Thursday, December 31, 2015

The air sort of tingles, today, despite grey, wet weather.

I can't let the year end without writing to you. I miss you dreadfully when I am away.

All well here, knitting-wise. I finished the final Awesome hat a few days after Christmas – but it turned out I had ordered a different present for the intended recipient. It arrived on Christmas Eve and took care of that problem. The Harlot posted a good essay the other day about the Christmas presents that don't get finished, and the people they were destined for. I don't know what to do with the surplus hat.

Then I clenched my teeth and finished sewing the bits of the centre of the Dunfallandy blankie together. I like the result a great deal. I have written to the designer to ask about the curious number of stitches specified to be picked up for the border, 174 per side I think it says. No response yet, but it was only a Ravelry message. Maybe, like me, she doesn't look there very often.

Now that I've actually done it, I feel sure that I have done the right thing by picking up the stitches available as each triangle was finished, 52, making 104 per side. I have also picked up an extra two stitches per side in the space in between the two triangles, which seemed to gape a bit.

That's plenty. Indeed, after knitting around once or twice, I am in a bit of a panic about whether it is going to be as easy as all that to finish the border in time. (“In time” = sometime in March.) The border is to be 5.5” wide according to the schematic, 7.5” according to the written pattern. We'll have a look at things when we get to 5.5”.

That's a lot of knitting, and the border increases by 8 stitches every other round. And then there are 16 rounds (still increasing) of a sort of horizontal ribbed edging.

I also have what amounts to the opposite anxiety, that I will run out of yarn. I bought eight skeins, I think, and now have nearly four. I can easily knit four skeins of worsted between now and March 1 -- but will they be enough?

I am using a separate circular needle for each side, as the pattern recommends. I am afraid that is a recipe for disaster – one day I will pick it up carelessly and whip the needle out of the stitches of a whole side. I've already got one super-long circular of the right gauge. I think I need to order two more. It would be quicker that way, too. The hand-over at each corner is fiddly and takes a bit of time.

It occurred to me only yesterday that square is not the best shape for a blankie. Rectangular, like Kate Davies' Rams & Yowes which I knit last year for grand-nephew Ted, is much better. Too late now – I must press on. The same difficulty will arise with the ten-stitch blanket.

As for non-knit, we had a grand Christmas. Reports to follow. And, almost better than that, I have made a good start on the income tax and it isn't even January yet.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Shortest Day

We got here! Although I always worry for a little while about whether they will remember to throw the switch. Did I know that Stonehenge is precisely aligned on this morning's sunrise? The site has been open for the last couple of hours, in case you wanted to turn out and observe it.

No time for much this morning. I have cast on another Awesome hat, and indeed might reach the crown shaping today – although, in the modern idiom, I'm not going to stress about it. I'm using a freshly-wound skein of Whiskey Barrel, from which I have previously taken only the three contrast rounds at the turning point of the Roasted Hatch Chillis hat.

So at the end, I can compare the two (Roasted Hatch Chillis and Whiskey Barrel). I weighed the former, hat and leftover yarn together, as soon as the needles were out. 122 grams, was the answer. But the label doesn't show weight, just length, so that was no use. It still seems to me that the RHC ball was uncommonly small.

Otherwise, it only remains to say, happy solstice to all. I'll try to look in next week.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

I'll have to be quick. Things are getting out of hand early today...

A few more decreases remain to be made on the 2nd Awesome. I'll try to get a pic of both together. I am toying with the idea (emulating Mary Lou's last-minute Xmas hat-a-thon) of knitting a third, Whiskey Barrel this time. Flipboard this morning has come up with something called the Hipster, which would be quicker, being brimless. And this one would be meant for a youth, so not inappropriate.

But I love the Awesome.

I think I'm just trying to put off sewing the Dunfallandy blankie pieces together.

Flipboard reminds me that the Brookyn Tweed people have been voting on their favourites from the past year, and there are indeed some terrific things in the Sweater list. The Accessory one impresses me less. Too complicated.

And a winter issue of the Twist Collective has appeared. I like some of the patterns, especially the cables, but everything is too bosom-y for me. Little or negative ease, shaped waists. I prefer to snuggle into a winter sweater as shapeless as myself.  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

We'll have to stop soon for the hols, but I'll try to forge ahead until the solstice – Tuesday at 8:04 am around here, according to Google.

I went on one of those virtual knitting-trips this morning, following your links in yesterday's comments – Chigail's to Mason/Dixon Knitting and Beverly's to Queer Joe, both on the subject of linen stitch. Mason/Dixon is enough to put one off linen stitch for life, Joe balances pros and cons.

Joe had a comment from Leslie Bagatelle pointing me to the ZickZack scarf, for which see Ravelry. That looks to me like the answer, for a Koigu-stash-buster. I'll print and save. And that pattern, via the Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze, led me to Be Inspired Yarns, an LYS right here in Edinburgh.

I've known about it, but have never had the oomph to get myself over there. Looking at all the wonderful things on their website – including madtosh – I know that I really must, and soon.

So that was a good morning's web crawl.

I didn't get much knitting done here yesterday, but the crown shaping of the second Awesome hat is well under way. This hat seems to have taken substantially more from a newly-wound skein of Roasted Hatch Chillis than Archie's hat did from an already-slightly-used ball of Composition Book Grey. Why?

We had a good visit with Alexander and his family yesterday. The Little Boys are growing up. Partly this can be attributed to the passage of time, but I think the High School of Glasgow is probably providing them both with space and the right atmosphere for growing in. All of their previous education has been in a very small and seriously good primary school in Strachur.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Pretty miscellaneous, today.

The Awesome hat lacks but a round or two before the crown shapings. It's time to put the markers in.

The Rib-a-Roni hat you suggest, Mary Lou, is a good one all right – but worsted weight. I'm dedicated to DK at the moment. Ah! but what if there is a hat's-worth of delicious madtosh worsted in the shade "Tart" left over from the Dunfallandy blankie when I finish?

Alexander and his family are coming over today for a Christmas visit. The Little Boys have had splendid reports after their first term at the High School of Glasgow, each fully as good as the other. Father Christmas will be hard-pressed to think of a suitable reward.

Flipboard has come up with a good one, for once. In the '80's, or some such decade, in the days of Tom Baker, if you wrote in to the BBC about Dr. Who's scarf, they would send you the pattern.

I have been very interested in your suggestions for my Koigu. Hat, the Amazing technicolor dreamsweater looks like a lot of fun, and I love that sort of thing. I begin to regret the disappearance of my stash. But could I bear to embark on that much moss stitch again so soon after the Sous Sous? It sounds from the blurb as if you hold two strands of fingering yarn together throughout (which produces a nice, firm fabric). But wouldn't that blur the Koigu and spoil the fun?

