Saturday, January 03, 2015

No further news from Mount Pelion.

And there is little to report on the knitting front. Both projects –Unst Bridal Shawl edging, Archie's sweater – are moving steadily but slowly forward. Archie's sweater has now progressed 13” below the armpits (it's top-down, remember). I think I'm aiming for 16”.

Vibeke Lind was no help on the Calcutta Cup Scarf front. The only real question is whether, after starting with a Norwegian-patterned tube which incorporates the Cup and the date, I can switch to a single layer – a two-sided stitch pattern such as a rib – to get me more rapidly to the other end. Or must I go on with an endless tube? I'll look in some of my scarf books.

It will be fun to have two colours and to reverse them, pattern and background, on the two scarves.

First, however, win your rugby match.


Beth, thank you for the link to the NY Times article about Ros Chast's book, mentioned here recently. I was very glad to learn that they list it as one of the ten best books of last year. The two cartoons they pick to illustrate the article – Boredom and Anxiety as she tackles her parents' paper-work – are absolutely me, facing up to the income tax.

I had another good day on that front yesterday. I'll be back with the cider in no time, at this rate.

Ros Chast had an elder sister who was born at seven months and lived only a day. The early birth was possibly because Mrs Chast climbed on a stool to change a light bulb, but probably because of placenta praevia. The dead baby was a shadow over Ros' childhood.

The NY Times reviewer, however, startles me when she says, “There's a certain place in hell-on-earth for children who follow a deceased sibling”. That seems awfully strong. Maybe the reviewer is acquainted with some special cases. Archie is such a child. His brother Oliver, a year older, lived 6 ½ weeks, all of them spent in hospital. I have never detected in their parents anything other than unrelieved joy at having a healthy child.


  1. I suppose it depends on the family, the circumstances etc.? I remembering hearing on the radio that van Gogh was affected quite badly by it, his brother, also called Theo, had been born exactly a year before him and died. In that case I think having the same name didn't help or the identical birthday.

  2. if you'd like the same pattern on both sides - why don't you knit the scarf in "double knitting"? no snagging of threads, no problems with stitches too far apart, securing threads etc...

  3. Vladimir Nabokov was another such child, born a year after a stillborn brother. The haunting, and haunted, brothers in his fiction likely have more to do with his relationship to his 11-months *younger* brother, Sergei, who seemed to have been treated as the family misfit, even while VN was the Golden Child. Sergei, arrested in a purge of homosexuals during WWII, died in a concentration camp in 1945. See VN's _Speak, Memory_, and also .

  4. Two ideas on the scarf:

    1) Work the calcutta cup section in double knit as Woolly Bits suggests. You could start with some nicely reversible stitch, like a broken rib, then knit front and back in all the stitches, then begin double knitting the Calcutta cup section. At the end of the Calcutta cup section, k2tog all across, then resume the reversible stitch to the desired length

    2) In a similar vein to #1, cast on provisionally and knit a tube in fingering weight with Calcutta cup in stranded knitting. Then k2tog to close the tube and with a sport or DK (I instinctively feel the non stranded section will need to be a heavier yarn but you should swatch this) knit to desired length in some reversible stitch. Then take up the provisional section, k2tog to close the tube, and knit a few inches in the reversible stitch for balance.