Tuesday, June 03, 2014

My iPad can't seem to connect to the outside world this morning, despite a strong signal. I thought for a moment there that I was in the grip of Gameover Zeus or whatever the new internet scourge is called, but the laptop seems fine.

I've reached the very early stages of round 116 of the borders of the Unst Bridal Shawl – a little landmark of its own, as there are only 20 rounds to follow. And I finally finished the May Ball, and joined in No. 6

I do that by knitting two stitches with both yarns held together, leaving generous ends which I will deal with after blocking. I have the vaguest of memories that I was taught to do that by a fellow-knitter at Hampton Elementary School in Detroit (now called something else). That, and casting on over two needles held together for a stretchy edge – I still use that for socks – and slipping the first stitch of every row for a nice chained edge.

Who could she have been? My paternal grandmother, who lived elsewhere in Michigan, taught me the absolute essentials – although I think I twisted purl stitches by knitting into the wrong leg for some years. Do you remember learning to knit, sister Helen? There was certainly no input from our mother.

I'm looking forward to swatching the Fleegle System for garter stitch in the round. I've just been re-reading it, She advises not making the turn at the corner. I had already reached that conclusion. That means that the turn will be seriously involved in lace, but maybe that doesn't matter. It will move diagonally towards the corner as one knits inwards, decreasing.

I found the IK with the Cobblestone pattern with no difficulty. I might buy the pattern from Jared anyway, in case he has re-knit it in his own yarn (which I will probably use – what use is a stash if you can't ignore it?) But the magazine will be useful for showing Archie. It's a tremendously popular pattern, with lots of recent examples on Ravelry, all looking good. There are some patterns one instantly decides not to knit as one scans examples on Ravelry making their wearers look odd and lumpy. Not this one.

A lot of people knit it in Jared's Shelter yarn, a lot of others in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, a lot of others in very various yarns, including one Unspun Icelandic from the Schoolhouse. They all look good. They all seem to fit rather well.


I was very interested in your account of Amazon's fight with publishers and authors, Patience. I knew nothing of it. This is the link Jean provided to Wordery of whom (or of which) I also knew nothing. I retain a sympathy for Amazon, if only because their service has become as reliable as turning on the water. I seem to remember start-up years of massive losses during which they stuck to their guns. I think I have heard that they are grim employers, minimum-wage and nose-to-the-grindstone.

There was something else I wanted to say, but it has fled. I can't tell you about Zite because the iPad still can't connect.


  1. Your penultimate sentence is one in constant use here - usually when on the phone to family.

    The main disadvantage of the Cobblestone that I knit my husband when the pattern first appeared is that it has a tendency to increase in length (arms and body) due to garter stitch yoke. I think a lot of people have made the same observation. A very soothing knit, although quite unwieldy at the end when knitting a large size. Not one to have on your lap in a hot summer.

  2. Victoria11:24 AM

    The last time Amazon had this same dispute with a publisher they caved, and each e-book I've bought since then has cost an additional $3 to $5. As I buy a minimum of 25 books each month, I tend to be a little bitter about the whole thing.

  3. Anonymous12:42 PM

    Do feel free to turn off auto-correct spelling on your computers to avoid "went menu" (that is a catchy phrase though!).
    We are supposed to be in charge of our computers - although it does not always feel that way, does it?

  4. I had good success when I knit Cobblestone for my husband -- very easy pattern with enough design elements to keep it interesting. My only probably was that Zach is so slender that I had to modify the pattern to be more narrow - and I should have probably slimmed it down even more than I did. Good luck!
    -Susie in Minnesota

  5. My son-in-law Anton used to work for Amazon. He walked straight from university into a $100,00 a year job with them, but that was in their IT department. Maybe it's different in other areas.

  6. "What use is your stash if you can't ignore it" is to become my new knitting credo. I laughed with glee when I read your comment, Jean. Thank you for removing any lingering traces of guilt from my knitting conscience. The other plank on which my knitting life is based has always been EZ's direction that the knitter is in charge of the knitting, not the other way around. This was the most important thing I learned from her books at the very outset of my knitting journey. Here in Australia we are just yesterday having our first cool day, after a record-breaking warm Autumn. Ski field people are worried (opening of the ski season this weekend, and very little snow) but we knitters are rolling about in our stashes and starting a new project every day. (I too am old, and the rolling about is only metaphorical)

  7. Anonymous12:27 AM

    Many years ago I worked in a bookstore in a city. Each publisher had a rep who came to the store to discuss new books and hand out freebies as promos. We somehow made a profit even though we ordered only a limited number of certain titles from each publisher, and we "stripped" unsold paperback stock and sent the covers back to the publishers for a refund. We had a 40% markup. Then the publishers began to merge. And now we have Amazon. I am aware, without going to the link, that they are at odds with Hachette. I am also aware that there is a movement to boycott Amazon because they control too much. I am in the position of buying books for a library. Not so long ago, it seems, we would use Quill & Quire's annual directory to find who repped which publishers and then order from that company. Now I order 99% of the books from Chapters/Indigo because of the convenience, the cost, and the discount. I always feel very sad when a publisher calls me and I have to say no to ordering from them, but the reality is that their books are cheaper to get through Chapters when I factor in the cost of shipping and restocking fees. Not sure how I feel about boycotting Amazon. The lazy part of me likes that company and Chapters. To quote Mrs. Sugden from "Are you being served?", I am as "weak as water" and twice as lazy.