Judith, your encouragement for Koigu in the 10-stitch blanket is very encouraging. Garter stitch would indeed make a nice solid fabric of it, suitable for a summertime pram or push-chair cover, at least.

And I like the Linen stitch scarf Mary Lou suggested. Have I any actual experience of linen stitch? Would all that moving of the yarn to the front and to the back wind up being much the same thing as ribbing as far as tedium and hand-movements are concerned?

Nana Go-Go, it is interesting news indeed that the Edinburgh Yarn Fest has extended itself by a day, to the Sunday, and added more classes -- booking tomorrow, link in Nana Go-Go's comment yesterday. I think I've got enough, with something for each of the three days. Stephen West would be fun, all right, but I've done his Craftsy class and feel I know him already. He delivers one of the lessons standing on his head.

The one that really interests me is Gudrun Johnston on Shetland lace -- but the class is full. How can that be, before registration starts. Did I miss it the first time around? I did her Craftsy class, too, and am rather afraid of her.


Fuguestateknits, I missed out on the Asterix Experience myself. The one you saw in my Christmas-wrapping picture is the latest, a pastiche, I guess, in the absence of the original authors. My husband read half of it when Amazon delivered, and wasn't desperately impressed.

Shortoldlady, I'm worried about you, having no one to give presents to. If there's one thing worse than having to give them, it's that. Could you not give a few at random, to people who don't expect them? I'm thinking of the wonderful gloves the Socklady knit for me and what a happy surprise it was to open that package.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The new Awesome hat is getting along very nicely – I should reach the crown shaping by the weekend at the latest. Someone asked – I can't find the comment, and time presses – what it was, exactly. It's just that: the Awesome Hat. I hope that link will work. The hat is by Eskimimi. You can find it by searching for Awesome Hat in Ravelry, but, alas! a lot of hats claim to be Awesome.

The Awesome-ness of this one lies mostly in the beautiful crown decreases. If anyone knits it: the pattern says to put in six markers right at the beginning. They aren't needed until you start shaping the crown so this time I have left them out, except for a beginning-of-round marker, and things are going that little bit faster and easier.

I don't think I knew that the way to do a turn-up ribbed brim is to have a fold line, knit all the way around, and then reverse the ribbing – knit where you were purling and purl where you were knitting. I know now.

I bought this yarn (madtosh Roasted Hatch Chillis) for a sleeveless vest for my husband, replacing the one lost to the NHS, but he was a bit alarmed and chose Whiskey Barrel instead. He agrees now, seeing the half-done hat, that it would have made him a splendid vest.

I have much to say about your helpful suggestions for the Koigu and the ten-stitch blanket, but the day already threatens to overwhelm – I'd better post this much.

I promise to tell you every word Perdita speaks on Christmas Eve – but what if she speaks in Polish?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

That blasted cat has just made off with my nearly-complete blog post.... I'll try again.

The present-wrapping session was a great success, although I under-estimated the amount of time needed, and we didn't quite finish. Still, Gosia got all the awkward things and the big things wrapped, and a good deal of the rest, while I finished the two hats and inscribed all the books and wrote most of the tags.

We had plenty of help....

Contemplating the pile of wrapped objects, and my list, I decided that there was a conspicuous gap which could be filled with an industrious week's knitting. So I have cast on a second Awesome, this time in madtosh Roasted Hatch Chillis. And have made a good start – I should reach the turning point today (2 3/4"). An inch a day will see the job done.

The other Awesome looks good with the not-quite-visible turning-point knit in red. I'll use Whiskey Barrel this time.

I feel a bit guilty, opening that luscious package of yarn when so many important WIPs lie about here unfinished. Needs must, I think. I also think this may be my first venture into variegated madtosh, after a long apprenticeship with the near-solids. The Chillis are knitting up into a lovely fabric.

Judith, thank you for the pointer to the ten-stitch blanket. I had been admiring it day after day in Flipboard without thinking that it might be useful to me. (And I agree with you that Flipboard isn't half as good as Zite used to be – I thought it was just me, getting old and tired.) But wouldn't that blanket be too thin, in Koigu? Most of the Ravelry knitters seem to be using worsted.

I'd better print the pattern and salt it down, so to speak, in anticipation of the next great-grandchild.

Tamar, thank you and thank you for finding my knitting in Google Images' Calcutta Cup file.

Gosia says that in Poland, the domestic animals can talk on Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 14, 2015

I've had what counts with me as a brilliant idea.

a) It has been hard, lately, to think of things for my beloved Polish cleaning woman to do, as my husband's carers take care of the ironing and kitchen cleaning. As a result, we have made great strides with kitchen shelves and cupboards further afield (including the stash cupboard), but we are running out of material in that line. And b) I hate wrapping presents.

So: tomorrow Gosia and I will wrap the Christmas presents!

That means I must ensure today that I've got the fixings, and I must finish off the possum hat. Maybe even the Awesome – I'm shaping the crown. Amazon, despite being very seriously inconvenienced by the closing of the Forth Road Bridge, has delivered the things I have ordered with their usual ruthless efficiency. They have a major depot near Dunfirmline, not far north of the Bridge, and it must be tough.

(Alexander says that the whole country should now realise how difficult it is for them when the Rest and Be Thankful is closed.)

I had been wondering about squeezing in another hat between now and the 25th, and sort of looking at patterns. Then I thought, two-birds-with-one-stone, what about a Koigu hat? And then, browsing Mary Lou's offerings on Ravelry, I found the Coquille scarf/shawlette, and I don't know if I can resist it.

I couldn't finish it in time, but it wouldn't be the first Christmas present in the history of the universe to come in a bit late. It would be a wonderful midwinter palate-cleanser, all that cheerful colour.

Otherwise, there is little to report. No more sewing has been done. The Awesome advances, as mentioned above. My husband has returned to working at his computer, a great morale-lifter for him but it means I have to stay close. My big mistake in life was not making him learn the rudiments of computing 30 years ago, when it might have been possible. Might. We were fairly early on the scene back then in the days of the IBM-PC. (Ours was an Olivetti M24.)

But knitting is perfectly compatible with staying close.

Mary Lou, duplicate stitch won't work for the Calcutta Cup. The thing, whatever it is, must be knit in the year of the victory. This started with the Christening shawl for James' and Cathy's youngest child, in 2000. To my shame, I cannot remember which one of you it was who told me that if you type “Calcutta Cup” into Google Images, and go on and on and on and on looking, you'll eventually come to my knitting.

