Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My sister and her husband have bailed out and taken the offered refund for their non-refundable air tickets, figuring that there’s not much point in flying to Paris and then trying to reach GB if most of the population of these islands is over there, too, waiting to be evacuated from the beaches, Dunkirk-style. Roger and Helen will take awhile to recover, and then try again, maybe in June.

It’s sad. But at least Roger is there in CT with his vegetables at this vital time of year.

A good day, yesterday, involving much napping. I think we both feel much restored.

I’ve made a good start on the chevron scarf. I could never have done it without Gretchen’s comment of January 5, after I had had to make two attempts to cast on the Grandson Sweater. Her notion is to tie two balls of wool together, when doing a long-tail cast on, and use one for the stitches and the other for the long-tail. With 411 stitches involved, as here, that was a Godsend.

The scarf – for non-VK-owners – consists of six six-row stripes. End of story. Except that each stripe is cast off when complete, and the next one cast on and at the same time attached to its predecessor once every 12 stitches. The pattern is good old Feather and Fan, with the increases done as M1, lifting the bar between the next two stitches and knitting into the back of it. The pattern is a 12-stitch repeat, and is offset by 6 stitches in successive stripes. The points of attachment for successive stripes are likewise offset.

I’m using Koigu, which must be very close in size to the specified yarn, “Claudia Handpainted Yarns Cotton Ball” of which I have never heard. Koigu has slightly more metres to the gram, and I’m knitting on a 3mm needle as specified on the ball band, not 3.5 as the pattern says. So my result will probably be slightly smaller – but wool, on the other hand, may block more obligingly than cotton. I’m not worried.

There doesn’t seem much point in attempting a picture until I have attached the second stripe.

Thank you for advice about the Games. I still don’t feel that I’ll attempt another knitted toy, but I’ll look at Alan Dart. Interesting what you say about the judges feeling that Mrs Miles shouldn’t win too often, Mary Lou. They’re not supposed to know. You submit your entry with a tag attached, folded over and sealed. It’s only opened, revealing your name, if you win.

BUT in ’08, the category was “child’s sweater with motif”. I re-knit the VK dinosaur sweater which I had done many years before for Thomas-the-Elder. Here is the '08 version on his cousin Thomas-the-Younger.

It was unplaced – clearly, “with motif” didn’t mean “with motifs”. So the tag was never opened. But in conversation at breakfast at their b&b the next morning, Rachel and Ed met some people who had admired the dinosaurs and who mysteriously knew that “she won last year”. The walls have eyes, in a village. And of course committee members are already on duty during that delicious early-morning time when one brings the family entries down and submits them to the Home Industries Tent. It's the best bit of Games Day, just as exploring the contents of one’s stocking is the best part of Christmas.


  1. i remember your discussing the dinosaur sweater when it didn't win. In my mind, 'motif' calls up repetition, i.e. more than one. Even if that is not how it is conventionally used (and I really do not know how it is conventionally used in English), my brain still has difficulty imagining a motif of one. Too bad I wasn't a judge, I suppose. ;)

  2. Ah, yes: the perils of the local show. I was invited by my cousin to judge the children's classes at an agricultural show in Cumbria. I was attended by two "stewards" who recorded my decisions on each class, such as animals made out of vegetables. all went well until the Painting where there were three somewhat indifferent offerings. What I did not know was that two of the three had been produced by grandchildren of the stewards. Had I known, I might have been less open in my opinions.

  3. =Tamar8:01 PM

    Online dictionaries (e.g., the ones at agree that motif refers to recurrent images. One secondary definition mentioned a dominant theme but a theme is also something that recurs in a creation. So I suspect the 'village' effect was involved. Given the chance, I would send the judges copies of Terry Pratchett's story, "The Sea and Little Fishes," but they'd probably take it wrong.

  4. where did you get the pattern for this sweater?