Sunday, March 08, 2015

Helen is – or, at least, certainly should be – on the early-morning direct EasyJet flight to Athens which I will take, insh'Allah, three weeks from today. It leaves at 7 a.m. which doesn't allow the traveller much preliminary sleep. It was wonderful having her here.

Much seems to have happened on the knitting front.

1) I am well advanced with the sample pocket square in Juniper Moon, although still having trouble with its name. Those two words seem to have no relation to each other or to yarn – makes it difficult to remember. I like the result a lot. This time I will finish off the loose ends and steam-iron it into a tidy square and fold it before I send it to London.

I have been Googling “how to fold a pocket square”. There is an extensive literature on the subject. How on earth did we manage our lives before Google? Helen says she recently employed it when she needed to study the proportions of the human body for a mosaic she is designing.

2) I applied the steam iron to Archie's sweater to restrain the hems from flipping outwards, and it seems to have worked. He came around briefly yesterday – couldn't stay for supper because exams loom – and tried it on and pronounced himself pleased. For a moment I thought we could skip blocking, but he would still prefer a smidgen more ease so I'll do it this afternoon. It doesn't have to be pinned out like a shawl, after all. I'll see him again soon, when he stays here overnight before catching his own early-morning EasyJet, a couple of days before mine, going home for the Easter holiday. He can wear the sweater on the journey.

The neck is lower than I expected. He says it's fine. How did that happen?

3) I've started the Tokyo shawl. It's knit with two strands of lace-weight yarn held together, one of them alpaca which comes in balls, the other wool which is in 50 gram skeins and takes a considerable amount of winding. The alpaca is constant throughout, the wool changes colour and therefore a lot more winding looms.

There is no schematic, but I think we're aiming at a rectangle. The stitch pattern consists of 2 k2togs and 2 yo's, widely spaced on top of each other in alternate 160-stitch rows; and in alternate bands of st st and reversed st st. Plus those subtle – and very occasionally startling – changes of colour.

160 stitches is quite a few, but less than a million. I have made a good start, the garter stitch edging done, the first st st band embarked upon. To begin with, the two yarns are a pretty identical grey. The next band will involve the first colour-change (and more winding). My plan is to continue thus for a few days and then launch the Sous Sous and keep them going together.

Helen quite liked the Sous Sous I think, but believed it unsuitable for any but the seriously slender young because of the way the scooped-out front edge will draw attention to the stomach. The wearers' pictures on Ravelry suggest that it looks good on a wide variety of shapes. We shall see. Fortunately I've got lots of the seriously slim among my panel of recipients.


Queer Joe says that a new Koigu book, Wrapped in Colour, devoted to shawls, is the best yet for mixing Koigu colours. Oh, dear, in my case. I had almost forgotten my extensive Koigu stash and indeed (while forgetting Koigu) had begun to think, why not get rid of the whole stash and go on acquiring yarn project-by-project as I seem to be doing at the moment?


  1. Anonymous8:44 AM

    Interesting re Koigu. I absolutely love this yarn, particularly the older shades, but on the whole found the shawls in "Wrapped in Colour" somewhat disappointing. One can see them all on Ravelry.........


  2. I liked the Rhapsody in Color shawl - or rather, I like the explosion of colour within it. The others - yes, disappointing.

  3. I have success with the buy-yarn-for-one-project-at-a-time method as long as I stay out of yarn stores and off the internet. Which means, never. One of the best things about Ravelry is looking at other people's stashes and saying to ones self (or one's husband!) "Well, see, mine is not so bad. I have hardly any yarn compared with these folks."

  4. Get rid of the whole stash? How freeing that would be! But the fortitude to do it hmmmmm

  5. Apropos of Sous Sous, take a peak at Wendy Johnson's version over at her blog. She is knitting Sous Sous without the wonky front. She has completed the back and will knit the front the same. I have it on my list.

  6. Anonymous3:05 PM

    As a short-waisted person I am attracted to that "dip" in the front resulting, therefore in less fabric. However, how the pieces interrelate with each other is even more important which requires trying on, alas - AFTER one has done all that work.