Scotland also won in '06 (Fair Isle sweater for Alexander, now rather tight) and '08 (sweater for Ketki). There was a draw in '10 – I knit a hat with half the cup on it, for the elder of the Little Boys, but he soon lost it.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Your imaginations are greatly enhancing that stash. The best thing in it was the bag of madtosh Roasted Hatch Chillis DK – and that, I've kept.

A lot of the stash represented outgrown enthusiasms. There was a great deal of Shetland jumper weight. When I turn to Fair Isle again – that's certainly high on the wish list – it will be with the J&S heritage colours, devised in partnership with the museum there in Lerwick. I bought some when I was in the shop that happy day, and I've certainly kept that.

Also, I think Susan Crawford is going to extend the range with some yarn of her own, once the Vintage Shetland Project book is finally out.

There was a lot of multicoloured lace weight in the stash. I'm certainly over that phase. If I go back to lace – I hope so, but that is less certain – it will be to white (J&S' wonderful heritage yarn, again) or if in colour, near solids. Flipboard has a beautiful scarf at the moment in madtosh Parchment.

There was some Lorna's Laces sport weight – not enough of anything, though. Lorna's Laces was my Big Thing before I discovered madtosh.

And an infinity of oddballs.

What am I going to do with the Koigu? There was something called the Oriental Jacket (OJ, for short) that everybody was knitting for a while, years ago. The Koigu-collection book alarms me by not being where I expected to find it, this morning, but it can't be far away. Something like that is on my Hopeful list every year.

Another thing I always put on that list is my knitting to celebrate Scotland's victory in the Calcutta Cup. That one is not often called for, but I feel God owes us a victory next year, after the dreadful and undeserved loss to Australia in the World Cup. In recent years I had planned to knit Scandinavian-themed scarves for the Little Boys, but I've gone off that. Our triumph in 2016 will be commemorated on a Vintage-Shetland-Project-inspired vest for Alexander.

He can always have one anyway, without the Cup.

As for actual knitting, not much. I'm a bit further forward with assembling the Dunfallandy pieces. I should finish the central square today and begin attaching corners. And I'm a bit further forward with the hat. And doing unexpectedly well with the Christmas cards, although they don't really count as knitting.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The printer problem has been resolved. It turned out that both printer and computer were working fine – they just weren't speaking to each other. I could, and did, print the document from another computer. The printer is wireless (bliss!) and the document, my first venture into Christmas-letter-writing, was in Dropbox.

Then in the afternoon a clever friend came around and fixed the original problem. Southern Gal  -- very many thanks for yesterday's comment. I will print and save. There's bound to be a Next Time.


However, the big news of the day was that the stash departed. Here it is (black plastic bin bags) in my friend's car, ready to leave:

And here's what's left:

Not all of that, by any means, is very likely to be knit. There's the Kansas U scarf, and KF's “Mosaic” vest, both rather problematical. Some lace-weight unbranded yarn I bought in Beijing. And that poke of orange yarn, on top. I'm keeping that until they announce the competition dates for the Oldest Stash Item in the World.

In 1957, my husband knit a blankie for the baby his sister was expecting. (She turned out to be C., the niece I often mention.) In 1958, he bought that orange yarn to knit another for his own unborn child.

In addition to the pretty meagre collection here, you must bear in mind that I've also got the yarn to finish
     the Sous Sous
     the Tokyo shawl
     and the Dunfallandy blankie.

I've got those oddballs to knit swatches for Franklin's Craftsy class on colour. And I've got a plastic bin, the twin of the one you see here, about 3/4s full of Koigu.

As for actual progress yesterday, I didn't do any sewing. It was a particularly ups-and-downsy day. I made good progress with the Awesome hat, however, and I like the way it's looking. I even toyed with the idea that there might be time for another hat of some sort, before the 25th.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A titanic struggle to get the printer to print has (a) ended in failure and (b) used up all the available time.

There wasn't much knitting news anyway. I am a bit further forward with sewing the Dunfallandy blankie together, and with the Awesome hat.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

I'm fine. The sonographer – I think that is probably the word – said so, as soon as the scan was over. It was being done because of weight loss, as I suspected, and that is entirely due to my cider-free regime.

My INR blood count (yesterday) is still under-target (=blood too thick). The rat poison dose has been increased slightly and I am to be tested again next week. According to the literature with which I have been supplied, alcohol increases the effect of Warfarin. So why can't I have a smaller dose along with some cider? I could guarantee to take the same amount every day, if that would make them happy.

I don't dare suggest it.


Two benefits of my current way of life: 1) I am usually fairly deeply depressed by the darkness, this time of year. This time I have scarcely noticed it, and it doesn't bother me at all. 2) I can send for anything without the slightest anxiety -- there is always re44478|somebody here to answer the doorbell.


Thank you for your help with the problem of how many stitches to pick up for the border of the Dunfallandy blankie. I will certainly have a very close look at the examples on Ravelry.

Tamar, I had had your thought – that the oddly-high pick-up number was the result of a mistake in a single digit, 174 instead of 104. It is a particularly tempting idea because 104 would be exactly right, given that there are 52 stitches in the final row of each triangle. The mistake (if mistake it is) is compounded by the fact that the pattern says “696 sts” at the end of the instructions for picking up the border stitches. 696 is 174 x 4 – but that could have been added after the original mistake.

Meanwhile I am sewing the pieces together. It is slow work – or, at least, I am doing it slowly. I have joined the triangles, two by two, to make the four corners, and am now working on making one central piece of the four squares. It's looking good.

In odd moments, in hospitals and dr's offices and at the end of a weary day, I have also done a bit more of the Awesome hat. I have finished the turn-up, done the fold-line, and have started on the real hat. I put in an invisible red stripe using the yarn with which I did invisible red facings for Archie's sweater.

The stash is all bagged up and waiting to be removed. I already regret that bag of KF oddballs, but otherwise I am happy at what I have done. If we get any substantial daylight today, I'll take a picture for you of what remains.

One problem was a miscellaneous collection made for Franklin's Craftsy class on colour. The contents are all the sort of thing that would have been first in the firing line if they hadn't been set aside for that purpose. Everything there is in hiatus because I couldn't face Franklin – even with a computer screen between us – if I hadn't done my homework, and I haven't done it. In fact, I can't remember exactly what it is. Perhaps I could allow myself to watch Lesson Two again to find out. Those oddballs can have a further stay of execution.

I like the idea of donating Green Granite Blocks to Medecins sans Frontiers via p/hop. I'll refresh my memory of how that is done when life calms down a bit after Christmas.

An unexpected bonus of the stash clear-out has been the rediscovery of quite a few circular needles. Several had swatches and UFO's appended. Others are still in their original packages, on the shelf that used to bulge with sock wool. I tend to order two or three when I need to buy one needle – either the same size in a different length, or adjacent sizes. There turned out to be a surprising number of those, and all will be useful.

