Thursday, March 24, 2011

The seamstress turned up, manifested a distinct air of competency, and went away with the trousers which are promised back for tomorrow. She remarked, a propos our surname, that her orphaned grandmother had been taken in by the family of an Edinburgh surgeon named Alexander Miles. He was my husband’s grandfather.

I didn’t think to ask either her grandmother’s maiden name, or where she was from. I will certainly put those questions tomorrow when the trousers come home. Is this an early example – we’re talking, roughly, about the turn of the century – of the Miles link with K*rkmichael? How interested C. would have been! But of course, the trousers wouldn’t have had to be altered if C. were here to tell the story to.

I’ve just spent a happy 10 minutes at the East website, choosing an outfit for myself. Which I don’t need – I plan to wear what I wore to Theo’s wedding, also from East, and suitably sub fusc. But Easter-at-Loch-Fyne is coming up, and the Games, so maybe… They’ve got some promising-looking cardigans with droop down the front. With an Anokhi Mahal print shirt or blouse and longish droopy skirt…


I’ve reached the 20th scallop on the Mourning Shawl edging. There are 21 per side, so I should turn the first corner today, barring disaster. Size is going to be good – tending towards large but not grotesquely so.

I took several pictures for you this morning, indoors and out. Outdoors in direct sunlight is best, but the colour still isn't nearly red enough.

I have mastered the pattern – that’s when the really bad mistakes start happening.

Lace-wise, it’s pretty easy. Faggoting, next to the straight edge (I love faggoting), and then a column of four-row roundels. Then some intermediate stitches and finally the familiar tram-lines, yo, k2tog, yo parallel to the scalloped edge. There is also an extra roundel tucked inside the tram-lines at the widest point.

That’s all straightforward. What has to be memorised is the number of intermediate stitches, row by row. There are 16 rows. It’s no use just knitting along until you come to something to do, because an error in the number of intermediate stitches often – all too often, in my case – provides a valuable signal of a mistake in the present or preceding row, or even indicates that I am knitting the wrong row altogether.

It’s fun, and I keep being tempted to knock off another roundel when I should be doing something else, so we’re sailing along.


  1. My number one rule for lace (and I really should keep to it) is "count constantly". (I have just had to undo almost 400 stitches.)

  2. I'm knitting the Bohus Green Apple. I knit the Grey Mist last year and that's one thing I had to do with every increase row. Count, count, count!!! I still ended up having to unpick hundreds of tiny stitches, one by one. Excruciating!!!

  3. Such a coincidence re the seamstress. I await further details.

  4. Like Janet, looking forward to the details regarding the seamstress. I hate counting sts, I hope it isn't required where so many are involved.

  5. My heart quails at undoing 400 stitches. I have to count and use stitch markers; my eyes simply won't keep good track without the markers. I do like the colorful lace.