Friday, April 25, 2014

Not much knitting yesterday – my husband wanted computer help just when the waters parted and I was about to sit down with it. And it has also become the case that it seems to take a day's work to get halfway around. I am currently embarked on Round 57, third of the four easy rounds between motifs.

It's all rather like the Princess. There, one spends a lifetime knitting the edging – I didn't even manage to memorise the pattern until I'd done about 50 points. Then another several lifetimes doing the border – it's an enormous rectangle, so no circular knitting is involved. One problem the less.

Then the centre, and one feels the end is sort of in sight. One starts in the middle of the border with a few stitches. At the end of every row, one adds another stitch from left or right. One whizzes through the first two or three repeats of the centre pattern in this fashion and then suddenly realises that one has embarked on knitting an area roughly the size of a swimming pool. It's very much like that old puzzle about the chess board with one grain of rice on the first square, two on the second, four on the third, eight...

And the top will still have to be edged, if you ever get there.

It is only the major investment already involved that keeps one going.

The Unst Bridal Shawl isn't nearly as bad as that. If I keep moving steadily forward, I should still finish sometime in the summer. But I prefer -- as I keep saying -- to get the worst over first and knit inwards and enjoy the illusion that I am gradually knitting faster and faster.

Gripped as I am by this thing, I have been looking again at Liz Lovick's recent “The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting”. I think I rather tended to wave it away as too simple when it first appeared. It's, in fact, good, solid stuff. In the section on designing square shawls she says that the width of the centre is about twice the width of the border. That is a proportion I had often (vaguely) wondered about.

Found on Zite this morning: Jessica Dance's knitted comfort food, “Low in Calories High in Wool”. This sort of thing has been done before, but never better. Brilliant.


Mrs. A. – edging-inwards is the way I learned to knit shawls, in Amedro's book. She seems sort of simple, now that we've got Sharon Miller, but, even so, you might want to have a look.

Cathairinmyknitting, if you are finding cashmere-and-silk “fiddly” for your Princess, I will abandon my brief flirtation with the idea at once. I'd love to hear how you're getting on. Mine took years, literally. I had a moth hole to mend before it was even finished, It is very good to know that Sharon Herself approves my plan for knitting the Queen Ring in one piece, inwards.

Thank you for the paragraph about the .png extension, Anonymous, even though it doesn't explain why yesterday's illustrations were so blurry. I, too, regret the absence of centaurs in any of the pictures. I fear they are almost extinct.


My cleaning woman has unexpectedly failed to turn up, so I must now move forward with an adjusted plan for the day. There is no avoiding a slight feeling of relief, when this happens.


  1. Anonymous9:15 AM

    Well... I decided to make a *big* Princess shawl and did extra feathers, so of course the center is larger. I have I think about 250 rows of the center yet to knit. I actually modified the process slightly though; I did a provisional cast on for the border and knitted that, then work the center but only to the edge of the border rather than the sticking-out tab as Herself does it, then I'll knit the edging on all the way around including extra rows to go around the corner smoothly.

    But I made the mistake of running a lifeline taking the work off the needle, I think 2 years ago, to spread it all out and show someone the construction, and I haven't put it back on the needle yet. Someday!

  2. Did you know that your pictures and blog were in yesterday's ZIte? I am proud to know that I have known you since back in the days of rec.lists...and dear old Prodigy. I am enjoying following your working of the shawl for your granddaughter. I don't think I could ever handle such a project - and my granddaughters are only 1 and I have some time to think about it.
    Leslie in NJ