Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Some progress made at resuming the threads of life. It’s astonishing how much paper-work three days’ absence generates.

My sister is here to attend a medical conference. She has located the Conference Centre and today will begin actually attending. She is younger than I am, and energetic, and it is proposed that we face up to getting the Princess shawl out from its interment. She was in London over the weekend, and had lunch with Lucy (the prospective bride) and Thomas, and reports that Lucy is enthusiastic about the idea of wearing it.

She is going from here to Washington, and could take the BSJ. Maybe I'll take advantage of the offer, and get those buttons sewn on.


I am now knitting Rams & Yowes round and round on a circular. It remains rather tight and harsh. It’s looking good. I wonder about a larger needle size -- although it’s getting rather late to switch, and I don’t have the right sort of needle one size larger, either. I am sort of encouraged by this unsatisfactory state of affairs to hope that some of my difficulties with the knitting belt were due to the project. Maybe I’ll be able to use the belt successfully for the forthcoming Fair Isle vest.

And speaking of knitting belts, Helen sent me these pictures she took at the Greek Folk Art Museum in Athens. There is an interesting essay to be written about the speed-knitting techniques and accessories of different nations. Maybe a book. Franklin might be the man..

Enlarge the middle one for an interesting, although to me largely unintelligible, label about how the knitting sticks were used.

And the Milano glides blissfully on. I’ve got to make a final decision soon – before I discover that I’ve knit a yard past the point where I should have divided for the armholes – about whether to knit the pattern as given, or Relax3. And in the latter case, how do I handle stripes on the sleeves? Thinking, again. Some people seem to enjoy it. Not me.

The new VK turned up yesterday. They send it in a plain brown envelope, for some reason, as if it were pornography – not in a horrible plastic sleeve like every other publication. So I don’t recognise it when I pick it up from the mat, which but enhances the pleasure later on.

Magazine-wise, this issue (Autumn 2013) is a sensation. Five brilliant articles, one after another, including a wonderful feature on Kate Davies. That should anchor her star in the firmament. Nancy Marchant writes on brioche, with an interesting scarf pattern appended.

I love brioche, and should apply myself to it. My first experience of it, decades ago, was an utterly easy k1, k1b throughout, “k1b” meaning “knit 1 through the stitch in the row below”. No yarn overs, no nothing. So what I need to know is, how does the result of that technique differ (if at all) from other approaches.

And there’s Meg on Tam-o-shanters, and Debbie Newton with a fascinating applied cable technique, expanding on a pattern of hers later in the issue; and an article about dickeys. I’m old enough to remember them from last time. They should be quick and fun to knit, and cosy to wear.

When we get past all this excitement to the actual patterns, there’s nothing that stirs me. But I have found that a good VK matures like a good wine – five years from now, those patterns will be better.


  1. Jean, how sweet that Lucky wants to wear the Princess. I hope it is found in good shape. I think that the knit 1 below is tighter and more ribbing like than the 'real' brioche that has the yarnover. I learned that from EZ in Knitting Without Tears as Prime Rib.

  2. So, a few years ago I bought a knitting sheath from this man: http://gansey.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-knitting-sheaths-work.html , which is slipped onto a belt to hold but otherwise seems to work like a knitting stick.

    I have tried it some, but lack a decent belt to hold it steady. I have one belt, and it is not wide nor tight enough. That is what is keeping me from trying it again, sadly. I believe Agres also stopped selling them because he was realizing that people were buying them, but didn't know how to use them. I'll be honest and say that the video on the link above didn't help me much.

    1. so, I took a look at his blog - haven't looked at it for a long time - and he has a post on different knitting implements that you might like:

  3. It looks to me in the lowest picture that the lady knitting has the yarn around the thing under her arm not the needle held in it.

  4. =Tamar4:36 AM

    I think the lady has the yarn around a hook pinned to her dress, which is documented as a method, and isn't using a knitting stick at all. I also don't think those are knitting sticks. They look like short distaffs.