Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I feel quite optimistic about 2013. I had a  New-Year’s phone conversation with Rachel last night. She is apprehensive – doesn’t much like that “13”.

She has been struck down by the norovirus, too. And yesterday’s comment from The Snood Knitter brings us up to date with her son Joe and his girlfriend Becca (the Snood Knitter being Becca’s mother). So that’s 11 of us out of a party of 17. A bit like the Masque of the Red Death. It seems to move fast, this thing. I hope that means that the six survivors are more or less out of danger.

Archie’s school escaped this year – it’s just that they were making plans to close early if the lurgy struck. It’s about all they could have done. It must be appalling on a cruise ship or in a hospital ward.

As well as writing down things-I-hope-to-knit on January 1st, I also like to note a brief list of “achievables”. For the last few years, “Get a grip” has come top of the list. A grip on ironing, and piles of paper, and clouds of dust, that is. Last year, I noted sagely that that would require a plan. This year, I have formed one.

I also try to note the subjects of my internal monologue on the first day of the year. Yesterday was notably cheerful (the sun shone) and I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I might do with the Japanese shirt yarn, if I abandon the Japanese shirt.

I would feel bad about doing it, after Stella (a professional pattern-writer) took all the trouble to translate it from the Japanese for me, and write it out. But:

1)      I’m not getting much of anywhere.
2)      I have recently grasped that I don’t wear jackets/cardigans/shirts nearly as much as I wear sweaters and vests, although I keep on knitting them.
3)      The yarn is too beautiful to waste.

“Knit One, Knit All” has lots of interesting possibilities, although I wish that model wouldn’t fiddle with her hair. And I am rather taken with this one, on Ravelry. It’s so basic I am surprised I can’t find the idea anywhere else, but so far I have failed. It’s not in Vibeke Lind, where I thought I would find it. And it’s not quite EZ’s Bog Jacket. The free pattern is in German, but is so simple I suspect I will be able to work it out.

First, of course, I must finished Ed’s Gardening Sweater. I am at that absolutely maddening point where every morning I measure yesterday’s progress, and every morning the answer is exactly the same. I have knit 14” of the body. I want 15 ½”. Maybe it’ll move today. 


  1. Happy New Year Jean. Glad you are feeling a bit better.

    An adult version of that little girl's sweater would look good with vikkel braids instead of bobbles. There is a pattern for something similar in the book that accompanied the BBC series on knitting in the '80s. It's called an overblouse.

    One of my grandchildren went on an outdoor pursuits course recently and the whole class of nine year olds went down with the norovirus in a period of a few days. The teachers had to get the parents to come and take them home!

  2. I generally find that when I'm stuck at a certain length for ages it then leaps to being too long, a most annoying phenomenon!

  3. Happy New Year! It was a lovely shiny day here in Leeds that made me feel quite optimistic too, although we are back to the grey and the rain today. I am one of the new followers from Franklin's post. I am also a big EZ fan and lace knitter. Re the shirt, there is a Viking shirt in Knit Real Shetland by Sandra Manson would that be the sort of thing?

  4. I do hope all are feeling better. That sweater reminds me of EZ's Hand to Hand in construction at least. Perhaps that could be a starting point.

  5. Anonymous1:52 PM

    May the year that now is bring happiness and health, prosperity and peace!

    I’ve lurked here anonymously for long enough I remember the beginnings of the Japanese shirt. For personal reasons I would hate to see you abandon it: with your encouragement I fell for it, acquired the pattern book (in Japanese), and with philological training and patience (plus some on-line resources) started deciphering the pattern. (I do not have the resources of a professional pattern-writer; I do have friends who read Japanese, which is my back-up plan.) I even found a lovely yarn.

    But of course that Japanese shirt is the sort of garment I would, and do, wear. That makes a substantial difference. In the end, you should do what feels right to you - it’s your time commitment.

    C. K. (in the snows of New England)

  6. I am another one who found you through Franklin's blog. I haven't said anything until now, because I have been reading your posts from the beginning. I am starting a blog, and you set a good example for me.

    Happy new year to you and your family! I too was looking forward to seeing how the Japanese shirt was going too look, but... You are not making it for me or your readers! you inspire me to be honest with myself, and to make more lists; I'll start with cleaning my clothes closet.

  7. Sarah JS10:55 PM

    Well as 2012 was trying, I've been keeping my head low on the "what to accomplish in 2013" ideas. However, your "get a grip" reminded me how much I want to "get a grip" on organizing (and pitching!) my home. However, it struck me that starting modestly might work better. So this year is the year to tackle the spare room (or Spare Oom: Is that how Lewis wrote it in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"?)

    As for knitted items that refuse to grow ... I think it was a comment in one of EZ's books that suggested putting a marker at the point of one's knitting at the end of the each day. That way one can visually see the progress (or not) of each day. 'Course there are several days (in my knitting) wherein things go backwards if I have to rip for some reason.