Thursday, April 24, 2014

I've just been looking over Archie's application to be included on the electoral register, not a complicated document. We were in some doubt about whether boarding school constitutes residence, but apparently it's OK. And for the purposes of the Referendum, he's old enough. This is the scariest vote I've ever known. There will be no going back, like voting for Hitler.

I think we may have stumbled on a Great Truth (comments yesterday) – more specifically, Mr. Shandy did. Namely, the tendency of houses to resent the incursion of visitors. Alexander and Ketki were struck by lightening once when we were there for a few days. No wi-fi for a fortnight. And once, during a savage winter, when the Beijing Mileses were here with us, a lump of ice formed at the base of a down pipe so that waste water from the washing machine – which was otherwise working perfectly – backed up into the bathtub.


I am still indulging the fantasy that each round of the Unst Bridal Shawl is the same length as the preceeding one, but it's getting harder to maintain as the stitch count mounts. I've finished the third set of motifs, round 54, and now have four nice easy inter-motif rounds as my reward. The (theoretical) half-way point, round 68, could be said to be within hailing distance. Pic soon.

I spent some time with Sharon's pattern for the Queen Ring Shawl yesterday, and discovered that she includes there a chart for a framed centre as an alternative. I am pretty sure that no such thing has ever been published elsewhere (except, of course, in “Heirloom Knitting”). So that's now high on my wish-list.

The Queen Ring is a copy of an antique shawl in Sharon's own collection, and for that reason she has written the pattern the way the original was knitted, inwards, starting with the edging. The way I like to do it. She, like the original knitter, did the borders separately and spent laborious hours at the end sewing the whole thing together.

I would try to do it in one piece. First the edging, then pick up stitches for all four borders and knit inwards with mitred corners, finally knit the centre as an extension (so to speak) of one of the borders while at the same time attaching it to two others, left and right, by taking in a stitch at the end of every row. At the end, the top of the centre would have to be grafted to the bottom of the fourth border.

I don't see why it couldn't be done that way, given world enough and time.

But I'm going to have to master garter-stitch-in-the-round first. I couldn't think of doing the Queen Ring with a messy corner.

Sharon knit hers in a superfine yarn which is a blend of cashmere and silk. A tempting thought, but I am so utterly enamoured with J&S Shetland Supreme 1-ply Lace Weight that I am inclined to stick with it. I started the Princess in a silk yarn and got about halfway through the first repeat of the edging.


Here are some blurry pictures for you of Easter on Mount Pelion. (.png extension -- what's that?) Archie with his brothers Mungo and Fergus, in the top one.


  1. Anonymous9:18 AM

    If you are or were on the HK yahoo mail group, I think I asked several years ago about knitting a shawl the same way you propose -- knit the edging, knit the border round and round, knit the center back and forth while taking in the other two sides, and graft. I believe I was told by Herself that it would be possible.

    The HK cashmere-silk is lovely, I am knitting Princess from it. Fiddly, but lovely in the end. Someday I will be able to consistently spin that fine...

  2. You make it sound so simple, Jean! You've nearly got me convinced I need to try an edging-first shawl. Now to pick the perfect yarn. I have a local-ish source for J&S. There's a lady in Ottawa who sells it. Soon, I will have my husband convinced we need to stop in and see her when we are next in the big city for very important purposes. I'm working on the very important purposes.

  3. Anonymous1:33 PM

    Hi - .png (or "portable network graphics") is an image file format that is supposed to let you send files that are small in size but there is never any compromise in quality (what's called "lossless data compression"), no matter how much you enlarge it. Not sure why the otherwise lovely photos of Mount Pelion are blurry; something with blogspot perhaps? (Assuming the originals were not blurry.) In fact, the only real problem with the Mount Pelion photos are the utter absence of centaurs! - Cheers.

  4. Glad to see you back. The walk with the gang looked lovely.