Saturday, January 18, 2014


Today's news is only potential, not actual, but worth mentioning now so that we can all savour it for 24 hours before it turns out not to happen.

I might be going to the Calcutta Cup!

Tickets are of hen's-tooth-rarity. Alexander has managed to secure some for himself and his family because of being season ticket holders at Glasgow Warriors. The rule was two per applicant, so he and Ketki applied simultaneously from two different computers and thus got the four tickets they need, actually sitting together.

But he phoned last night to say that a few leftovers will go on general sale today. If he can get another two, I will go with his utterly best friend from school days in Birmingham, a delightful man, still a Brummie but now also a Q.C. He can explain the finer points of the game to me, and indeed some of the coarser ones. But we will be shouting for different sides.

It will be a particularly resonant match (whether Mark and I are there or not) in this year of the Referendum. [The Calcutta Cup is the annual rugby match between Scotland and England, one of the world's oldest sporting fixtures. The cup itself was made in India, in the days when the match was played between two teams of British colonial civil servants.]


Good progress yesterday (no income tax). I've now done 17 of the 50 requisite scallops on the third side of the Unst Bridal Shawl.

The first ball of yarn is about to expire – I doubt if it will finish the side, The pattern asks for 7 25gr balls of fine lace yarn. The ones I bought at Jamieson & Smith are oddly lacking in an indication of weight on the ball band. The website supplies the deficiency – they are 25grams. I am rather pleased to discover – at least so I think – that my guess at percentages for the sake of the sidebar, is more or less right by this different measure. 1/7 is about 14%.

I posted my problem to the Heirloom Knitting Group on Yahoo yesterday, and fared better than I had on Ravelry. The question was, will I need to alter the border patterns because I am knitting them edging-inwards whereas the pattern was written centre-out? Someone suggested swatching, which is not at all a bad idea.

And Myrna Stahman herself replied. She said that she and other list members were involved in the evolution of the wonderful Shetland Supreme yarn I am using. It's a matter of woollen-spun and worsted-spun, as so often. The new yarn is the latter. The old, unsatisfactory (I've knit with it: crede expertae) J&S cobweb lace yarn was woollen-spun. If I could take one piece of advice with me into my next incarnation, it would be, learn to spin.

And Myrna also said: “Lace worked in garter stitch is much more horizontally reversible than lace worked in stockinette stitch. But, most lace knitting designs are not horizontally reversible. For those which are not horizontally reversible you will get a much different pattern motif if you just use the charts upside down. Using charts for lace upside down is one avenue we have explored at my Annual Boise Lace Knitting Retreats. Sometimes using a chart upside down produces a nice, interesting pattern motif, but often that is not the case.”

I think that means I had better swatch. Sharon says something on the subject in Heirloom Knitting, as I may have mentioned, but I'm not sure I understand. But if I swatch a motif, first right side up and then upside down, I might come to grasp Sharon's instructions about how to reverse it.

From the Internet

I seriously like Cotton&Cloud's top-down saddle-shoulder sweater for gents. Archie? if we win the Calcutta Cup? The "Cup '14" motif could be repeated discretely somewhere. I somehow don't think the Little Boys wear sweaters very much, per se. We'll have to talk about it.

And I also like Jared's Frieze scarf – had we but world enough and time.


  1. Spinningfishwife9:13 AM

    Never too late to learn to spin, you know. Come to the Guild one day!

  2. I would love to spin someday, too, but I just banish from my mind. Maybe when I retire? I am glad you got the information you needed from such and expert. My lace knowledge is limited. Fingers crossed for the Calcutta Cup tickets! Hope all at your house are feeling better.

  3. Ruth in Ontario, Canada3:09 PM

    Thanks for the link to that simple and elegant sweater, Jean -- I fell for it at once. Spinning is wonderful, and gives good insight into yarn structure for knitters as well as being a satisfying and relaxing activity in its own right. Not to mention being able to have a fibre stash as well as a yarn stash!