Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thank you, as ever, for yesterday’s comments. I’m glad the phrase “Queen of England” is still (just) current in the US, although I’m sure you’re right, Kristen, that the fact that the royals have come down to earth must dim its effectiveness. And I love the variations, especially “Queen of Spain” in Angel’s family.

Thanks for the help on the books, too. I think Hoxbro must be the one I was thinking of. Amazon lets you page through that one – it’s clearly not going to add to what I’ve already got. Ginger Luters might be better, might not. I think I’ll hold off.

(The Curmudgeon says in her latest post that “Just putting away 200+ knitting, spinning, and weaving books was a gigunda pain in the ass.” I’ve got 299 knitting books, according to Librarything, and I find arranging and re-arranging them almost as much fun as knitting. No accounting for tastes.)

I spent more time with Slicer-Smith yesterday. I’ve figured out the armholes. You just make slits by working half-mitres at the appropriate places.

I had some clear time yesterday afternoon and instead of going back to the Knitting Glossary DVD, I knit the gauge square for the Harlequin patterns. The result was as I expected – Koigu is far lighter than the yarn used in the book. My square is about 4 ¼” across as opposed to the required 5”. That’s too big a difference to be accommodated by a needle-change. I’ll have to re-do the numbers in the pattern.

Is Koigu too light? But one wants light. And a lot of the pattern is in garter stitch, which is intrinsically heavy. I think the only thing to do is to press on, prepared (as ever) to stop if it isn’t working.

Meanwhile, I’ve only got four more rounds of the body of the Grandson Sweater to do after the current one is finished. The back neck steek is in place. The shoulder pattern may be simple, but I think it looks extremely well. I’ll have enough yarn left over to knit the whole thing again for a small boy, but the yarn (Rauma Finullgarn) while not exactly harsh is sort of firm and not-soft. Knit it big, so that the small boy could wear lots underneath?


I tried to spend some of yesterday afternoon organizing my seed order, but found I couldn’t get up steam for the job, here in Edinburgh. I hope we’ll get to Strathardle next week. The other day I rang a friend who keeps a b&b, to arrange accommodation for the Games weekend – if it’s nearly February, it’s time to think about the Games. She said that lumps of snow are still lying about in the village street. Our house is half-a-mile away, gently uphill. There will be more snow there, quite likely banked up along the driveway.

On the other hand, it’s thawing every day.

It will be interesting to see how the house has fared. I think the kitchen is secure against mice – but have they come in to nest in the pillows and eat the lagging off the pipes? They like lagging. Similarly, the water was turned off and the pipes drained, but I don’t think I put salt in the lavatory pans, and there’s a great length of pipe from the mains water through our neighbour’s field to our house which could have frozen and burst.

Not to mention what the deer may have done in the garden.


  1. Are you planning on using a solid color yarn with the Koigu?
    The discussion of the Harlequin Coat prompted me to get out my project last night and reacquaint myself with the pattern.
    On page 39 the text and the picture do not agree on needle size. The picture is correct. If I see any other problems I will pass them along. I'm currently on Block 33.
    I forgot to thank you for the link to the book on Brioche Knitting. I just checked online and the Barnes and Noble across the street from my office has it in stock. I think I will take a look at it on my lunch hour.

  2. Your worry over the mice reminds me of a tale my father and I laughed over, years ago. Someone wrapped their (outdoor) pipes in electrically heated wraps, and apparently groundhogs unwrapped them and took the nice warm wrappings down into their dens. And then fought like mad to keep them when the homeowner figured out why his pipes froze anyway.

    Animals are kind of fun when it's not your house.

    Can't wait to hear and see more on the Koigu project.

  3. I remember swatching for the Harlequin Jacket some time back - it was in 'Knitters', and although I could get the gauge with a Jaeger DK, I tried a sample square and found it was altogether too substantial to be worn by a rather over-substantial me. I wonder if a lighter yarn like Koigu would make it a more supple fabric.

    I did end up making a tunic from a pattern in the Ginger Luters book, adding my own sleeves - Jamiesons yarn - two colours, and imagine the fun it was choosing the colours! I like the feel of it, but it is rarely cold enough to wear it - not even this winter.

  4. I haven't even begun looking at seeds, a task I need to get to ASAP. There are also plans afoot to order a pair of peach trees, as we should be just warm enough to be able to grow them here.

  5. =Tamar5:11 AM

    I'd say knit the sweater in whatever size the yarn will stretch to, and someday a small boy will grow into it. But then, I'm not the one doing the knitting. Good luck with the pipes. I'd never heard of putting salt in the lavatory pans; does the salt solution tend to form a crust as it evaporates?