Monday, December 15, 2014

Thank you for help and sympathy. A light box, I take it, isn't the same as one of those super-lights one gets for winter knitting? Ott Light? If the solstice doesn't help, I'll do something. The fear of death is the essential difficulty here – and nemo potest impetrare a Papa bullam numquam moriendi. I'll leave that in Latin.

I remembered yesterday a present I must give, and last night I dreamed the perfect thing. I realised in the first seconds of waking up, that I had forgotten what it was.

Loop rang up at lunchtime yesterday to say that they didn't have that skein of madelintosh DK in Tart after all. We settled on Robin Red Breast (or words to that effect). It doesn't look quite as rich and wonderful as Tart, but it'll do. I was impressed with the level of service.

Archie's sweater has now advanced 11” from the underarm. There's lots of Archie to circumnavigate, and this is a late evening, post-lace-knitting job, so it's going slowly. I hope some peaceful days at Loch Fyne will speed things up. At 17”, it divides into front and back, and the flaps thus produced end in hems – that's where red comes in. So, maybe before the holidays are over?

I also extracted the edging-pattern page from the Queen Ring Shawl envelope. It's 16 rows, a bit more complicated than the Unst Bridal Shawl 12-row'er. The Queen Ring is not exactly Sharon Miller's design – she is copying a huge and wonderful Shetland shawl she was able to buy for her collection. It is knit edging-inwards section-by-section, so that at the end you have to sew the pieces together at the mitered corners of the borders.

Even Sharon clearly found that tough going, and I am not even going to contemplate it. I will master the Fleegle System before I start the borders, and knit the whole thing round and round.

The edging numbers are unexpected. Sharon says that the original – I hope I've got this right – has fewer points in the edging than are needed for the start of the border. The difference is made up by a vigorous row of increases after the stitches have been picked up from the edge of the edging. Sharon has done the maths for both ways, and I very much prefer the idea of knitting the edging to the length appropriate for the borders, as I have always done.


We had some seasonal pictures of Prince George in the paper yesterday – a bonny lad. He was wearing a blue sweater with red-coated guardsmen around it, in intarsia. It was bonny too, and I don't suppose it will be long before a copy-cat pattern is available.

Last Saturday was apparently Horrible Sweater Day in aid of a charity – Save the Children? And all the papers had articles about the phenomenon. I was in a Tesco Express yesterday, and complimented the young man at the check-out on his sweater: it was a cheerful, mostly red-and-white, small-patterned Fair Isle (with, I noticed, some bands inside out, as we had been talking about here recently). Seasonal without being hideous, I told him. I was afraid I was being patronising, but he seemed delighted and told me some things I didn't understand about Primark.


  1. The young prince's jumper was from Cath Kidston, but a very similar pattern has actually been available since before he was born (here: ). I am enjoying seeing a child in children's clothing; too many are dressed in miniature versions of the garments I find very impractical as an adult. Children need to play!

  2. Sister Elizabeth would be pleased that I didn't even need Google translate for that bit of Latin. I am using my little light box right now, it does help my energy level on these days (and weeks) with no sun. It doesn't necessarily help with anxiety, though. Or Christmas Cards.

  3. Ellen1:54 PM

    Like the Ott lights, the light box uses full spectrum daylight, but is designed to flood the area where you sit with light, much as sitting beside a sunny window does. The Ott lights tend to light a very small area, and to be designed to focus on a work area. All you are required to so is sit before it and read, or knit, or write to us. The light does something to promote endorphins, and elevate your mood. Many many people find it very effective, especially those who are deprived of natural daylight by shortened winter days and/or chronically overcast environments. In the USA, health insurance will often cover the cost if prescribed a doctor, but many people buy them on their own; it's not a prescription item only. There is no down side. I hope you will try this.

    1. According to my ophthalmologist, there is one down side: he told me some years ago to wear dark glasses whenever I am outside, to help prevent cataracts. When I was considering a light box, I asked him about it, and he said I should certainly wear dark glasses if I was using it, which would diminish (if not eliminate) the benefit. My eyes are green/grey/blue (they change color), which he categorizes as "light."

  4. Anonymous3:43 PM

    Have you ever wondered Jean about what knitting might be like in heaven? I've occasionally dreamt about LYSs which seemed much too good to be true and had a thought that they might be like that in heaven???

    I do know that Primark are selling Fair Isle Christmas wrapping paper - I might be tempted to go in to buy some.......

    Jan in North Yorks

  5. A word of caution about Archie's sweater, Jean. Large guys often need more length in a sweater than you would expect. My husband is a big guy - 6'4" tall and not what one would describe as slight. I know it's a pain, but it might be worth taking the sweater off the needles and trying it on Archie one more time before you do the hem.