Friday, July 22, 2011

Annie, let’s do lunch at Knit Nation Twenty Twelve – depending a bit on our class schedules, of course.

Shandy, I am out of the loop when it comes to projects for giving every Olympic athlete an embroidered postcard. I expect the subject will be covered in the next episode of the documentary I mentioned yesterday.

Devoted link-followers will remember the one my brother-in-law sent me the other day when “tricoter” came up on his French word-a-day feed. The writer was taught the basics in a French LYS, warned that the habit could get expensive, and sent away with needles and yarn. That’s all you need to know, to enjoy this one.

“Knit, Swirl”: having done a couple of successful EZ’s (is there any other sort?) in the last couple of years – the Adult Surprise, and Round-the-Bend – I feel confident about re-jigging a pattern as long as there’s a schematic. I’m wearing Round-the-Bend quite a bit now that summer is here, and like it. That’s relevant, because I knit it in a much finer yarn than the Zimmermanns had in mind. Plural, because it was published as Meg’s pattern.

Having thought that thot last night, I began to wonder, when? and how? did schematics come in? There was no such thing when I was starting to knit in the late 40’s and, after a gap, the mid-50’s. Although designers must have used them.

Could I work it out by looking at certain pivotal books? My off-the-cuff feeling is that first we had Mary Thomas Knitting Book (pre-war), then a spate of Encyclopedias of Knitting and earnest grey books called Family Knitting or a variation thereof, then a gap, then Thompson’s ground-breaking guernsey book in 1969. Then EZ herself – “Knitting Without Tears” was 1971. Then another gap, then Kaffe. No schematics in “Glorious Knitting” (1985), although schematics would be sort of irrelevant to Kaffe.

I could go back through all those piles of magazines which threaten the stability of our bedroom floor. VK vanished in the late 60’s and then reappeared – when exactly? And did the re-born magazine have schematics from the beginning?


I’ve reached round 70 of the Mourning Shawl border. I am now settled back into the saddle and more or less resigned to the snail-like progress of lace knitting. I think I worked out at the beginning that I get one percentage point for my sidebar for every two rounds knit. I’m not going to do the arithmetic again, whatever. That seems plausible, and I can take stock when the borders are finished.

The centre should feel much faster, when I finally get there. My ambition for today is to reach the next decrease round, 72.


The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America turned up as hoped, and promises very well, although I haven’t got past the chenopodia. Chenopodium album (it says) is “the best wild species” of this genus, with a “very fine spinach flavour”. Good King Henry is “excellent raw or cooked”. The composition of the leaves is similar to ch. album – does that mean, they taste the same? I feel we have still to get to grips with the bitterness of the plants I grow.


  1. It's a date Jean, I'm sure we'll squeeze in a coffee around our knitting classes even if we can't sync timetables for lunch :D

  2. rosesmama1:10 PM

    Do you think the soil is determining the taste of the vegetables? Our carrots are very metallic, not sweet at all, and we think it has to do with the mineral content of the soil.

  3. Jean, I can assure you there are unsuccessful EZ pattern attempts, I still have half a baby surprise jacket that I've never worked out how to finish and find myself permanently amazed that people think she's wonderful, no doubt to them she is, but I have 3 or 4 of her books and find them totally useless despite repeated attempts to get something out of them :(