But Green Granite Blocks has been allowed to retain its needle.

Monday, December 07, 2015


I have a scan scheduled for this afternoon – nil by mouth from 11 am on, and no help until 2 pm this afternoon. Someone usually comes around 11, but I have re-scheduled her for today.

And today is Pearl Harbor Day. I wonder how many of the MP's who voted last week to bomb Syria, remember Pearl Harbor and the London blitz. Very few. There would have been more who remember American bombs in Vietnam. I think ISIS, like Americans in 1941, like the British, like the Viet Cong, are likely to become crosser and more dangerous the more you bomb them.


I finished the final Dunfallandy triangle and will today begin assembly. I think I'll leave the rest until after the New Year.

I'm worried about the border. Each side of the central square will consist of two final-edges of triangles, 52 stitches each (I've left them live). So, one would think, 104 stitches or thereabouts for each side. And yet the instructions say to pick up 174 stitches along each side.

On the one hand, the pattern is carefully written and this is a big discrepancy. If it is a mistake, you'd think Dr de Roulet or the editors of Knitty would have caught it.

On the other hand, there are mistakes. That final triangle row where two stitches are unaccounted-for. A schematic clearly shows the first part of the border as 5.5”, the second part as 1.5”, total 7”. when the instructions on the same page equally clearly say to knit until the border is 7.5” wide, and then start knitting the second part.

Perhaps I'll assemble the pieces and then send Dr de Roulet a picture and ask about this. I can add a few words of appreciation about the concept of the horizontal cable.

I'll take the Amazing hat along to my appt this afternoon. Indeed, I think once the Dunfallandy pieces are assembled, I'll carry on with the hat until finished. It will be useful for Christmas, which is going to be a bit patchy at the best.

Now I had better eat my sausages. It's already 10 o'clock.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

You people are wonderful.

I don't know what went wrong with comments yesterday – I blame Perdita. But enough got through that I began by turning the computer upside down and shaking it – rather gingerly, since it's a laptop and to shake the keyboard you have to shake the whole thing. Then I put it down and, in the absence of compressed air in any other form, blew hard on the offending key.

And now it works fine. Many thanks.

As for knitting, I finished row 25 of the final Dunfallandy triangle. A good day today, and I could finish it. Or two bad days, and I could finish tomorrow. Then comes assembly.

(I showed the work-in-progress to Alexander when he was here last week. He claimed to have no knowledge of the Dunfallandy Stone, or of the astonishing collection of Celtic stones at Miegle, in the other direction from Kirkmichael. I would have thought he would have been taken to both too often in childhood.)

Liz, thank you for the reference to July 17, 2010 in my blog, for Green Granite Blocks. How much I seemed to get done, in those days! I vaguely feel that what happened to GGB was that I laid it aside in order to knit something for the Games (although I've just seen a passage in which I said I wasn't going to do that). Goodness knows what, and I'm sure I didn't win.

In those days, I seemed to be able to work on GGB and still have time at the end of the day for a bit of sock-knitting at least. Nowadays, my husband's early bed means that, effectively, there is no evening. There ought to be knitting time during the day – it's not as if we were doing anything – but somehow it doesn't seem to work.


Jenny, the drs know all about the different sizes of my legs. When I sort of semi-collapsed in the summer, they spotted the enlarged right leg at once. I hadn't noticed. It was a deep vein thrombosis. A scan the next day (a Sunday – let no one persuade you that the NHS doesn't function over the weekend) revealed pulmonary embolisms (I prefer that plural). Hence the daily dose of rat poison and my cider-less life.

Saturday, December 05, 2015


I suddenly feel much more sprightly. Has a clot resolved itself somewhere? And my legs look almost  the same size. Perhaps it's an illusion.

What does one do about a sticky space bar? A quarter of a century ago, I would not have hesitated to prise up the key and clean the contact. I'm scared to try to fcdda\\\\\\\\\\\\\cfZddeal with a modern laptop in that fashion. Today, I'm using a different computer (we've got lots) and composing directly in Blogger. Archie is meant to be coming for lunch. He can advise.

You'll have heard that the Forth Road Bridge is to stay closed for a month.


I got on nicely with the final Dunfallandy triangle. Row 19, I think, of 33.

And with the stash. Nearly finished.

It was a pleasure to approach Green Granite Blocks without feelings of dread and guilt. The position is not quite as bad as I thought -- a lot of the yarns are in little plastic bags identified by a letter which corresponds to the list in the pattern. At some point in the last couple of days I have binned a bag of Kaffe left-overs from other projects. I shouldn't have done that, but it would be near-impossible to recover them now,

I've finished the back. The pattern says to turn the chart over and proceed downwards from the shoulder to knit the fronts. I have clearly decided not to do that, and applaud my decision from this distance. The piece on the needle starts with ribbing and is being knitted bottom-up, and is presumably not a sleeve since it isn't tapered.

So now what? I can't sell it, if only because it was a present to me, from a friend who got the yarns wound and labelled, and knit a few rows of ribbing, and then thought better of the whole thing.oiiiiii0
 I must find out how easy it is to get another copy of Kaffe's California Patches. I need that for the archives.

So you must advise.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Thank you for your messages about the Green Granite Blocks. I'll try to have a serious look at it today. To begin with, have the m*oths been at it? Secondly, as perhaps with a 1000-piece jigsaw, could anyone (including me) now reconstruct it?

There is a wee poke of fresh skeins, unwound, labelled – that's fine; their role in the pattern can easily be found in the pattern. But what about the multitude of little balls? Is it possible still to figure out what goes where?

(My space barisn't working atallwell thismorning. Nuisance.)

There used to be websites for KF kits which the sellers had either saved from the distant past or actually reconstructed. I hope there are still. They weren't cheap then, and will be less so now. There were an agreeable few years some decades back when Rowan could be counted on to have packaged up too many KF kits which then turned up in the January sales, really cheap. That's how I was first lured from breathless admiration to actual knitting.

I agree that Green Granite Blocks ought to go to a good home if that appears possible.

I'll report back. Much of my useful time today, however, must be spent in pursuit of a painkiller prescribed for my husband which didn't turn up with his week's ration of pills yesterday.

I got a bit forrader with binning the stash yesterday. Another hour should see the job done. I'm very glad this isn't a job my sorrowing children will have to do after the funeral. When I'm finished, I'll take a picture for you of what remains. Plenty, is the answer -- and I can always buy more.

As for actual knitting, I surprised myself by finishing the seventh Dunfallandy square. I immediately cast on the eighth and last, and knit the first few comically easy rows. Never mind Christmas cards unwritten, presents unsent, dinner unplanned – the Dunfallandy blankie is on schedule.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Not much knitting yesterday – a few rows forward. But a good deal more stash-busting.

