Friday, March 28, 2014


Not a bad day. Maybe this assume-a-virtue-if-you-have-it-not approach is going to work. I'll try walking a bit farther than usual today. Thank you for your kind words. I had been feeling rather embarrassed, myself, all this fuss about what seems to be turning out to be nothing. There is much that still puzzles me.

A totally irrelevant note, tangentially related: when Helen's wonderful friend S. was driving us home from the appt with the Great Man on Wednesday, she took us through Holyrood Park in that wonderful moment of a Scottish equinoctial evening when the light is preternaturally vivid, picking out each dog-walker and jogger on Arthur's Seat and the Crags which were looming above us. As we passed the Palace of Holyrood, S. said, “A prince must be here”. It was flying a very serious-looking, royal-looking flag, with quarters.

I read the Court Circular with particular interest yesterday, and sure enough. Princess Anne, after a day spent attending boring-sounding meetings in Manchester and Newcastle on Wednesday, rounded it all off with a boring-sounding dinner in Edinburgh. The flag must have been flying for her. That's something else Scotland will lose if they vote Yes in this bloody referendum.


Not an entirely good day, yesterday. The needles arrived from Heirloom Knitting – but, has something happened to Inox? They are called Prym and they are that familiar knitting-needle grey. I knit a whole round on one of them, and immediately knit everything back onto the unreliable needle because I couldn't see the stitches. The old needle is shiny, and I can see them fine. Nickle-plated, I gather is the term.

So I have ordered another two circulars, nickle-plated Knit Pro's from Meadow Yarn. The blurb mentions lace knitting in particular, a propos the sharpness of the needles and the smoothness of the join between cable and point. I've been having trouble with that, too. It will probably turn out, as so often, that I should have consulted you people first.

And as for the knitting itself, I'm not doing at all well with Fleegle and I don't know what's wrong, so I have decided to switch to wrap-and-turn. That is, to use one ball of yarn and to turn around after each circuit and knit the next one in the other direction. I've done that once before, and the only difficulty is that it leaves a strong, discernible line up one corner, clearly visible from horseback. It's not entirely easy to do, either, when there is a YO on either side of the wrapped stitch every other row. I'll get the hang of it, I suppose. A 10-minute Google session hasn't provided any helpful instructions.

My first thought had been to wrap all the corner stitches – if you can't disguise it, make a feature of it -- but that turns out to be so awkward a manoeuvre for the reason just given, that I have abandoned the idea.

Let's hope for better news tomorrow.


  1. The princess royal was at Heriot watt university yesterday morning (that explains the high vis police hanging about when I got to work) and then later she went to Western hailes...

    Hope all continues to improve with your health.

  2. Inox made, or may still make, two versions of circular needles, Inox (the gray needles) and Inox Express (nickel coated) In the US, at least, Inox Express are no longer available. Addi Turbo is making needles called "Sock Rockets" that are nickel-plated, with long tapered very pointy points that are great for lace knitting.

  3. Ellen1:04 PM

    Addi also makes a pointy needle specifically for lace which is brass rather than nickel coated. The brass is slightly less slippery than the nickel, and it is much easier to use (also useful with line, and especially nice with the lace weight mohairs), however the brass does tarnish and leaves hands very slightly dirty, and could conceivably dirty the knitting. I have aslo used the Knitpicks harmony needle (a laminiated wood with sharp points) very effectively with lace. I believe they are the same as the Knit Pros sold in the UK.
    I'm glad the Great Man declared you fit, and I hope you remain well.

  4. So glad that your health seems to improve!

  5. KarenE2:37 PM

    I like my Knit Pro wooden needles - they're much tougher than some wooden brands. And Addi Turbo Lace sound like a winning combination of nickel-plated and pointy. The other option would be ebony if you could find some in the right size. Good luck with finding a satisfactory method of working the border.

  6. It may be too late in your progress for yet another suggestion about doing the knitting around on the shawl, but have you consulted June Hemmons Hyatt's book The Principles of Knitting? I thought about dragging mine out to have a look and then decided you had probably already checked her out. Good luck and keep feeling better. All you loyal followers have been worried about. you.

  7. It is reassuring sometimes to be declared okay by the doctor. We get an idea in our head and it just churns around and around and we end up feeling it is something serious. Sometimes it takes a visit to the doctor to break the cycle.

    1. Anonymous4:37 PM

      So true!
      -- stashdragon

  8. Happy you are feeling better; you made me feel better as well because "equinoctial" made my entire day!

  9. Elaine in NYC4:35 PM

    You had previously noted that the yarn bras weren't performing well and that sometimes the wrong ball was being used. Consider using a yarn bra for the inactive ball of yarn for another attempt at Fleegle and then switch when it's time for the next round.

  10. BooksAngel5:37 PM

    In the US Knit Pro under the Knitters Pride label offers one of the most comfortable needles it use for hours at a time. Their Karbonz have pointy nickel tips with carbon compound needles. The black cord makes a completely easy to use needle. I believe it is offered on your side of the Atlantic. Friends were getting them from England in the several months before they were offered here.


  11. I don't think you should feel embarrassed. Who better than one's self to be an advocate for one's health? I feel we should sometimes make a fuss over ourselves. At least until we are feeling better.

    Im reading your posts from June 2009 when you were considering a jabot for your son and finishing the edging of the Princess. It's a particularly witty time for your writing; I've laughed out loud a few times this afternoon.

    I hope you continue to feel better.