Monday, March 31, 2014

I have difficulty enough fitting the little I do into 24 hours – 23 is definitely not enough. Still, here we are on the far side. That's that done for another year. And round 11 is finished, of the borders of the Unst Bridal Shawl.

Elaine, thank you for the pointer to p. 160 of “Knit One Knit All”. That's going to help. Part of my difficulty has been, how to fit in the YO's which have to go on either side of the pivotal stitch every other row. I think the answer is, put them in on the wrong-side row (unlike the other three corners). That is, at the end of a right-side round, wrap and turn and then do a YO before starting the next round. And at the end of a wrong-side round, do a YO before knitting the stitch.

Cheryl Schweitzer (any relation?) wrote to remind me of the treasures available on Jackie E-S's wonderful website, Heartstrings. I'm already using her “less stressful k3tog” at least half the time. I must explore the website looking for more.

[Jackie's less-stressful k3tog is: knit the first two stitches together, transfer the resulting stitch back to the left-hand needle, pass the following stitch over, transfer the whole lot back to the right-hand needle. The one I do when I'm feeling stronger is: slip the first two stitches together – that is, inserting the needle as if you were going to knit them together, then knit the third and pass the slipped stitches over it.]

Round 11, just finished, has no fewer than 5 k3togs in every 36-stitch repeat.

The new VK has pitched up here. I haven't had time to do it justice yet, but I've read Meg on lace knitting just in case there was anything I needed to know right now. She reminds us of the need to avoid casting-on and casting-off as far as possible, because of the danger of creating a tight line, confirming my prejudice in favour of knitting a Shetland shawl edging-inwards – where the only casting-on is for the edging itself, and there's no casting-off at all.

This got me worried a bit about the bottom edge of the centre square of the Unst Bridal Shawl, where I had to cast on (provisionally) a lot of stitches. I think I'm OK on that one.

Skeindalous, I had completely forgotten that plenty of garter-stitch-in-the-round is waiting for me when I finally get back to Rams and Yowes. I'm pretty sure I'll follow your lead on that one, bite the bullet, and purl every other round.

Speaking of which – Kate Davies is off to Iceland, having just finished a Lopi design of her own, soon to be published. She is full of enthusiasm for the yarn. I suspect a new item is about to shoot to the top of many a HALFPINT list.

Now that Laetare Sunday is behind us, Easter can't be far away. I'd like to take the Bridal Shawl along to Loch Fyne. I tend to get up first, along with the Little Boys, and we sit at the wonderful long kitchen table, in a room made cosy by the Aga, me alternately knitting and interfering in whatever the boys are doing. They play together better than any two children I have ever known. It's splendid knitting time, with the early-morning synapses firing and no responsibility for the rest of the day.

But Hellie and Matt will be there. I can scarcely knit the Bridal Shawl in front of them. Take both projects, perhaps, for different times of day?

Rachel phoned yesterday, as she usually does on Laetare Sunday. Her family has postponed rejoicing (= laetare) until next weekend, when they're all going to Paris to cheer Hellie on in her marathon-running. They're going to pick us up on Good Friday and whisk us off to Loch Fyne.


  1. I wish we (in the US) had the same clock-turning schedule as the UK. When we set the clocks forward a few weeks ago it seemed much too early. Winter is not loosening its grip all that noticeably, and it seemed odd to have so much light on such cold evenings. About the stress of k3tog: just the reason why I've mostly avoided patterns with nupps. Those rows with k5tog or k7tog are approached with such dread. Take both projects.

  2. Kay over at Mason Dison Knitting is looking to knit a shawl for a bride of Scottish heritage. I suggested she check our the Princess and the Unst shawl as well as your blog. Hope you don't min me putting a plug in for you. Also I looked at tThe Principles of Knitting book. In her typical fashion, she has renamed what we have all been calling garter stitch in the round. I read the pages and don't think there is any thing there that you haven't considered. Since I have the new book, never having been able to get my hands on the original, I will scan the pages and send them along in a bit.

  3. Regarding the bottom edge of the Unst Bridal Shawl, Jean, your provisional cast on will be fine as it won't be a cast on once you've removed it. On the other hand, the knitted cast on recommended by Sharon Miller that you mentioned the other day made that first edge much too tight on my first Heirloom Knitting Project, the Rosebud Shawl. I ended up picking the cast on out and picking up the stitches but I learned my lesson and won't ever use a regular cast on in lace. On my Unst Bridal Stole I used the crochet cast on, my preferred one, and it was perfect!