Forgotten treasures revealed: two lovely skeins of Pakokku. Neither is “Vampires of Venice”, but still, very nice. And some madtosh Twist Light (I think it's called) which sounds as if it would make a good sock yarn, being 25% nylon. There's something out there called madtosh Sock which is 100% wool, if I've got it right. I wouldn't trust that for wear.

And I kept the Arne&Carlos unknit socks, and three unknit examples of Kaffe's yarn, and wound up with quite a bagful of sock yarn.

There's one real puzzle. Two years ago, I think it was, I bought kits for knitting the official University of Kansas beanie and scarf. I knit the beanie, for granddaughter Lizzie who was attending that institution at the time. But I never knit the scarf. What to do with it now? Nobody in the women's prison (or anywhere else around here) is going to want to knit a University of Kansas scarf. But I can't just throw it away.

The decision on that one: keep it. I can knit it for Lizzie any time. She'll still have K.U. in her heart – it was a very successful year.

What about Kaffe's “Green Granite Blocks”, which has lingered so long in my sidebar? I think the only possible verdict on that one is going to be to chuck it. I'll have a lingering look today. Maybe I have thrown away so much that I could buy it a nice clear plastic box of its own and leave it on a shelf in the cupboard to be found after my death.

I still have one more Kaffe kit in the stash, a sleeveless vest which I have always rather fancied. It may be called “Mosaic” and certainly has patterns which are found in ancient mosaics. Keep that one.

Interestingly, or perhaps not, there are no unknit sweaters in the stash, huge as it is (unless you count the Mosaic kit). Endless oddballs and skeins of this and that. But apparently when I buy yarn to knit a sweater, I knit it.

I should finish today – hoping for not too many more surprises.

Here's yesterday's picture of the Dunfallandy blankie so far:

Melfina, you are clearly in a situation where you need to recruit a friend or two to help knit your ideas.

Shandy: Thank you!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

All well, more or less.

I've got the Dunfallandy pieces assembled on the floor, roughly pinned together. All I need is a bit of daylight at midday in order to photograph them – this morning doesn't promise much. Much of the fun derives from the fact that cables flow from one piece to another, over and under. You need to be able to see that.

I've finished the sixth triangle, and made a good start on the seventh. Nicely on target.

I have been reflecting on the way I enjoy knitting more when the designer is a knitter, too. This reflection can't be pressed too far – even the most computer-bound and entrepreneurial – good heavens! that got straight past the spell-check! – of designers must knit sometimes. And even the most knitterly of them will need help knitting samples sometimes.

Still: Kate Davies, Kaffe, Meg, EZ (ca va sans dire), our own Mary Lou, people who really knit – these are the designers I knit the most often. And Dr de Roulet, who designed the Dunfallandy blankie, has been working, I gather, for years on the problem of the horizontal cable. I share her excitement a little bit each time I knit that row.

Gosia and I flung ourselves into stash-reduction yesterday. There are now two black plastic bin bags near the front door, ready to begin their journey to Stirling and the women's prison there. Even if every single inmate knits, it will take them a while to get through that lot.

I've still got a whole bin-ful of Koigu. That's sacrosanct.

But there's also still more to give away. I hope I'll have time to look at it before Gosia comes again next week. I must be sure I still have the Fair Isle colours I bought at Jamieson & Smith, the day I was actually there; and the yarn for KD's Northmavine hap, similarly; and the madtosh Burnt Chillis and the leftovers from Archie's sweater, for my planned half-brioche cosy sweater; and the Arne & Carlos sock yarn; and two balls of Chinese mink that James and Cathy gave me.

If any lifetime remains after that, I can go back to lace. All the yarns named, except the mink, are pretty easily replaceable, I notice.

I would really recommend this exercise. But you probably have a much more structured and useful stash than mine had become.


My INR score was low on Monday (=blood too thick). Clearly I need more cider.

Monday, November 30, 2015

I got on nicely with the Dunfallandy triangle yesterday – not much, but no mistakes. Today I have an appt with the practice nurse to have a blood test, related to my daily dose of rat poison. I think I'll take my knitting along and spend as much as an extra half hour there – it's a spacious, quiet place; dr's offices often run slow; my husband will have good care here. If I come home, I'll be in demand.


Isabella, thanks for the tip on “In the Footsteps of Sheep”. Here's the link you provided to the Schoolhouse. I have ordered it from I Knit London, as Meg herself suggests. I wonder what she (=Debbie Zawinski, the author of the book) will have to say about the interminable blackface we live among in Perthshire. I had understood that their fleece was pretty well useless. I greatly look forward to that, and to the bits about St Kilda and Shetland.

Maureen, HALFPINT is something like Have A Lovely Future? Project I....No Time. Someone ought to be able to do better than that.

But I think I'll move plotulopi back down my own list. Scratchy, I don't like. Thank you for that, Cam. Maybe one day.

Jane, I'm glad to hear that your Dunfallandy blankie is progressing. That was a good move, to find your place in one square by knitting the next one. I actually put a mark | next to each row after I knit it. The current triangle is a particularly good one, because it is my 10th time through the pattern so I am adding a cross bar to the preceding four uprights, which makes it very easy to see where I am.

My iPad seems to have relented and will now send photos off by email again, even without being re-set as I kept meaning to do. Here is a recent picture of Archie playing with Perdita, to prove it. I will try to arrange the pieces of my Dunfallandy today and see if I can get a picture for you.

Mary Lou, the Dunfallandy is certainly not easy, but it's a lot of fun, and there is something rather exciting about being in on the first appearance of the horizontal cable. As for Mass, no, I haven't been getting there lately. The privately-paid help comes for three hours at midday, which ought to suffice, but the hours shift slightly from day to day and somehow it hasn't worked. Next Sunday we're down for 10 until 1, which ought to be perfect. Mass is at 11:30, and brisk. 

Perdita says: e333./34aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa;ww

Sunday, November 29, 2015

You didn't tell me that Franklin has a pattern in the ne/w VK! I missed it the first time through when I was skimming over all the beads in that first section. It's #4, Beaded Opera Gloves, and even for love of Franklin I'm never going to knit beaded opera gloves, or any other sort. But, gosh! We knew him when...

I also, on a calmer note, found the article about Kieran Foley interesting. I don't think I've ever heard of him, and I don't think he's my cup of tea, but still, interesting.

Thank you for putting me right about the Vintage Shetland Project. You're absolutely right – there have been updates, and I have received them. When I searched my mail for that topic, there they were, presumably classed as “Promotions”, a category into which I rarely dip. And you're right, JAG, that it will be good to have the book after Christmas when calm returns. And in my case, when a couple of major WIPs may actually be finished.

