Thursday, October 20, 2011

The first comment yesterday is from the professional pattern-writer who out of sheer kindness – we have never met – translated the Japanese shirt pattern for me from the Japanese schematic into an English pattern. Her approval of progress-to-date is especially sweet.

All went well here yesterday, or so I hope. I have measured and calculated and launched myself into the top part of the “Brownstone” – some straight knitting first, on lots of stitches. I would hope to reach the raglan shaping today.

And my experience of life suggests that raglan shaping goes fast, once it starts. I might even hope to be finished except for the shawl collar when Big Thomas comes to see us next weekend.

I used to do circular raglans many decades ago, in my Fair Isle phase, before even I knew about EZ. I always tended to leave too few stitches behind at the underarms, and wind up with everything very tight for the first couple of inches of all-together knitting. Jared has left a generous allowance of stitches there, and all is going smoothly.

Madelinetosh doesn’t do dye lots. All has been well so far, but the current skein, the fifth of the original order from Amsterdam, is somewhat darker than its predecessors. There is a line. Kristie frogged half a sweater recently when she found, too late, that that had happened. I am pressing on. The situation is somewhat less urgent here because the dye, throughout, is somewhat (deliciously) uneven. But it’s visible – you can see it in yesterday’s photograph.

I estimate at the moment that I will have about four skeins left over, gathered frae a’ the airts. I toyed briefly with the idea of scaling the Brownstone down and knitting a whole duplicate sweater for Little Thomas, but have retreated, at least for the moment, to the simpler idea of a sleeveless vest with a hood for him.

I have been thinking a bit recently about droopy cardigans, as I approach my Effortless. They are everywhere, in real life. But where are the knitting patterns? I have been searching Ravelry and elsewhere on “asymmetrical cardigan” and getting nowhere. That just produces half a dozen that fasten on the left shoulder instead of in the middle.

This morning I had one of those revelations, and searched for “drape cardigan”. That’s it. Look at this one, at Marks & Spencer. It’s almost a knitting pattern in itself. And Ravelry’s got some nice ones, too. I like Kim Hargreaves’ “Embrace” although she is not usually a favourite of mine. 

I bought another book: “The Knitter’s Life List”, by Gwen Steege. I read about it in Knitty, I think, and it seemed to fit in with my current ambition to challenge myself. I’m enjoying it. No patterns – each chapter (sweaters, socks, hats, bags, whatever) begins with lists of things to Discover, to Do, to Learn and goes on to cover the subject informatively and in sprightly fashion. It would be very good for someone relatively new to knitting, full of a beginner's enthusiasm. 

I haven’t found any new challenges yet, in fact it leaves me feeling rather smug, been-there-done-that. Except for “finger knitting”, a whole new concept for me. It’s like “French knitting” except with no tools. I might even practice a bit and try it on the Little Boys at Loch Fyne when I see them at Christmas time.


Annie, I like the idea of a tetrapod to support my husband in the garden. I had never heard of it. I will explore further.


  1. Tetrapod would be an excellent idea - unless he would, like my father, come at one of those four wheeled "walkers". My father (88)decided it was a good idea when my sister pointed out that he did not actually have to carry things. They just go on the seat or in the basket at the front. They really should design them with gardeners in mind.

  2. Here is a link to some Tetrapods
    They are, in my opinion, a reliable company and usually have reasonable prices. You might want to look at the outdoor walkers as well in case they are more suitable but I know from experience that the tetrapods are firmer to use to help with stability.
    Remember if you are buying for a person with a disability you can claim VAT relief, just fill in the form online!