Thursday, March 07, 2013

Here’s where we are with the Relax:

As you see, I’m hitting the target size pretty well. I have now divided at the underarm. The slight tedium of purling the return rows is more than compensated for by the illusion of progressing twice as fast.

My hope, at the moment, is that I can follow instructions for the shoulder and neck shaping as given for the smallest size –the number of stitches I actually have; and deviate only when (as at the moment) the instruction is to knit for a specific length. For that, I look to a larger size. I am, as I have said, prepared to rip.

My copy of  Kathleen Kinder’s “Inspiration of Lace Knitting” arrived from Country Knitting of Maine yesterday. I ordered it on the 1st of March. Remarkable. It’s a meaty work, although I haven’t spent much time with it yet. It begins with a history of lace knitting before going on to analyse and chart the patterns on the sampler in the collection of the Knitting and Crochet Guild (UK) at Lee Mills, near Huddersfield. The knitter has dated the sampler, 1891.

Unusually, for such a work, machine knitters are catered for.

At the end, she provides suggestions for a sleeveless shell, and a “semi-fitted sleeve block”. A schematic is provided – no measurements, but a clear indication of which measurements would have to be determined. That section begins with the words, “Knitting in the round with its ‘figure-hugging’ propensity is not a suitable technique…”

Did I know that? Is my Relax doomed? Will Meg’s false seams help? Oh, dear.

Most if not all of today’s knitting time will have to be devoted to skein-winding, anyway.


Shortly before your kind comment arrived, Theresa, I had finally grasped the dreadful truth that the Surface will run nothing except Apps from the Store. There doesn’t seem to be a suitable easy word processor there.

I was up at John Lewis’s yesterday, buying a couple of memory sticks among other things. The computer section was unusually peaceful, so I approached the Customer Service counter and told the young men there that I was seriously disappointed with my Surface. Not Lewis’s fault, I hastened to explain, as I had bought it directly from Microsoft.

They were very sympathetic. The Lewis’s notice next to the machine says specifically that it runs only Apps from Microsoft’s own store, and the men assured me that they explain this with care to potential customers. “It has a keyboard and a USB port and runs Microsoft Office…” I said.  He finished the sentence for me: “…and you thought it was a computer.”

I can’t upgrade to a Surface Pro because we haven’t got it in Britain yet. And anyway having to pay extra on that machine for Microsoft Office is ridiculous (even if I don’t want Office). I should have bought my husband a real notebook computer. I had better nerve myself to write to Microsoft.

There's lots I want to say about yesterday’s comments, but we’ve got someone coming to lunch again today.


  1. I'm sorry to hear that the Surface has turned out to be inadequate for your husband's needs. I hope you find a reasonable solution to your problem. Maybe swap with one of the grandchildren?

    I had to shake my head on the line about circular knitting having a propensity for figure hugging. Gauge can differ between knitting flat and knitting in the round. I wonder where she got her notion.

  2. hopefully you will be able to exchange? if not resell it on ebay... even if you get half the price... better to get something that would work for him and you (hours spent dealing with dropbox, etc )

  3. =Tamar6:38 PM

    Kathleen Kinder's primary research area is machine knitting, so I'm not at all surprised that she included that in her book. I wonder whether machine-knit circular knitting is so stretched out that it does pull in more than machine flat knitting; I have no experience with either.

    About the Surface: Sometimes I think they choose names with ironic warnings built in, as in "no depth".
    Speaking of Hideous Warnings: Random House has been issuing truly vile contracts hoping to sucker new writers; see John Scalzi's blog for his opinion of them.

  4. Anonymous9:48 PM

    Love Tamar's comment about Surface = no depth. My husband is fond of recalling that they had a terrible time selling Chevy Novas in South America...until they realized that no va = "doesn't go". Heh!

  5. Anonymous7:05 AM

    I've been hand knitting for 57 years and have 4 or 5 years of machine knitting experience. My projects are about half and half in both flat knitting and in the round. I've never had any gauge change between flat and round in either hand or machine knit.

  6. =Tamar8:10 AM

    Tonight at a social event I was talking to a serious computer man (naming no names) and he literally winced when I mentioned the Surface. He recommended a Samsung XE 500 or 700 (the 500 has a stylus, the 700 has more RAM). However, he also said there are others that will work as well; he just likes this Samsung and says that it runs the complete Windows-8 program, not the truncated one.