I tried YouTube for Plotulopi – there's remarkably little to be seen, but I found one where an enthusiast was demonstrating how to wind it into balls. It does seem to emerge from the wheel in a form recognisable as yarn. That one has been on my HALFPINT list for a long time – I might edge it up a couple of notches.

I seem to have pre-ordered Heather Zoppetti's “Unexpected Cables”. It turned up the other day. I haven't opened it yet, but look forward to the experience.

As for actual knitting, yesterday was another good day. I got in half an hour at Kathy's Knits – she said one of you had been along during the week, hoping to find me there. What a pity we missed each other! I made a good start on the ribbing of the Awesome hat.

And at home, I made a good start on the sixth (of eight) Dunfallandy triangle – 16 rows done, no mistakes. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Let's see how much I can get down before the day rushes in on me.

I achieved yesterday's targets, knitting-wise. Three repeats of the pattern are finished, on the front of the Sous Sous. That's all of that, for now. And the Awesome hat has been cast on, and a couple of rounds knit – ready for a session at Kathy's Knits, whenever I achieve that again.

It remains to be seen whether Dunfallandy triangles are possible under present conditions. They need quite a bit of concentration and won't respond well to constant interruption. On the other hand rows are fairly short: 54 stitches at the apogee. And familiarity helps.

Beyond that, the main news is that VK has turned up, long before I expected another issue. It comes in a plain brown paper envelope and always surprises. It really is the only magazine one needs.

There's a whole page about the Vintage Shetland project – “publication at the end of November”. That's what we were promised at the time of the cloud-funding. In these technologically sophisticated days, she must have all the cloud-funders' email addresses in a tidy bundle somewhere, and all it would take is a couple of sentences to update us about the delay.

The website says only that the book is available for pre-order and will be dispatched (to non-cloud-funders) early next year. Poof.

I've still got a delicious amount of VK to read and contemplate. I am not going to be persuaded to knit with beads, I am sure. I am very much taken with Meg's article about unspun Icelandic. That's a new experience I could seriously contemplate and a little mild Googling reveals that the yarn is easy to get here. I wonder if there's anything on YouTube. I can't imagine how it works. Wouldn't it all pull apart?

Here Perdita intervened:

Pattern-wise, I like 9 & 10, two shawls. And 10 is knit in Koigu!`azs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxv q1

Friday, November 27, 2015

Again, the day has already escaped from my hands. Thank you for your many kind messages.

The hat is finished, except for being finished -- and that won't take long, hats being hats. It fits (me) fine. I can't judge the slouch effect, however, looking straight at a mirror. I hope to cast on the Awesome today, and finish the current repeat on the front of the Sous Sous.

Speaking of hats, and of brioche stitch, I am somewhat taken with Purl Soho's Color Dipped hat. One thing at a time.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Alas, no London.

When I told my husband that I was going up to buy the ticket, he was so enraged that I didn't dare. There was the danger, to begin with, that he would be bad-tempered (that's putting it mildly) with the carer, who unfortunately was someone we didn't know at all. And there was the much graver danger, near-certainty indeed, that I would come back to find him in a state of great and persistent anger.

I had the knitting all laid out, too. The recent excavations in the stash cupboard have revealed many a forgotten treasure but had also temporarily obscured the hiding place of the rest of the Dunfallandy yarn – there's quite a bit, because there's all that border to knit. But eventually I found it.

So now I've got to re-incorporate the Dunfallandy blankie in the day-to-day knitting schedule. I think I'll finish the current repeat on the front of the Sous Sous (third of five) and then do a triangle or two. Meanwhile finishing the hat and trying to schedule another session at Kathy's Knits to start the Awesome.

The plan on respite is to try to talk to my husband about the importance of, involving the GP who is coming to see us next week. It may be easier for him to assimilate the idea if its execution isn't immanent.

And then wait until Greek Helen's next appearance, at the end of January. I will go to London while she's here (Goya will probably be off by then) and a live-in carer will be booked for a couple of days after she leaves, to extend my stay. They'll have to overlap for a night because Helen leaves for the airport at 4:30 am. It should work.

Interesting question, about that galloping horse. I've no idea where I picked it up, except that I'm pretty sure I heard it on the internet somewhere. My whole knitting life changed when the internet put me in touch with you people, sometime around the mid-90's and the dear old KnitList.

And speaking of sources, I have a few words to say about good old Kitchener stitch once I pull myself together. I've now got the Knitting Traditions magazine with the article on the subject.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Here we are again. All you Americans are busy getting ready for tomorrow. Have a great day!

Not much at this end. I never did finish that hat – maybe today. But I am edging forward towards London, including cleaning out the refrigerator and printing the Awesome Hat pattern. Today I mean to go to Waverley Station and buy my tickets. I remain scared stiff.

I hope you read the Harlot's recent post about the dangers of travelling in an under-yarned state. I think I will be fully occupied with the last three Dunfallandy triangles – one for each train journey, the other for the days I'm there. And with Loop on the agenda, there's really no need to worry. But I'll take the hat anyway. It remains to sort out needles, yarn, and, I see, stitch markers.

I've advanced somewhat with the Sous Sous. It is embarrassing to think how slow-witted I was about what is happening here in the front. I sort of thought that that scooped-out front was achieved with decreases, and when each right-side row of the front began and ended with a decrease, my thoughts were confirmed (I thought). But in fact there are compensating YO's, far from the decreases. I am knitting trapezoids, very much as for the Tokyo shawl.

Sorry -- no illustration. "A network change was detected", the error screen says. I have no idea what that means.

I'd better post this while the going is good.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Onwards – into a new week. I am nearly paralysed with terror at the thought of London next week, what needs to be done in advance, what could go wrong in my absence. It's time to start thinking hard, at least, and making a shopping list. Helen has drawn up a wonderful program for the carer. I must edit and where possible simplify it.

Today must be devoted to ordering a book in a series on French artists to which my husband often subscribes. Everything else in the world, I buy with my credit card. That won't do for the French publishers, nor will a cheque in euro's, even, unless drawn on a French bank. I must get a virement from our bank and then trudge off somewhere to post it, post offices no longer being handy.

Tomorrow an old friend is coming to see us. That leaves Wednesday-Saturday, effectively. Should be enough.

Knitting was not too bad yesterday – I finished my stint on the Tokyo shawl, as hoped, and reverted to the Sous Sous for a row or two. I think today, however, I'll finish off that hat.

I sat down the other day during my husband's afternoon nap and dealt with 10 days' mail. I who used to snatch it up from the mat and rip it open at once. I was rewarded with nothing much except the new IK – the Winter 2016 issue that you had patiently explained to me. It came with an announcement that this was my last issue. When did I renew? Fully a month ago.

