Sunday, October 19, 2014


Dear Friends!

Hazel Tindall left a comment here yesterday – for Saturday, October 11. Kristie, don't miss. I cannot think of another honour to compare this to.

And, Kristie, you asked about Meg's Fair Isle Vest pattern. Here's the Ravelry link. I like the idea of using it as a template, Mary Lou. One of my books – “Fair Isle Knitting Patterns: Reproducing the Known Work of Robert Williamson” – has a simple paragraph about choosing patterns: firstly, with a number of stitches that divides evenly into the number of stitches you've got; and secondly, all in the same “family” so that they line up vertically on top of each other. A “family” of patterns, if I've got this right, all have a common factor in the number of stitches in the repeat – 3,6,12,24 or 4,8,16 or 5,10,20,40.

This promises to be rather fun. I'll probably wind up knitting Meg's vest as given – it fulfils the basic requirement of having different patterns all the way up. Perhaps I could do something slightly more exciting for the peerie patterns.

The big news here – second only to the comment from Hazel – is that Archie's yarn has turned up. In the sense that I've had the notice about the “import VAT” to be paid, and I've paid it, and delivery is promised for Tuesday.

Last night I struggled on with the Northmavine Hap. I think I will have to alter my approach, and perhaps get rid of some of those markers in favour of looking at the knitting, as EZ recommends. The pattern is a simple feather-and-fan. I can do that. The triangle is expanding by means of yo's hither and yon. I must master the system, and make sure it doesn't trip me up by changing pace at any point. And then I ought to be able to knit fairly peacefully without all this counting and struggling with markers.

I also got one more scallop done on the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl. Keep at it, that's the thing.

I tried on the new clothes yesterday – a skirt and two shirts and a little suede vest. Everything's fine except for the vest, which is absurdly small. The other things are size 14. The vest is 38. 38 whats? I'll have to figure that out in order to ask for the right size. There's still time to get the replacement before I set off to the wedding, as long as I get down to the post office tomorrow morning.

Greek Helen phoned and offered to do all the driving for our little outing to Strathardle next week, Monday to Wednesday, just before the wedding. It would mean a lot of scrambling about for her, driving boys to school and then back to Edinburgh or Strathardle, as appropriate, to fetch us. But it might relieve my absurd anxiety somewhat. I'll feel much better if I can find my keys, as I keep saying.

I have finished reading “Do No Harm” and have plunged straight into Atul Gawande's “Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End”, perhaps unwisely. He writes often for the New Yorker, and is a fave of mine, but this one cuts close to the bone. By “end” he means “end”, the part of life that awaits too many of us, when we start falling down and the retirement community is no longer secure enough.  


  1. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Thank you for yesterdays link to the feral knitter. I've already spent too long this morning reading past posts. Glad the yarn for Archie's sweater will be here soon
    Liz Phillips

  2. Size 38 looks like it is a European size, and the equivalent should be between 10 and 12. For a size 14, you should probably order a 42. It might be a bit on the big side, but I think that´s better than too tight.

  3. It will probably set Helen's mind at ease as well. Accept. And keep those prayers to St. Anthony going, maybe the keys will be hiding in plain sight.

  4. 38 could be a bust size, maybe? Or it could have been originally, before female sizing wandered into mythical accuracy. Honestly, I'd rather be able to walk into a store and pick up the correct size, even if it's a larger one, than have to guess and try on everything. Stupid fashion industry.

  5. I am in the neck steek section of a sample knit fair isle slipover (vest) for Susan Crawford's upcoming book, and although sworn to secrecy it is lovely. I would never have chosen the colours but it is really delightful and I could see myself doing it again. I wish I could post a photo.