Thursday, November 20, 2014

Again, very little to report. My two-scallops-and-then-Archie plan for the evening's knitting continues to work well. I've now done about 4” of sweater cylinder since I abandoned the sleeve stitches and joined the body below the placket (knitting top-down, remember). And there are still two more knit-evenings before I see Archie himself. There will be a lot to unravel if the fit is wrong.

But, on the other hand, the more I've done, the easier it will be to judge whether the fit is really right.

There has been yet another (minor) contretemps with the Bridal Shawl edging – I dropped a couple of stitches at that vital point between the needles where the edging is attached and where a dropped stitch threatens to unzip the entire work. It has been recovered without total disaster, but there is (yet again) a bit of mess left behind.

And it occurs to me that quite a few of the difficulties I've had with this shawl, stem from abandoning my long-held preference for knitting the edging first, picking up all the stitches, and knitting inwards. I started out to do just that, you may remember – I knit the entire edging, and then decided to do it Sharon Miller's way after all (I can't, now, imagine why) – knitting the centre square and then working outwards.

There was difficulty picking up stitches around the centre square before establishing the borders. And there have been these little problems with the knitted-on edging. If I had done it my way (Amedro's way), edging first, pick up stitches, knit inwards, both of those sources of mess would have been obviated. That would still have left the Messy Corner, caused by plunging in before I had solved the problem of knitting garter stitch in the round.

Well, we'll see. But I'll certainly plan to do the Queen Ring edging-inwards (it's a mighty square, I think). And I'll master the Fleegle garter-stitch-in-the-round system before I start the borders.

The Princess is a huge triangle, so garter-stitch-in-the-round, at least, wasn't an issue. It started with a wonderfully difficult edging – it took me 50 repeats to learn it. I was, most fortuitously, able to recite the pattern to myself while having my cataract operations that summer, using the Shetland “take” and “cast” for k2tog and yo. I have forgotten how I represented plain knit stitches to myself, or k3tog, come to that. Then you pick up stitches for the border, sliding the needle through. Then you knit the border, hundreds of rows, and then you think, well, that's it, nearly finished, and you start on the central triangle.

Beginning in the middle with a few stitches, and adding one stitch at each side at the end of every row. It was just like that famous puzzle about the chess board with one grain of rice on the first square, two on the second, then four, then sixteen...

And when you finally, finally, finally stagger home – there's still more edging to be knit, all along the top.

It was fun.

Kristin Nicholas tempts me this morning, via Zite, with “To Knit or Not to Knit” (not by her, by Elvira Woodruff). The pictures she shows us of the pages of the book, sprinkled with art, are most engaging. On the other hand, the experience of packing up knitting books in boxes to go to the cellar, rather deters.


And now, weather. The US experience sounds truly extraordinary. I have emailed CT for a local report. Sister Helen and Roger are near Long Island Sound, there at the mouth of the CT River, but it doesn't seem to do much good as far as temperature-mitigation is concerned.


  1. Here in the Hudson valley which is next door to Connecticut we are just getting the very cold temps as CT is. The snow is way up in Buffalo from the lake effect off Lake Erie. Poor folks! Too early for all of this weather nonsense.

    Anxiously awaiting Kate's new book lord knows when it will arrive here in the states.

  2. Anonymous1:23 PM

    I bought the Amedro book a little while ago when I was catching up on some of your earlier blogs/following your links, I very much like the look of the Shetland way of writing down knitting instructions, logical when you think about it and a more economical presentation. I am going to buy some Jamieson yarn at Harrogate this weekend to knit my first Shetland shawl. (I've never really figured out the difference between Jamieson's and Jamieson and Smith - I think it is the case that the former processes everything on Shetland while the latter sends part of the processing away) but I'm sure there's more to it than that.

    I do like the photo of you standing outside the Sushi restaurant wearing your Shetland garb and must say that you do have very good skin - do you use an expensive moisturiser Jean or do you have any top tips?

    Jan, North Yorks

  3. The idea of reciting knitting patterns brought to mind a vague memory of a book/film where the characters end up blind or in hospital and recite chess moves to one another. I don't play chess, but perhaps we can all recite stitch patterns.

  4. You have a heart like a lion to knit those bridal shawls. I would love to try one. But I don't know anyone getting married in say, 2 years from now. It might take me that long to knit the shawl.