Saturday, February 12, 2011

I thought about circles for a while yesterday. It’s really pretty simple – I think EZ’s paragraph in Knitter’s Almanac rather obfuscates than otherwise. “A circle will double its circumference in infinitely themselves-doubling distances…”

The relationship between the circumference of a circle and its radius is constant. That was obvious to all long before Archimedes. So, in knitting terms, when you double the radius of a centre-outwards shawl, you’ve also got to double the circumference if you want the thing to lie flat. You don’t have to do all the circumference-increases at once, but it’s convenient to do so as it leaves you with a nice blank space between the increase rounds for putting lace patterns in.

Pi is the irrational number which represents the ratio between circumference and radius. It is largely irrelevant here – all a knitter needs to know is that the ratio is constant. Ancient Egyptians and Babylonians and Indians had a go at calculating it. Archimedes was the first European, and the most rigorous of the early team. That’s from Wikipedia.

I feel better for having thought that through.

And the other thing I feel better for having done, is actually to employ Dawn’s wonderful formula for finding things.

Franklin wrote about a new book on entrelac relatively recently, but not just the other day. I was having a look at Knitty earlier this week, as one does, and discovered that there are two new books on entrelac. Which one was Franklin so enthusiastic about? Sure enough, typing “entrelac” (without the quotation marks, and don’t overlook the unexpected full stop after the colon) produced the answer at once. It is Gwen Bortner's Entree to Entrelac .

As for actual knitting, I am well advanced in the garter-stitch gusset at the top of the RtB sleeve. The underarm seam, where one is invited to wrap and turn at the end of every row, looks sort of messy. The one on the first sleeve is much better. It is not an area of the jacket which is going to receive much scrutiny, but it worries me. I have actually switched to purling alternate rounds, rather than wrapping and turning. Helps a bit.

So today, all being well, I will actually embark on mirror-imaging. Meg says, “The appearance of the corners on L and R halves…will not match each other perfectly.” Why not? Will I be bright enough to spot the difference? This is going to be interesting.

I had a great time lunching with Helen C.K.S. yesterday. I gave her back her wonderful book by Setsuko Torii (after scanning the pages about the shirt I aspire to). She says she got it from Japanese Amazon – I tried just now. You can click hither and yon and get a certain amount of it in English. I was surprised at how many knitting books they import and translate from English.

If you search on “knitting books” there’s no Setsuko Torii, but if you ask for it specifically, there it is. The mysterious orient. It’s rather expensive. And Helen says the postage is a good deal worse.


  1. Jean - I haven't checked out the price at - but have you checked this link? they sell a lot of asian books and quite a few are eligible for free postage:

  2. =Tamar2:11 AM

    I haven't knit a RTB jacket, but there is a tip about the shoulders at
    It isn't about the corners but maybe it might be somehow related to why the corners look different.