Friday, October 17, 2014

No yarn, no clothes. Otherwise yesterday was a rather successful day. A school coach brought Mungo to Edinburgh – his school is in the wilds of Perthshire somewhere – and he found us without difficulty. He seems in good form, and we had a pleasant evening watching The Apprentice with our lamb-and-quince stew on our knees. The taxi came on time this morning (6 a.m.) -- I heard the telephone -- and Mungo no longer seems to be here, so I can only assume that the first stage of his journey went well. He has to make a connection in London.

Odd bits of knitting yesterday – not much of anything, but on the whole successful. I embarked on the heel flap of the second Pakokku sock while queuing for a parking place at the Western Infirmary. I managed only half a scallop on the Unst Bridal Shawl. It seemed wiser not to press on, under the circumstances. I started the Northmavine Hap and have done the first few rows. The stitch count is approaching 20 and the work bristles with markers. It'll get much easier pretty soon but for now is count-intensive and not suitable for company.

I am overjoyed to learn that I have tempted you into lace, Melfina. I've never done Orenburg myself, although I've got all the books. The secret of life is to have what someone on the dear old Knitlist once referred to as Locational Wips – something by the telephone for those interminable waits, something in the car, lace for the rare peaceful hour at home. Although I do now take the Bridal Shawl along to my husband's dental appts – there's good light in the waiting room, Radio Five Live, few people.

I spent some time yesterday thinking about a possible Fair Isle Vest project. It needs thought, I'm afraid. I'm not terribly fond of thinking. I am most tempted by the dust jacket of Sheila McGregor's Traditional Fair Isle Knitting (not the Dover edition). It looks like a simple all-over design in five colours – white and gold for the pattern, red, blue, and black for the background. The more you look at it, the more complicated it gets. It's a museum piece – what does NMAS mean, exactly? – knit in about 1900. Maybe I should start trying to chart it.


Archie asked as we were driving to the airport last Friday whether I thought I was getting more forgetful. An ominous question – has he been reading something? I honestly don't think so, although I am certainly getting more anxious and agitated, just like my mother in old age, and not helped by no longer having my beloved key fob to cling to for comfort. At the moment, in particular, worrying about getting to Strathardle in a fortnight, when Greek Helen is here in the days before the wedding. Am I strong enough for both? But my husband, of course, is eager to go – and I need to look for my keys.  


  1. According to the Acknowledgements in my copy of McGregor, NMAS means National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (Edinburgh). Is this still in operation do you think? Then one might be able to inspect the jumper itself.
    I'm currently working on a waistcoat using patterns from pages 98 and 99 of McGregor. My husband pointed out that the numbers at the bottom of the pages refer to the row count in those patterns.
    The shawl pictures looked wonderfully enticing.

  2. Anonymous10:05 AM

    I, too, have projects everywhere, ready for all occasions. At the moment I've got 'hap for Harriet' for when it's peaceful and quiet, plain socks for conversation and tv, my version of 'ruffles and ridges' (Wendy Johnson) for picking up to knit in the car, cafes and appointments, and my '9 o'clock throw', which is a simple, multi-coloured garter stitch throw which I pick up at 9 every evening.
    Liz Phillips

  3. I imagine Archie has read or heard something about our aging brains. It would be interesting to know what. I also have several projects on the go. I have a pair of socks in my desk at work, just in case. They don't get worked on much but it is nice to have them there.

  4. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Locational WIPs - love this idea and will implement as soon as we get our post-move chaos somewhat resolved. Apart from some socks on the needles, most of my WIPs are awaiting the "rare peaceful hour" - if some of those come in this post-retirement winter, the result should be three completed sweaters, fiddly bits all done, mistakes resolved, by spring. Will have a look at the McGregor book.
    - Beth in Ontario

  5. Anonymous2:05 AM

    Jeanne, I just saw the Nahanni Fair Isle vest at meg Swanson's Fall was so lovely I ordered it from Janine Bajus (Feral Knitter blog). Check it out. Mary in Cincinnati

  6. Could this be it? One has to pay for a high resolution image (personal use is £10)