Saturday, January 04, 2014

Another day's respectable progress. I should achieve another percentage point today – 40 scallops – and finishing the edging for the first side – 50 scallops – could be said to be on the distant horizon. I don't quite know where to go from there -- onwards, probably, while it's still such fun. The target for 2014 is to be well advanced with the borders. It doesn't sound impossible, put like that, and should leave time for some other knitting.

At least a traditionally-shaped shawl is a known quantity, however large. With the Princess, one knits a mere 85 scallops and then picks up 865 stitches for the border and knits 220 rows of pattern. For the Bridal Shawl, I will have to pick up 1200 stitches, but I shall be decreasing as I knit inwards and the border is only 135 rows deep.

With the Princess, one feels one is getting somewhere when the borders are finished, You then knit the centre fill-in to make it a triangle, starting with a few stitches at the point of the triangle and picking up a border stitch at each end of every row as you proceed. You soon realise that the centre triangle is vaster than empires. And when you finish it, there's still a top-edging of that difficult edging pattern (which by now you have forgotten since several years have elapsed since you knit it).

So there are grounds for mild optimism.

I think the Unst shawl is Sharon Miller's own design. The Princess is based on one in the National Museum here in Edinburgh – the anonymous designer/knitter made a duplicate (which I gather was a not uncommon thing to do) after presenting the original to the Princess of Wales in 1863. And the Queen Ring shawl (which I haven't knit) is based on one in her own collection. But this one just seems to be a shawl pattern.

That's where I was yesterday morning, There are a few more scallops now.

And I think I'm going to be all right with the camera, as long as Dropbox keeps on making pre-emptive moves whenever I plug it in. Southern Gal, I must have had software with the camera once, because it's installed on Old Slowcoach. But I can't find the disk. It's time I got back to work finding a man who might be able to transfer programs. I want to be able to save-with-fewer-pixels, to speed the uploading. I haven't figured that out yet. 

Here's a picture from Christmas Day in the evening. You'd think they'd had nothing to eat all day.

And here's one from London. That's Hellie's lovely boyfriend Matt with Rachel's younger son Joe. Where did this horrible-Christmas-sweater thing come from?


  1. Boys of that age have hollow legs!

    Chocolate sprouts for dessert?

  2. Hi Jean,

    I use a simple program to resize my pictures, it's free, here is the link:

  3. I am happy to see someone managed to find some chocolate Brussels sprouts for you. I thought of you when my sister from London brought some to me in the US this week. I can't eat the real ones, but the chocolate variety make an excellent substitute!

  4. Maureen in upstate ny5:07 PM

    I can second Anne W.'s recommendation of irfanview. It is simple to use and has a surprising number of features. I most often use it for selecting image files because its thumbnail viewer allows you to customize the size of the thumbnails. It also can make thumbnails of my camera's native files, something windows doesn't do.

  5. I have no idea where the Christmas jumper thing came from. My sister, a few days before Christmas, magnanimously told me that she didn't expect me to be able to make her one for this Christmas, but I could for next year. I said nothing!

  6. =Tamar11:33 PM

    I think I can trace it... Years ago, there were simple, happy people who made and wore special clothing for holidays, including Christmas. It was probably the 1950s, the era of Mary Maxim sweaters with huge pictures knitted in. Then the big-picture sweaters went out of style, but the kind of people who decorate for Christmas still dressed for it, and gave such sweaters to other people, some of whom thought they were much too sophisticated to wear them. Then the sneering at them began. Then some backlash happened and people (in the late 1970s, perhaps) began to "reclaim" the Christmas sweater. Then the hipsters began wearing them ironically, because it was funny to wear them. Now it's a form of self-parody which is indistinguishable from sincerity without asking questions: Some people genuinely like them, others feel that they are being somehow superior in wearing them while claiming they don't like them. Other people just see a lot of people wearing them, so they (correctly) assume it's fashionable for whatever reason and follow suit.

  7. Anonymous3:35 AM

    Thanks for sharing your holiday photos. Great to see your family being together and enjoying themselves.
    I agree that it is great someone found the chocolate brussel sprouts.