Saturday, December 03, 2011

Today is my sister Helen’s birthday. She is 75, which seems absurd – far more absurd than my own even greater age. Happy Birthday Helen, anyway.

Today is also the day of the Beijing St Andrew's Night Ball. 

Yesterday was a little bit better around here, progress-wise. I advanced the Christmas cards slightly, and finished the short-rowing at the back of the neck of the shawl collar on the Little Brownstone and began knitting back and forth around the whole collar. There’s lots of that to do, but I think I can now say that the further shore is in sight.

The thing about Christmas knitting, apart from stress, is that it makes you feel you are getting-on-with-Christmas when all you are doing is knitting and ignoring more urgent chores..

There will be enough scarlet yarn, and enough time, to turn out a hat for one of those obstinately empty squares on my Christmas-list spreadsheet. (I am not organised in many ways, but I find that that helps a lot, once one’s total of grandchildren moves into double figures. It is useful to be reminded what one gave each of one’s loved ones last year and the year before – and sometimes one spots a good present idea which can be transferred from the past into a different branch of the family. If nothing else, just sitting there and staring at the list is often productive of thought. You’ve got to “hide” the rows when people die.)

A watchcap? A beanie would be quicker. I’ll have a wander round Ravelry. I’m thinking boy, so nothing too fancy. There might even be time and yarn for a second hat, with stripes to eke out the remaining scarlet if necessary. Or even if not.

Woolly Bits, I don’t know the magazine “Knit” (and don’t like the sound of what Vivienne says about it). Maybe I ought to look, just once.  I think IK started out to be the magazine you are looking for – “Beyond the Basics!” was the slogan. But they soon abandoned that approach. (Do follow the link to Vivienne’s blog – lovely baby, lovely sweater.)

Kristie, my subscription to the Knitter is not Zinio, but an app of its own. If I ever find anything there that I Must Knit Right Now, I’ll get back to you to work out a strategy to get it on paper. At the moment, my immediate mental project list is at least six months long (finish Christmas; have a sock-blitz to fill up my husband’s drawer a bit; knit him a v-necked vest; my Effortless; a gardening sweater for Rachel’s husband Ed). It would have to be a pretty good magazine pattern to insinuate itself into that plan.

And then of course Scotland will win the Calcutta Cup in 2012, how could they not? and I will want to knit a sweater to commemorate that. And it will have to be done in '12 -- that's the rule.

I am going to meet our niece this morning in the newly-reopened Portrait Gallery for coffee and maybe some art and maybe some Christmas shopping, so I had better press on now with my porridge.


  1. Re magazines. I liked the homegrown tone of "Yarn Forward" - the recognisable child models and so on. And then they managed to get the blogger of "My Fashionable life to edit it, which seemed like a coup. I did not understand the transition to "Knit", but it may have been to do with world markets. I recently resubscribed to IK and was very disappointed to find that the "Back to Basics" approach had crept in there.

  2. I really hope Scotland win the Calcutta Cup in 2012 - not because I am particularly supporting them but England so firmly do not deserve to after their bad behaviour/attitude etc.

  3. Shandy - I actually asked why they changed the title, and was told that they felt they'd sell better if people could see from the title that the mag is about knitting.... hm, would yarn forward sound more like writing novels? weird that - but yes, it was about marketing.
    Jean - thanks, I agree about sweater and baby - but I don't find anything about the "knit" magazine - I read back 4 pages:(( pity that they didn't keep the other mag going, but maybe it's because more experienced knitters tend to make up their own patterns and don't buy enough mags?

  4. GrannyPurple11:28 AM

    I have found the recent IK quite disappointing--and wonder if the availability of individual patterns online and their (addictive) instant delivery are affecting the quality of the patterns that are available for the magazines to publish...

  5. I just completed 'strib' . A free hat pattern on raveled. Very boyish and much worn. Does zinio not allow you to print pages?

  6. Ruth in Ottawa2:21 PM

    Re hat patterns - have you tried Knitspot? She has a new pattern out and lots of previous ones to choose from too. (Also many other beautiful things like shawls and scarves...) I too was disappointed with the latest IK and will not be renewing my subscription. I find a lot of their patterns too trendy and too youthful (this from a grizzled soon-to-turn 55) and their knitting "tips" ludicrously self-evident.

  7. Woolly Bits, I think the comment from Vivienne about Knits was in the comments to the previous post here on Jean's blog rather than on her own blog.

  8. I recommend WoollyWormhead for hats. The patterns are very accessible and she has a good range for boys, especially those in Bambeanies. I've just finished Brownie for my grandson and it took less than a week including blocking. Hats are good projects when sitting with my husband who is in the late stage of Alzheimer's disease and I have a fair few in my present drawer!

  9. Woolly Bits, it was a comment here yesterday rather than anything on my own extremely neglected blog, greenmtngirl is quite right. Thank you for admiring the jumper and the baby though!

    I think is absolutely right about the effect of online pattern sales on all the magazines. I do still subscribe to The Knitter, but keep meaning to stop, since practically all the patterns I knit are either online or from books, and I'm not sure the articles justify the expense when I could be spending that money on wool.

  10. My second paragraph should have included the word GrannyPurple, by the way.

  11. How is the new portrait gallery, in your opinion? I had seen an article about it recently and hoped you would visit it soon.

  12. greenmtngirl and vivienne:
    thanks, found the comment now:)) I live in ireland, no infos about thinkgs like these.. but yes, of course, I think you're right about not supporting behaviour like this! pity - though to be honest I had thought I'd stop buying it anyway, because I drown in mags and usually make up my own design anyway....