I haven't the oomph to trawl through their website. I'll wait and see.

I thought the issue rather a disappointment after so promising an approach – heirloom knitting updated. Was it that the colours and the photography were a bit on the dull side and didn't do the patterns justice?  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sorry, again. Once the day begins around here, it's two steps forward, three steps back, all day long. And it begins early.

I may not have blogged, but I got a bit of knitting done yesterday. I spent half an hour in Kathy's Knits, very quiet despite being a Saturday, and reached the crown-shaping rounds of the hat. I did a bit more Tokyo shawl, and reeely should finish the stint today. That will leave four bands to do, and a narrow garter edge. And, of course, blocking – but it could add up to another FO for '15.


I have started worrying, rather seriously, about whether Helff and Safety would approve of leaving an employed stranger in charge of the primitive heating arrangements in this house. But if I do get to London, Peggy, it will be a delicious bonus and hardly Cinderella – I've been to Athens this year, and Matt & Hellie's wedding. And I live in Edinburgh, no small thing.

And that's it Рthe day is now raging. Maybe I could try writing down little knitterly thoughts as they occur to me from time to time.23 ێ3333333333333333333333333 Final remark from Perdita.

Friday, November 20, 2015

There is nothing to report this morning except that we have arrived at the beginning of another day in more or less the condition in which we reached the last one. Times are hard, here, so that's an achievement worth mentioning.

I continued with the Tokyo shawl. I might even finish the current stint today, Band 25. n bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbxc (comment from Perdita). Next should be Dunfallandy, but there are movements afoot to get in some respite care here (no small thing) so that I could go to London for a few days. I could see Rachel's new house! I could go to Loop! I could see the Goya exhibition! And Dunfallandy squares would be perfect travel knitting -- so maybe I'll go back to the Sous Sous for now.

I've been to Loop, once, with Shandy, years ago, to sit at Franklin's feet and learn useful and interesting things. But I got to see nothing of the shop that day, except for a sense of an Aladdin's cave of wonders.


One thing achieved yesterday was to plant daffodil bulbs in pots outside the front door. They were a recent supermarket impulse buy, and if a friend hadn't nudged me, they would still have been in their supermarket package when spring came. It is nice to have their cheerful faces to look forward to.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Today is the actual 90th birthday.

Knitting moves forward, if slowly. I've finished the 23rd band of the Tokyo shawl, and have nearly finished the 24th, a small one. I'll go ahead and do band 25, and the first row of 26 as mentioned yesterday, before switching to the Dunfallandy blankie. There are only 29 bands altogether – not far to go. I can't remember how many percentage points I assign to each band for sidebar purposes.

There's going to be a Yarn Festival on Loch Ness next September. At the moment, no news seems to be available about teachers or market or what's actually going to happen. Ten months is not much time – they'd better get cracking. I've signed up to hear more.

Brooklyn Tweed have published an actual, physical book of patterns. I'm afraid I don't see the point. It is still possible to buy the patterns separately. The lookbook is as splendid as Jared's previous ones, if not more so. Why pay more and take up valuable shelf space?

Non-knit, or mostly

Here are pictures from our 90th birthday celebration last Sunday.

Me in my beautiful Socklady gloves:

The group:

Most of us look unwontedly cheerful. If you're interested, from left to right:

Rachel's husband Ed; Greek Helen in Carol Sunday's wonderful “Milano” kit, but I think the knitting owed something to the Relax pattern I had already done twice; Rachel; James's wife Cathy; our niece Clare, my husband's sister's daughter; our grandson Alistair, James' and Cathy's son – grandchildren weren't meant to be included, but a few drifted by; Alexander; another grandson, Helen's and David's son Fergus; and finally James.

Perdita you know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We had a nice weekend, and a good party. Thank you for your kind wishes. Everybody is gone now, and sorely missed. Greek Helen, the last holdout, is airborne Athens-wards as we speak.

There was a dark undertow. An extremely noisy party downstairs on Saturday kept me and Rachel and Ed awake for most of the night. My husband, at the other end of the house, escaped entirely. We had a power cut for most of Sunday – we were all warm enough, and fortunately the party lunch had been planned as a cold one, but still... And there was the news from Paris.

Lynn, I got the pictures you asked for, although I haven't seen them yet. My colourfully gloved hands can be seen, I hope, clutching Perdita in the group photograph, and there are others.

Helen made this mosaic – based, of course, on the famous one at Pompeii – for a dear friend who has been at hand with countless acts of kindness to me and my husband throughout this tedious year. It was handed over during the weekend. You may recognise the dog as one I recently knit.

Not much knitting. I have had two medical appts in the last two days – both kept so promptly that I haven't even crossed the final cables on the Greystone hat. I have successfully resumed the Tokyo shawl. I left it, all those weeks ago, with the first row of a stripe done. That was a good move on my part, if I do say so -- it meant that I could start knitting without having to puzzle out which colour to use next. The colous are muted, and November is dark.

Not that the knitting police would shoot at sight if I got it wrong. I have already made at least one such mistake.

The package from Webs is here (costly, this time) with more madtosh Whiskey Barrel DK to finish the Sous Sous and form the background stripe in a half-brioche pullover with Roast Hatch Chillis to the fore.

Thank you for the tips about possible hats to knock out for Christmas using left-over madtosh Composition Book Grey, perhaps with a red stripe. I've gone for the Awesome Hat you suggested, Kristie, because it's DK (as well as being awesome). I feel sure I've had deals with Eskimimi before. When?

I found in Mary Lou's blog the link to this delicious account of the choices facing the stash-reducer – the very job that Gosia and I are devoting our Friday mornings to. Don't miss.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's are complicated, that's all. Gosia and I had another successful session in the stash cupboard, although we have scarcely reached the yarn as yet. It will be one less hell-hole for the family to clean out when I pass to my reward.

And I have done the required 12 cables for the possum hat – I will now add a 13th for the sake of slouchiness, on Skeindalous' advice. The sofa at Kathy's Knits is proving so pleasant a way to spend 45 minutes of a morning, and so productive, that I am beginning to wonder who else on my Christmas list might like a hat. It is mostly men who remain to have presents assigned. I've got a fair amount of madtosh DK left over from Archie's sweater. A plain-vanilla grey watch cap? And somewhere I ought to have the ball of brilliant red which I used for the inside hems on Archie's sweater. A stripe or two of that?

We shall see.

I finished the one remaining skein of Whiskey Barrel, exactly half-way through the second repeat on the front of the Sous Sous. So: Tokyo shawl this evening.

Rachel and Ed will be here tonight, late, outriders for the 90th birthday party on Sunday. So I probably won't be here for a while – at the worst, not until Wednesday, when the last party-guest, Greek Helen, heads for home.

