Sunday, March 18, 2012

Laetare Sunday called because the liturgy of today’s Mass begins with the words, “Laetare, Jerusalem…” [meaning, rejoice!] The priest’s vestments are a pleasant rose instead of Lenten purple, and we relax our discipline a bit [meaning, drink cider!]. The Pope sometimes blesses a golden rose and presents it to a Catholic queen, although he seems to have given over that practice recently.

That opening bit of the Mass goes on to something about being filled from the breasts of your consolation – don’t ask me; blame deutero-Isiah – which is presumably the reason that today is Mothering Sunday, when children traditionally pick a posy of spring flowers for their mothers. The day has been seized upon by the money-makers and horribilised, but it retains its place in the liturgical calendar and moves hither and yon through the Sundays of spring at the bidding of Easter.

Kilt hose

Archie rang up yesterday – he is the only one of my grandchildren who regularly does that – sounding both amused and pleased at the idea of my knitting his kilt hose. So it’s all systems go. I can’t actually do anything, even buy yarn, until Archie has chosen a kilt. He could wear the school tartan, which is blue, or he could go for Robertson like his uncles (see sidebar), and it that case he could wear either “red Robertson”, like them, or the “hunting” version, which is basically green.

We are agreed on a dark colour for the hose. Helen will study school photographs to see what people have on.

(The computer is being more than ordinarily recalcitrant, and seconds are precious on Sunday morning. I’ll have to omit the links and fact-checks I’d like to include.)

Thank you for your help with this project. Woolley Bits, that link to the yarn source is precisely what I wanted, and will be kept safely until needed. Skeindalous, I found the Celtic Kilravock pattern on Ravelry (and the stitch pattern in Barbara Walker). It’s stunning. It’s beautifully knit – that white yarn would show up every blip, and there aren’t any.

What if the pattern doesn’t come out even, in the length needed for fit? Maybe I’ll write to her.

And, Skeindalous, I don’t believe in authenticity (speaking as an American of Dutch descent). All this kilt-ery and tartan stuff was invented by Walter Scott when George IV made his ceremonial visit to Edinburgh. Go to the Kinloch Anderson website (they make stuff for the royals) and look at their female skirts/kilts.


I must have bought something from Knit Purl once, because they keep sending me tempting emails. Yesterday they came up with this – the link was essential – and I fell for the green colorway. That’s my snood, my Games entry. I hope to use Jared’s pattern for the actual knitting, with the Knit Purl Gradient system of blending the colours.

And what’s the use, you may well ask, of giving up Rowan Kidsilk Haze for life if I’m going to fall for Shibui Silk Cloud?


  1. The Gradient cowl is fabulous, and the greens will be stunning.

  2. Anonymous4:35 PM

    I may have to buy that kit myself, in blues. I enjoy working with kidsilk-style laceweight mohairs anyway, so no trouble there.
    -- Gretchen

  3. Anonymous6:23 PM

    You temptress!
    I feel the blue kit calling me.

  4. =Tamar8:12 PM

    Technically, the made-up part was later than Sir Walter; tartan goes back as far as we have fabric, to the Falkirk tartan (a nice windowpane design) and the mummies of Urumchi. It is also shown in authenticated family portraits from before the ban, which also show people wearing a mix of sett patterns. When the laws against wearing tartan were repealed, the designs were given numbers, but the ones that were bought repeatedly by certain families were named after them, in a "you know, the one the Xs always buy, weave more of that" manner. Later somebody attached the idea of specific setts per family, but the colors and general concept existed already.
    It's not _quite_ as bad as the totally wrong-headed idea of "family knitting patterns."
    I had thought kilt hose were always white. I'm glad to learn that they don't have to be.

  5. Funny how small the internet has made the world. The designer of the kilt hose is a friend of mine and will be more than happy to answer your questions on it. And of course Knit/Purl is in Portland as well. I'm particularly fond of their Shibui sock yarn.

    How delightful that Archie keeps in touch with you. I see you and he having delightful times while he's in school.