Friday, September 03, 2010

I am particularly grateful to Mary Lou, Gerri and especially Kristen for addressing seriously my anxiety about knitting socks for Hellie’s boyfriend Matt. (Comments, Sept 1) I am reassured by your arguments, and I think he’s next on the sock list. This is the yarn I have in mind. It's 100 grams: I’ll need either to add wild toes, or to buy another ball.

I bought it at I Knit London, if memory serves. I nipped over for a link just now, and got a most alarming “Account Suspended” page. Their website was up a fortnight ago.

Here is a rather sweet picture of Matt and Hellie at the Games. I asked him his foot size when he asked for the socks, so I’ve got that.

I am also grateful to yesterday’s commenters for filling me in on what Annie Modesitt was upset about. It doesn’t sound good. If people are saying what Sulky Cat says – and obviously, they are – it’s Annie’s job to stop complaining about "lies" and ask herself why. I follow her blog pretty closely, in appalled sympathy for what her family is going through and admiration for her determination to use knitting to pay the mortgage. The class that the Fishwife and I went to here in Edinburgh – Helen CKS had booked it, too, but wasn’t feeling well enough – was well-prepared and interesting enough.

I spent a lot of time over on Ravellry the weekend before Knit Camp, following with interest and horror the unravelling saga of the US teachers’ work permits. I haven’t been back since. I must have a look.

Back at the ranch…

I dispatched the preemie jacket yesterday, and started Helen’s Amedro shawl. She wants me to keep Amedro’s patterns in the wings, but there’s a centre rectangular section 71 stitches wide which I can “improve” with a pattern from Heirloom Knitting, so everybody’s happy. Here’s what I’ve done so far. There's an irritating error in the big second scallop, but I'm not going back.

It's yesterday’s darg, in fact. For Sharon Miller’s book did arrive, and I learn that “darg” is a Scots term for the product of a day’s work. Most useful word.

And a terrific book. Sharon is a scholar who operates on many levels, collecting Shetland shawls and studying their construction; examining museum examples; tracking down printed patterns; reading pretty obscure sources (e.g., Arthur Laurenson & Co., Lerwick, ‘Truck Report’, 1872); and above all, knitting. The point of this book is her belief, well substantiated, that “Aunt Kate’s Home Knitter” of 1910 contains the first patterns ever published for fine Shetland lace and that the patterns actually come from Shetland, probably from Unst.

Sharon reproduces Aunt Kate’s patterns photographically as well as providing modern charts and abundant advice on construction. A “love darg” is a darg done for love.

Yesterday’s post also brought the new Woolgathering. Never rains but it pours. I reflected during the course of the day that I don’t need to grumble about the postponement of the new book. If I want to knit some EZ stash-gobbling garter stitch, I’ve got the Bog Jacket and/or the Round the Bend to look forward to.

I must tell you how my vegetables are getting on. Tomorrow, perhaps.


  1. Re Boyfriend sweaters. I had known my husband for some years, as part of a group, and he had always worn sweaters knitted by his mother. When we finally became an item, a week before his birthday, I had no hesitation in casting on straight away, and made the deadline. It was his mother who recognised the symbolic value of the garment. Fortunately, he did not take flight.

  2. Theresa I3:22 PM

    My personal observation of Annie Modesitt is that she is either very arrogant or very, very insecure.
    I have seen her at a few events, though I have never taken a class from her. I didn't like her manner at all but I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt and go for insecurity being the problem.

  3. I have just ordered the new Sharon Miller book too. I'm glad to hear its a good book, but her work is always good, isnt it.

  4. =Tamar8:13 PM

    While I haven't met Annie M, I've read a fair amount about "fibro fog" which makes it extremely hard to think clearly. It's sad that it comes out as rudeness.

    The Sharon Miller book sounds very good. I hope she also documented the earliest known actual Shetland lace knitting.

  5. Sharon Miller's work is backed by good, solid research - and it shows. Her Heirloom Knitting is a wonderful resource for those of us who live in a slightly more distant part of the world! I am glad you like the new book though because I took a chance on it being good.

  6. just popping in to say hello, and thank you for the link to my blog

    also thank you for wording the whole thing so diplomatically ;-)

    best wishes, julia