Although I ought to be able to do better than that.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A more interesting day than might have been expected, yesterday, on the knitting front.

In that I ran into a next-door neighbour, an energetic solicitor of Polish extraction whom I may have mentioned before. She's the one who spends Christmas Eve celebrating in true Polish fashion – there's something about setting a place for each of the 12 apostles – and then spends Christmas Day serving lunch to the homeless.

My fame as a knitter had spread all the way next door – she told me that she visits a women's prison, and they want yarn. The request couldn't have come at a better time, just when Gosia and I had made a start on the stash cupboard. Later in the day I told her in an email roughly what I've got (sock yarn, and lots and lots of jumper weight including a lot of Shetland). My neighbour is going to the prison today and will find out more.

As for actual knitting, I went on with the Sous Sous and will surely finish that skein of yarn today, about half-way through the second repeat.

Skeindalous, it was you, surely, who told me to increase the circumference of the Greystone hat, an invaluable tip. I will take your advice on length as well, and put in an extra cable repeat. I, too, want slouchy.


Helen sent these additional pictures of the mosaic at Delphi in which that cat appears, with her rat or her kitten as may be. It seems to be all about animals, rather than Christian symbolism. I don't know that it gets us any further forward – but what a wonderful thing! How did they know, in Delphi, in early Christian times, what a camel looks like? Helen says there's a zebra there somewhere, too.

The picture of the squid is included because some of its tentacles are missing, omitted so that it will fill the space. The cat can be seen in context in the middle one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A pretty good day's knitting, yesterday.

I got in a pleasant 45 minutes at Kathy's Knits. When I got there, a customer and her husband were sitting on the sofa. I was constrained to look at yarn for a while. Kathy's stock is, fortunately, extremely interesting. When the others left, I got in another pattern repeat on the hat. Two to go, of twelve.

I finished the first ball of possum yarn, and attached the next. That always feels like progress. What if I kept a running score in the sidebar next year of skeins purchased and skeins consumed? It might prove salutary.

And at home, I finished the first 16-row pattern repeat on the front of the Sous Sous. The temptation there is to carry on until the present skein is exhausted, not far to go. It's the last one, until the package comes from Webs. We'll see.

The weekend's festivities loom, and behind them, Christmas. At least I am spared Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mosaic (see yesterday for image)

My husband says she's got a rat. Even I had noticed that the tail is entirely wrong for a kitten. Helen says that she thought “rat” at first, but changed her mind because of those tiny paws, which certainly look much more like those of a kitten being suddenly removed to a new venue than of a rat struggling for life.

And the cat is striding along with very much that air of a cat who is moving her litter to a place of her choosing and you-had-better-not-interfere.

I will ask about the rest of the mosaic. The fish, clearly visible, is likely to be the Christian symbol? But what else is there in the other spaces? Could a rat be the symbol of evil? Could a kitten be part of a novel symbol of mother love? Am I transposing much later ideas of Christian iconography back into early Christian mosaics?


Progress is slow. I have done the first cable-crossing row for the first pattern repeat of the front of the Sous Sous. Even at the current snail's pace, I should finish the repeat by tomorrow. Maybe I can get back to Kathy's Knits today. I would like to tell her about the Dunfallandy blankie, although I still think the actual thing is too complicated for public knitting on my part. She (Kathy) sells only British yarn and is particularly interested (not unnaturally) in Scotland.


My INR appt went well, in that my husband stayed put while I was away and came to no harm although he was unattended (as it transpired) for half an hour. My blood is too thin. The dose of rat poison has been reduced and I have to go back next week. I also have a hospital appt next week, nominally with the consultant I briefly saw when I was in hospital myself.  

Monday, November 09, 2015

Greek Helen was in Delphi yesterday. She had secured permission through a Greek friend to get close-up-and-personal to an early Christian mosaic ordinarily viewable only from above and at an angle. She found this:

Isn't it wonderful? She particularly liked the kitten's little paws.

She also sent this:

Very Delphi, that one.


I got a certain amount actually done yesterday. GrannyPurple, you're absolutely right and I was absolutely wrong – the instructions for the front of the Sous Sous are correct. I'm nearly ready to start the cabling, and I think the end of the first full repeat will be the point at which to switch to the Tokyo shawl. I've completely forgotten how I assigned percentage points for the sidebar to either project.

Sure enough, the corners of the Sous Sous are dipping down under the weight, so to speak, of the decreases. My husband's sister used often to say to me, “There's lots you don't know”. How right she was!

Rachel phoned last night with plans for the Birthday Weekend which is now looming. She and Ed will be here late Friday evening and can devote themselves on Saturday to getting the dining room ready.

She said that she and Ed plan to drive up and spend Christmas with us. Most of their children will be absent anyway, scattered about the world. That is a pleasant prospect to look forward to.

I have an INR blood test scheduled for this morning, at a time which means that I will have to leave my husband alone for what should only be a few minutes before a carer lets herself in with a key she has found in our new key safe. I'm more than a bit nervous about the arrangement.  

Sunday, November 08, 2015

The whole subject of language changing and bits of language surviving – several comments yesterday – is a fascinating one. I vaguely feel that I was told once that there are remote Appalachian communities which preserve interesting fragments of 17th and 18th century English.

My own favourite story comes from a friend who went from Oberlin to Oxford and was one day reading an essay to her tutor when she came to the word “shone” – what the sun did (or didn't) do yesterday.

He interrupted her with delight. “You pronounce it the way Pope did!” (The British say “shawn” nowadays.)


Not much, yesterday. The front of the Sous Sous is going to be very interesting. It is sort of scooped-out, and I had assumed that short rows were involved. No, apparently. Starting right here at the beginning, there is a decrease a few stitches in from either side, and a compensating YO on either side of the central cabled pattern. (Do google it if you're interested – I'm not going to risk taking the time.)

I will enjoy seeing how that works out. And how the side seams can possibly get to be long enough to sew to the back.

I am mildly worried by the instruction: “Repeat rows 3-4 while working repeats of the 16-row cable pattern...” If you took that literally, the side panels would be a 1x1 rib, not the double moss stitch intended. It takes four rows to write out double moss stitch, stitch-by-stitch. It's the sort of thing which can upset a beginner a good deal.


Thanks for the help. I remain baffled. I used to be able to take a picture, edit it if need be, email it to myself straight from the Photos app on the iPad, incorporate it here.

I tried, yesterday, with a different photograph. No luck. It's not, therefore, that that particular one is stuck. Today, perhaps, I will try adding a couple of words of text to the email. And I could try to send a proper email from the iPad's page and attach a picture from the Photos app. What could be wrong?