Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The best I could do, when I finally got through to the GP's practice yesterday, was to book a phone call from our doctor today. I've already been out for the papers, and will remain close to the telephone henceforth. There's still time to see a cardiologist this week, and feel better next week. My sister says that I wouldn't have been left so long untreated in the USofA.


The fun has started on the Unst Bridal Shawl.

I had a lot of trouble with the provisional cast-on. At the time, I just reached into the odd-ball sock bag and took the first thing to hand, a rather fuzzy yarn. Big mistake. What is needed is something much more like mercerised cotton. It kept sticking. Ten stitches or so would unravel nicely, and then it would stick fast and have to be unpicked – leaving me wondering whether it was the fault of the yarn, or whether I had actually managed to do something wrong when I was casting on.

If I ever need the technique again, in lace, I'll try Sharon's “knitted cast-on” which is something like the cable cast-on but leaves, according to her illustration, a nice row of little loops to slip the needle through when wanted. But I think any future lace ventures will be outside-in.

So, the bottom edge is not exactly museum quality. I finished picking up and did a round of purling as planned. That's definitely out, for the rest of he shawl. Then came a “break round” – k2tog, yo, all the way around. Ssk proved much easier, so I did that. Then I attached another ball of yarn and turned and started Fleegle'ing.

The yarn bra's don't work. The yarn can't unwind properly. If I had a centre-pull ball, everything would be fine, but I don't think these balls work that way, and anyway it's too late now. Everything should be fine, if I keep my wits about me.

(a) The ball I have been using – now the “right-side row” ball – is nearing its end. It is easy to distinguish from the new ball.

(b) The knitting is now in the shape of a bowl. On the “wrong-side rows”, I'm knitting on the inside of the bowl – as long as I don't flip it inside out

(c) I've marked the “right side” with a safety pin.

I now have to do five rows of garter stitch – (oddly, the text says four, but five is clearly right, as the chart shows) – while I get used to Fleegle'ing, check and double-check the stitch count, and put markers in place for the pattern repeats.

I'm low on the markers I vastly prefer, those little rubber ones, plain circles. Everybody wants to sell me split rings or worse. I tried to get some at our local LYS – a modest way of supporting local business while not adding to stash, I thought. But she only had fancies. I thought I'd get some in Jamieson & Smith and it would be nice to have them to hand as a daily Shetland souvenir. Alas, it was the same story there. So it'll have to be the internet. I've just ordered some KnitPro ones I found on eBay.

I think this thing is going to be even more compulsive knitting from here on out. And I can hardly wait to start the next one.

From Zite

Heather Lodinsky has designed a toddler vest in Red Heart “Heart & Sole” sock yarn which looks, from a distance, like Fair Isle. And Christmas will come again, sure as death and taxes.


  1. Stitch markers: I have found some small ,so called hair elastics from Claire's Accessories the best. They are called "no more snags hair elastics" come in black or clear ( though I bought some pink and purple ones a few years ago ). They come in a plastic bag of either 50 or 100 and cost £3. Bargain. They are not elastic but a thin plastic and are firm enough to stay between the stitches, just stretchy enough to move and if you knit them in by mistake cheap enough to snip out. Look at www.claires.co.uk. You can order online or they have a few stores in Edinburgh.

  2. Next time you are faced with a wall of haberdashery items, look for "Austrian Blind Rings" and buy the smallest size. they make excellent stitch markers and are so cheap that, if I knit through one, it doesn't break my heart to have to cut it out. I have such a good supply that nowadays, when faced with a large number to cast on, I slip one on the needle after every tenth stitch - My OH is trained, now, not to mutter numbers when I am counting, but I can still lose it without his help!

  3. Seconding the Claire's Accessories recommendation. The little hair elastics are so cheap and useful - I usually get a couple of packets of the multicoloured ones. They make perfect stitch markers.

  4. I'll have to look for the elastics. I have bought the little rubber rings at a hardware store, as well.

  5. Your sister is right. In the US, as soon as you were suspected of having a heart problem you would have been sent to a cardiologist, and probably seen with a couple of days, if not the same day. Certainly you would have been diagnosed and treated by now, and your family is right to urge you to see a private cardiologist. Given your systems slowness to do this, I suspect that they would also to be slow to offer you the most up to date treatment options as well: all the more reason to see a private specialist. You have too much going on in your life to settle for less!

  6. We have excellent medical care here in the US but we certainly pay for it ! With a suspected heart problem care would be immediate ....wishing you the best possible care to alleviate your concerns.

  7. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Take your little rubber plain marker to the hardware store/ironmonger and you will find many of all sizes. mostly black or red ... this is possible in Canada ... I hope it is so in Scotland