Sunday, October 06, 2013

We had a nice time with Archie. He had to get back to school at the end of the afternoon  because they’re having a big harvest-festival thing today. He’s visibly older and stronger and more grown-up than he was a year ago, just as my husband and I are visibly older and weaker. Nature balances out nicely.

A book called “Shetland Textiles: 800 BC to the Present” will be launched tomorrow as Shetland Wool Week begins. 10% off if you order this week. It’s expensive, but I figured I had to have it, this being the Year I Went to Shetland.

We were a bit sorry not to be able to time our visit to coincide with Wool Week – I think now that it was a good thing. There would have been crowds – at least small, Shetland-sized crowds – in the places we had to ourselves, and Burrastow (the b&b/hotel where we lived so comfortably and ate so well) would have been closed – Pierre was about to go back to Bruges for the winter.

Browsing the Shrtland Heritage website just now, I found this: A Taste of Burrastow. So it was already known for food before Pierre bought it! I think I’ll have to order that one, too. Maybe there'll be a recipe for reestit mutton soup.

Knitting with the belt went a bit better yesterday, after a poor beginning – I sat down with it and discovered that I had knit most of the second round with the long-tail instead of the working yarn. It happens. So much of that practice session was spent straightening things out.

When I got back to work, I left the right hand to its own devices. If it wants to clutch the rigid needle in between yarn throws, it might as well do so, at least for now. The left hand did well at lifting the stitch off, and can manage the second colour of yarn as well without difficulty.

Using four needles, however, is awkward. They flap about and get in each other's way. Today I will try to go back to three.

It would be nice if this style of knitting would take over and make me more efficient.  Rachel’s younger son Joe is coming up this week, taking a couple of days off work to help us with energetic tasks in Strathardle. (And it will be nice for me to be there with another adult.) I can’t take both projects along – with all those balls of wool, there wouldn’t be room for much else in the car.

So I mean to take Rams & Yowes. Maybe I’ll allow myself to add a circular needle to the package, just in case.

But I'm not going to force things. If my old slow-and-clumsy way goes on being more fun, I'll stick with it. On the other hand, the softness of the Milano yarns gives it an unfair advantage at the moment.

Milano continues well – only two more colours to be incorporated, and then the sequence begins again with the two-round-stripes changing places with the eight-round ones. Another pic soon.


  1. The book looks wonderful but the postage would be prohibitive (almost as much as the paperback version sans VAT!) I will have to wait and see if a library gets it.

  2. I'm interested to read of your knitting belt experiments - I have always knitted parlour-style and found it counter productive to try and change, but I did notice, a little while ago, that my left hand is not as idle as I had thought. I find that I use my left thumb or forefinger to push the right needle back when making the stitch - and I have no idea how or when that started happening. Perhaps I am a suitable candidate f or a knitting belt!

  3. Knitting belt

    I bought a knitting belt and long dpn's a number of years ago from Schoolhouse Press at Meg's Knitting Camp. I played with it a bit then but the needles were too long for me (40 cm) and I put it away. When I ordered some yarn from J&S a few years later I got some 30 cm needles from them but never even tried them until a couple of weeks ago when I was planning a demo of the knitting belt at the LYS for "Fair Isle Month". I tried the 30 cm needles then and, while I like them better than the 40 cm ones, I'm still not really comfortable with belt knitting. Like you I've analyzed my knitting technique and one problem lies with my left hand...I knit stranded knitting with two hands and when I use my left hand I tend to scoop the yarn up by moving the right needle around it so I'd have to change my style if I wanted to use the belt. While there's definitely a place in my heart for the traditional patterns I'm not sure I want to use the belt enough to change my technique to use it.

    I think each of us really has to decide if using the belt will be advantageous to us. I think it might be for me if I were only using my right hand as I used to anchor my right needle back when I knit only with my right hand on straight needles (not stranded knitting). Now I think I'm better off with my circulars and maybe I should look to sell my belt and needles.....