Saturday, November 06, 2010


Thank you for all the good wishes. I mean to bid high enough that failure is very unlikely. I know now that I can trust eBay not to take the whole amount unless there is a determined underbidder pushing it up. The secret, of course, is to put in one’s massive bid in the last few seconds, so that rivals don’t have time to push you up. It takes very steady nerves. That’s where Helen C.K.S. excels.

Another pre-war issue (from a different seller) is coming up tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what it fetches.

Back in Ought Six, eBay used to tell you bidders’ code names, at least while the auction was going on. I made myself a spreadsheet showing the bidding histories of VKB’s I was interested in, my few failures as well as many successes. Littlepinksparrow was my most frequent underbidder. Leesonia43 was another formidable opponent. Rosemaryknit kept trying small bids – I hope she got some in the end. How they all must have trembled when Tayside00 entered the lists!

However, eBay decided in its wisdom that revealing even that much was undesirable in some way. One still knows, of course, that rival bids have been placed, but not who placed them. Much less fun.

Amedro shawl

I made a dreadful mistake last night. It will be interesting, today, to see if it can be fudged.

The roundels are finished, and I have proceeded to moss stitch. The first thing to do was to pick up 18 stitches from the cast-on edge of the first scallop in the edging, then turn around and knit back along them and moss stitch across 431 stitches, then pick up another 18 from the cast-off edge of the final scallop.

It was while I was performing that last operation, congratulating myself that the moss stitch seemed to have come out all right – beginning and ending with a k1 – that I began to feel uneasy. I looked back, and sure enough – in picking up the initial 18, I had gone past the cast-on stitches and on up the side of the scallop.

Tinking 431 stitches is unthinkable. Untinkable. Ripping out is a possibility – there is a row of plain knitting after the roundels, where I might be able to recover the stitches without loss. For the moment, I am moss-stitching back, wondering if there is something I can do when I get back to that edge.

I think I said earlier on that I could hardly tell which side of the shawl is which, although it is knit in st st. The problem becomes acute with moss stitch. I really can’t see what I’m doing, whether the stitch I am about to knit was k’d or p’d in the previous row, and whether or not, therefore, I have regressed to k1 p1 rib.

Maybe I really do need an Ott light.


  1. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the RNIB and they sell very good lamps at reasonable prices that do exactly what one wants for older or challenged eyes to improve lighting and the ability to see more clearly.
    Also every sale helps the RNIB
    I have a variety of lights, the task light is good if you have a table nearby but there are some very good floor lamps even with magnifiers.
    Good luck with the VKB.

  2. I have an Otti light and I tend to use it more for cross-stitch than knitting (mainly because when working with linen my eyes water from the effort without the Otti light)I do love it though and it makes life way easier at night- especially now since it has started to get dark early.

  3. Reading your post today about your mistake on the shawl reminds me, if I needed reminding, why I don't knit lace. I make mistakes constantly, but have no ability to see how to fix them, or to "read" my stitches. I hope you get it sorted out.

  4. Anonymous4:00 PM

    I often knit "combined", which leaves my knit stitches mounted with the leading leg to the front of the needle, and my purl stitches mounted with the leading leg to the back of the needle - for me, that makes "reading" the stitches easy-peasy. When I'm throwing with my right hand, I sometimes will wrap the yarn for purls in the reverse direction to create that "easy read".