’t want to have, including depression. The FT is a responsible newspaper, and there was a sidebar about how there was no danger of taking too much. Trouble is, there’s no real way of knowing whether it is helping or not.

The postman did his best yesterday, with the arrival at last of a pompom maker, and the new IK. About the latter, I am inclined to agree with the Curmudgeon’s curmudgeonly remarks, but the pompom maker is a great success. Once I figured it out. Here is a picture of, from left to right, my first and my second attempts. The third is on the hat.

Why does John Lewis, on which we rely for so much, sell an inferior pompom maker when the Clover is out there? I suppose even the buyer for Our Haberdashery Department can’t know everything.

This morning I had an extravagant depression-breaking session with Amazon. I started out looking for “medallion knitting” – thinking of my Koigu collection – and didn’t get very far, except a recommendation to a chapter in Mary Thomas which I shall certainly look at.

It was the wrong phrase, and I eventually got myself straightened out and bought Maie Landra’s “Knits from a Painter’s Palette”. Might as well go to the source. (I think I was thinking the whole time of something by a man named Horst. More than one book. Does anyone know who he might be?)

Then, partly because Amazon is fiendishly clever at leading one on, I also bought “Haiku Knits” and “Swedish Knitting” and “Norwegian Handknits: Heirloom Designs from the Vesterheim Museum”. Oh, dear.

I never said I was going to give up book-buying.

I feel pretty gloomy about stash-busting. I don’t mean that this is the source of gloom; more likely a symptom. Still, it’s there, the growing knowledge as I organise things in the stash cupboard and make plans for it, that a year’s knitting will make no impression at all. I knew that I was well into SABLE territory (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy). When I joined Ravelry, I photographed and catalogued it all. That should have tipped me off. But the full realisation is only now.


  1. JennyS9:52 AM

    Horst Schulz?

  2. Anonymous1:30 PM

    There is a Ravelry group, Horst Shultz Fans, and one pattern listed.
    The pattern is for a knitted blanket composed of interlocking shapes/colors, it's quite fascinating.
    Barbara in CA

  3. Herr Schultz has a couple of books with techniques and ideas, but not exactly patterns, just the thing for stash busting. I also think there was an article featuring him and his techniques in a old knitters, perhaps someone in the Ravelry group would know.

  4. Well. I was going to leave you a comment on Horst, but it seems others have arrived ahead of me.

    As always, I can't wait to see what you do; your projects are always beautiful and interesting.

  5. Gerri3:25 PM

    I see Horst is taken care of, I'll respond to vitamin D. The dietitian in my past rose up at the "impossible" to overdose.

    It is possible to overdose, eventually, on vitamin D. Here's an overview of the vitamin from the US National Library of Medicine: And a discussion of toxicity:

    Chasing the gloom with Painter's Palette seems potentially safer and more rewarding!

  6. Hester from Atlanta, GA3:41 PM

    Vitamin D – my rheumatologist recommend Vit D for me for fibromyalgia pain. I nearly fainted – first of all that an actual MD had a name for my pain issues and that secondly, he recommended a Vitamin? All I know is it worked. I took a huge amount for about 3 months and then went to the over the counter kind. If I forget to take the Vit. D for 3 or 4 days, the fibro pain starts up again. I asked my Dr. if I was low in calcium, he said no, just Vit. D. There it is, a testimonial from me.

    Here is an interesting link for mitered squares and other shapes.

    Also, the books by Vivian Hoxbro are great on this subject. She has had one called Domino Knitting (domino meaning small shapes) and one on a related subject (name forgotten). She had her first book published in Japan and the photos in the Japanese version were fabulous. She came to Atlanta and held some classes a few years back. She was a great teacher and a great person.

    I found that some of the directions in the book Painter’s Palate were a little bit sparse. In particular, the picture for the vest and the instructions did not match completely. But still it is a wonderful book.

  7. Anna Zilboorg has a beautiful sentence in the introduction to her book with fanciful and colouful hats:
    "They are a happy sight for others to see when the sky is gray and the temperature frigid. Wearing cheerful , multicolored hats is a public service, easy to perform, and of incalculable value."

    Hope that your ASJ will have the same effect !

    The other book by Vivian Hoxbro (Hester's comment) is called: Knit to be square.

  8. Norwegian Handknits is a lovely book. It currently sits in the display area of my desk, next to Poems in Color. Enjoy it!

  9. Maureen in Fargo9:54 PM

    Vitamin D is the current buzzword in medicine! Makes sense, as we all avoid the sun now or use sunscreen and that's where we used to get it from, more or less. After working in the medical field for 34 years I still am amused as each of these "new" things goes public. We had a doc in our hospital who was saying 10 years ago that we were Vitamin D deficient but no one listened to him then, it had to go public before people would believe him. Anyway, try it, it works for a lot of people. My mom's doc recommends liquid form if you can get it.

    Horst Schulz was a "thing" at Knitter's mag and at Stitches 5 or 6 years ago. Haven't heard anything about him recently.

    By the way, fleegle posted a little while ago in the HK Rav group that The Knitter will do a story The Queen Susan shawl! She gave background mentioning your blog post, Jean. The whole story is so cool!!

  10. Here is the Ravelry Link to your blog, your suggestion and the outcome.

  11. I took a look for Horst Schulz's book Patchwork Knitting.

    Sister Mary Margaret, I don't believe the prices people want for it! It must be out of print.

  12. I have the Painter's Palette book and it is lovely. Really, I just keep it around to look at it mainly, but someday I will finally make a charlotte's web shawl (which I have always liked but I never got on that bandwagon when it was popular.)

    Glad you are liking the pom-pom maker. It is the clover one my mom has too... funny, she got it by accident. My mom is disabled so she doesn't get out much, and she sent my dad to get her a pom-pom maker. It was a lucky accident that he came back from the craft store with the clover one. I think the saleslady just managed to sell him that one....

  13. Anonymous3:41 AM

    "vitamin" D is not really a vitamin, but more akin to a hormone, from what i heard on NPR (national public radio) the other day.

    we seem not to be spending enough time in the sun to make enough on our own, particularly since the advent of year-round sunscreen use.


  14. the pompom maker *got* you too, lol! Good, isn't it?