Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yesterday went well – the nice man came for the car and took it away. The insurance company agrees that we are insured. I haven't heard from the car since, and will ring up soon. Today's excitement is a dental appt for my husband at mid-day. It's in easy walking distance except that he can't walk that far, so we'll have to get a taxi if the car hasn't come home. Then in the afternoon Archie should appear, ready to travel to Athens tomorrow.

What an exciting week!

However the real excitement is that I am knitting the final garter stitch round of the borders of the Unst Bridal Shawl, and should perhaps even be able to start knitting the edging on this evening. For the moment, I am thinking of the Ring Shawl Lace Edging with Spider Insertion on page 169 of Heirloom Knitting, If you've got the book, I'd be grateful if you had a look.

The photograph shows a column of faggoting, which I want to include. As far as I can see, the chart lacks it. I'm not desperately clever at understanding what a chart is going to look like when it's knit, but I'm pretty sure here. I think I could add faggoting without too much stress.

When you knit a shawl inwards, edging-first, you pick up the stitches along the flat edge of the edging by sliding the needle through – Amedro has an excellent photograph of that process – and then you knit into the back of each stitch on the first round, to “cross the legs”. Sharon agrees that this is the traditional Shetland way, in her instructions for the Queen Ring, although she would have you pick up each stitch and knit into the back of it, one by one.

It makes a nice little detail, those crossed stitches. Could it be imitated by knitting into the back of the border stitch as you pick it up at the end of every other row of a knitted-on edging? I might try. But even if I succeed, I think I'd like to include the faggoting.

Change of topic: Kate Davies is always worth reading, but I particularly enjoyed her this morning with an account of an old sewing cabinet she recently bought at auction in Glasgow, all its contents meticulously preserved and now exquisitely photographed.


I watched a few more fragments of Wimbledon yesterday. I'm sure I tell you every year about how Rachel's son Thomas, then attending a Wimbledon comprehensive school, was chosen to be a ballboy. What excitement when she phoned with the news! What a happy Christmas ensued! He was taken badly ill not long after training started, emergency operation. But he got better and they took him back into training and then he broke his arm playing cricket.

We all assume he would have been a super duper ballboy and would have been chosen for the final and smiled on by the Duke of Kent.  But maybe not. Maybe he would have been out on court 37 ballboy-ing the Over 50's Mixed Doubles. Somebody has to.

But every year since, watching the ballboys and ballgirls, one remembers and regrets. No amount of subsequent success in life, including the beautiful bride, can entirely compensate for not being a ballboy at Wimbledon.  


  1. There is a very nice example of faggoting on page 126 in Heirloom Knitting. The edging you chose is gorgeous and complex. It should take the rest of the summer! What an accomplishment to have finished the center and border. I hope someday to see the one in Lerwick.

  2. I think you mentioned that you did not vote in an earlier election. I took this to mean that you never got British citizenship, but your last paragraph leaves me in no doubt: more British than British!