Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Well, I've resumed Rams & Yowes, and am enormously grateful for your help, although not without thinking again of the Miller, His Son, and the Donkey. Did I ever thank you properly for locating that story for me?

Gerri, you're right that a single-thickness border would be inconsistent with the essential doubleness of the centre, which is, at the moment, stiff as a board. I hadn't thought of that. I very much like your thought, Ellen, that a doubled border could be st st instead of garter. Why not? It would even be a little bit lighter, certainly pleasanter to knit without all those alternate purl rounds.

Pattie in Genesco, I like your idea of doing the hem by picking up in advance on a fine, long needle, the stitches one is going to attach to. Perhaps counting them off in tens or twenties and placing markers, to ensure that the numbers match the stitches on the main needle. The tendency for this operation to come out squint, in my hands, must mean that stitches are being missed somewhere. I've got plenty of fine, long needles, too, because of all this lace.

Willow, I read your comment only after I had posted this. Many thanks. I'll address it tomorrow.

I have laid out the nine colours on the sofa, in what I hope is the right order – that is, the order in which they are listed in Kate Davies' key. I was much helped by the pictures on your stash page, Mrs. A. Now it is to be hoped that no one will come to see us for a while who needs to be invited to sit on the sofa. [Follow the link to Mrs. A's blog for an account of Rams-and-Yowes-knitting even more adventure-fraught than mine.]

There's an additional dimension to my identification of the colours – I don't just need to match them up with Jamieson & Smith and Kate Davies, I also need to have them match the choices I made when knitting the first third of the pattern. And I started off yesterday by discovering an old mistake.

This part of the pattern consists of four ranks of yowes' heads. The background shade changes halfway through each yowe. I found that when I laid the work aside, I was nearly finished with the first rank of yowes in the final section of the pattern. [I can see your eyes glazing over. You need a picture – there's a link yesterday to the Ravelry page, or you could click on the link above, to Mrs. A.]

And the background colour was wrong – wrong, that is, in that it doesn't match the background I used for the equivalent yowe in the first section of the pattern. This time (if I've identified the colours correctly) I seem to be using mooskit where I should have gaulmogot. I must have done it in the dark days towards the end of 2013, but that's not much of an excuse.

I don't think it's a fatal error. In any event, I'm plunging on. But the sequence of background colour-shifts will be a bit awry in this section. And if I use mooskit again where it is really specified, I may run short of it in the border. But if I use gaulmogot there, the sequence will be even more awry. Decisions, decisions.

(Ah, but if I go ahead, as adumbrated above, and knit the border double, there is room for a certain amount of fudge, gaulmogot-for-mooskit, on the return half.)

I must have said when I got back from my glorious long weekend in Shetland last year, that Shetland sheep were not as easy to spot as one might expect. Shetland ponies were everywhere. There were plenty of sheep-sheep, but not many flocks like the one in my signature picture above. We were told that the Shetland breed is rather small, and even on Shetland, sheep are primarily reared for meat these days so other breeds are more profitable.


  1. I did a stocking stitch border on the Peace Blanket and it worked perfectly well - don't think I could have handled long purl rows by then!
    I am looking forward to seeing your finished article!

  2. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Put each color in a small plastic bag with a name label, and you won't need to keep them laid out in order. Think of it as a security blanket for your blanket. :-)

    1. =Tamar11:27 PM

      Or even with the original ball or skein label. It leads to expense in buying the plastic bags, but it certainly improves recognition of what a ball of yarn is.

  3. I'm a vote for the stockinette border. Also, more often than not, I bind off and sew down in these situations. I tend to get a stitch or two off filter and it skews, or I find I've dropped one of the hundreds of sts while doing the three needle join. After the hem is bound off the whole pice can lie flat and just seems more manageable to me. Another opinion for the miller....

  4. Forgot to add that the shawl is lovely.

  5. Sounds like progress! And I'm sure the wee man the blanket is intended for won't notice the different placement of gaulmogit and mooskit. It will all look marvelous in the end!

  6. A few thoughts regarding the border...I'd either do a single layer of garter or a double layer of stockinette. A double layer of garter might be a bit thicker than the center. If doing garter pick up fewer stitches than instructed, if you look at the pics on Ravelry many of those borders are ruffling. Remember, generally garter stitch is wider than stockinette and wider still than stranded knitting so you need either fewer stitches or a smaller needle, or both. Even if doing the border in stockinette you still might want a few fewer stitches and/or a smaller needle since stranded knitting tends to be tighter than plain stockinette.

  7. skeindalous3:00 PM

    The garter stitch border really sets off the stockinette stitch body of the blanket. And the double thickness proides a good balance to the weight of the stranded knitting. I tried it with the turn-and-knit-in-both-directions approach, but the frequent color changes and the increases at the corners made that difficult for me. Just go with the purl rows! They move along with the color shifts and the whole thing is just lovely! the applied I-cord edging is worth the time. A nice feature. Carry on!

  8. I insert yarn and ball band in sandwich sized zip lock bag, adding a label outside with color and chart symbol. It has been a real aid in my fair isle knitting.