Sunday, September 08, 2013

Big news

Thomas and his Lucy are engaged. (They are standing together in the picture above, with Thomas’s brother Joe to the right.) Thomas phoned us on Friday evening, during his first hour in his new condition – a desperately sweet thing to do, which will be long remembered. The wedding will be next year.

So yesterday was given over to much international telephoning, emailing, and shrieking. Joe is in Philadelphia on some work at the moment, Lizzie of course in Kansas, and did Rachel say that Hellie and Matt are holidaying in Spain? Greek Helen, of course, is in Athens. The one major capital which was not involved in the excitement was Beijing – because Thomas and Lucy left for there yesterday, and wanted to tell their news to the Beijing Mileses themselves.

So if their flight was seriously delayed, I’ll be in trouble for publishing this.

I’ll give them time to get back from there, and the dust time to settle a bit, and then write to Lucy about the Princess shawl. I can think of several reasons why she might not want to use it, but I want to put the question. I’ll send her that picture from the old Piecework (if I can find it) of Bridget Rorem’s daughter wearing the shawl of her mother’s design, to show how a bride might look in a huge shawl; and the picture from the pattern envelope of the Princess itself, with its story.

So, what else?

We had a successful time in Strathardle, and got back alive and well, a great relief. I got all the little plants planted, and the bed netted. We didn’t see any deer in our garden this time, although much evidence of their recent presence, but we did see a small group of them cantering cheerfully through a field a couple of miles from the village as we approached on Wednesday. Two were albino – our children and grandchildren have told us of that phenomenon, but I had never before seen it for myself.

I cast on the BSJ in a Pakokku yarn called “Mercy Hartigan”. Who she? It’s red, pink, and grey, knitting up very nicely although it neither swirls nor pools.

Goodness, this pattern is fun. I have ambitions, this time, of understanding what I am doing and maybe even making alterations to make it perfectly geometrical – as I mentioned the other day, this double-breasted version pulls the side seams forward slightly when it is buttoned across the infant breast. Except that there are no side seams.

I’ve got the Schoolhouse pattern to hand, with EZ’s original instructions and a modern written-out set. And a series of pictures of the work-in-progress. The pattern I follow is more different from the original than I knew – EZ has one do a flap on centre-stitches-only about half-way through the work, and then pick up stitches from the sides of it. There’s nothing like that in my version.

And I hope, when I get there, I’ll be able to understand why.


  1. What exciting times in your family! And your own trip must be imminent too. Lovely to be reminded of the complexity of the Princess, which might overshadow a modern wedding dress.

  2. Congratulations! The bsj is a bit like that, reminds me of a bit in Joyce Dennys' brilliant "Henrietta" books where Henrietta is having difficulty knitting a bootee and is urged to keep going and follow the pattern and it will come right in end and then a while later she exclaims in delight because this random piece of knitting has suddenly turned into a bootee!

  3. rosesmama2:36 PM

    I have Mercy Hartigan spiraling and flashing on a 60 stitch sock on size 1US. I love the way it looks. Perhaps in one of the many stitch counts on the bsj you'll get lucky.

  4. Mercy Hartigan was a character in Dr. Who, dressed very elegantly in red and black. will let you see her. Maybe the grey is for the bad guys, the Cyberman, who she teamed up with!

  5. I've always done BSJ's from the facsimile in "Opinionated Knitter" and yes they have that flap - I assume it is to make the whole jacket longer without increasing the widths of the fronts out of proportion. Shows quite well on the picture here:

  6. Sarah JS7:05 PM

    That "flap" on the center stitches of the BSJ is to provide a bit more room in the derrierre of the sweater to accomodate the bulk of a diaper.

    I've knit two BSJs thus far ... however, a 3rd is likely to be on the needles soon as I need a baby gift for a young cousin & her husband whose baby boy will be experiencing autumn & winter for the first time in the next couple of months.