Sunday, January 05, 2014

All well, except that I am beginning to experience the difficulty I predicted. The four-row pattern on the shawl-side of the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl is too easy, and I find my mind wandering until suddenly I realise that I don't know where I am or which row I am knitting. The diamonds on the outer edge are all right – they wax and wane over 12 rows. And the faggoting is fine – the same every row. I have made a couple of mistakes with the four-row pattern, I think, but it would take the rider of a very slow horse indeed to spot them.

Maybe it'll get to be instinctive. Meanwhile I have earned my new percentage point and am bearing down on the first corner.

I got Sharon Miller's book out. She agrees that lace knitting didn't fit with outdoor work, but concludes that it was done in the winter by fire light and oil lamp. Wow. We saw a croft house while we were there, now maintained as a museum but inhabited – I am sure the last resident was an old woman – within the memory of the custodian who showed us around and told us about it. It was fascinating – Kristie's discovery. (I contributed very little to the planning and organisation of that wonderful weekend – other people sought out treasures, including Knitsofacto who, in the end, couldn't be with us.)

There was no kitchen, of course. An open hearth, with fish and mutton hanging from the rafters above to smoke. I wondered, too late, about water – one can do without running water, at a pinch, but one needs access to fresh water of some sort. By the time I thought to ask that question, we were on our way to the airport. Another reason to go back.

I am surprised to find – the connection of thought here is, knitting lace under difficulties – that I don't have a long rosewood-tipped needle in the requisite small gauge. Did I really knit the Princess on a metal needle, white stitches on pale grey, only four years ago? I started the edging on such a needle while we were at Loch Fyne, and soon switched to the wooden sock needles I had with me. Ordering a wonderful needle for the borders is something to look forward to when I get to the fourth side.


Thanks, as ever for your help. I've downloaded and installed Infanview for my picture editing, It looks very promising, although more complicated than the simple free program I used to use called OfotoNow – a Kodak offering from which they have retreated. I'll report further.

Alas, I can't find the excellent comment (Sunday morning presses) suggesting that I google the names of the people who didn't send Christmas cards. Alas (again), it didn't work. My seamstress friend would be too obscure to merit much of an obituary, and her name is a common one. An American who disappeared a couple of years ago was rather distinguished, and has a long “google” with no hint of an obituary, so he is probably still alive. An incapacitating stroke? He had already had a couple of small ones, when we last heard. Dementia? It's not likely to be anything pleasant.


  1. Anonymous11:53 AM

    There are several 'people finder' sites, eg which may help to find your missing friends. Alternatively you could look up the Births, Marriages, Deaths notices; they all seem to be online these days, even the very small local papers. Hope this helps. Helen

  2. Anonymous8:23 PM

    It was I who suggested that you google your friends' names. One of my friends was a retired university president, so I knew that something would appear for him. The other one was a person I had known for many years, through our mutual love of sewing. (She previously owned a fabric shop.) I was able to find her obituary by typing in her name, then a comma, and then the city in which she lived. Hers was a very common name, but I found her obituary easily.

    Mary G. in Texas