Thursday, September 10, 2015

Plenty of excitement for one day. The Queen had a nice ride on a gloriously old-fashioned steam train, departing from Edinburgh and bearing her to wherever it was she was going to open the line. The skies above Edinburgh were thick with helicopters yesterday morning.

I had a successful, if strenuous, shoe-buying expedition. I suspect strenuous is good for me, at this stage. On the way back I walked past, and indeed into, McAree Bros., a first-class wool shop near here – not even up-hill. I don't go there nearly often enough. That's where Arne and Carlos are going to be next month. I needed precision, as I had foolishly failed to note the date on my calendar.

McAree do the big spinners (Rowan, Patons) and do them very well. They also have an excellent selection of books. Kathy's Knits, even closer in the other direction, specialises in smaller-scale local spinners and dyers. I'm sure she'll have Kate Davies' yarn as soon as it's launched.

Arne and Carlos have a new book out – slippers, just in time for Christmas. I was glad to see it, as it means there will be something for me to buy and have them sign. I reflected, as I walked the rest of the way home, how one's mental relationship to a designer shifts when one actually knits something of theirs. I made several of A&C's Christmas tree baubles a few years ago.

It's the same sort of feeling one has for a wool shop which one actually deals with. I downloaded and printed (and stapled – there are no page numbers) the pattern for the Dunfallandy blankie yesterday. It remains but to order the yarn. I notice that Loop has published the long-promised 10th anniversary book. I'll have them throw that in.

I've ordered often from them on line, but they have a special place in my heart for the day when I met Shandy and we went there to sit at Franklin's feet (metaphorically speaking) and then have lunch in a near-by pub which wasn't quite as good as it thought it was, but not bad either.

I read what people have to say about the blankie on Ravelry, and I take your point, Shandy, about the border. If necessary one could solve that problem by doubling it, like the border on Kate Davies' Rams & Yowes. The trouble with that is the difficulty in sewing the hem in place accurately. I wonder, even without doubling, if a garter stitch border might not stand up better than st st.

One of the Ravellers said that it helps not to bind off the eight smaller triangles, whose final stitches are going to be picked up for the border anyway. That sounds sensible.

I've got to go for it, for the sake of Dunfallandy. The pictures aren't very good on the site I've linked you to, but the little map includes us (unmarked) between Enoch Dhu and Ballintuim. I will have to visit it again, once the blankie is well embarked-upon. This page has somewhat better pictures.

As for actual knitting, I finished the back of the Sous Sous. It is nearly 2” longer than it should be. Not good. I wonder if anyone is going to wear this oddity and if so, who? But I'm enjoying it and will certainly press on.

Next in the rota is the Tokyo shawl, but I think duty bids me cast on my poor husband's sleeveless vest, so that's what I shall do. Maddeningly, I can't find the needle I have already taken from the needle-store in anticipation. I have plenty in the right size, but only one lovely wooden KnitPics one. That's what is missing. The current situation makes heavy demands on my needle supply – Sous Sous and Tokyo and my husband's vest and Franklin's swatch.


  1. I have that Christmas bauble book. The wool shop sounds fantastic.

  2. I was away when A+C came to Seattle. Alas. What a hit those 2 Norwegians made at the Nordic Heritage Museum.

  3. Anonymous3:47 PM

    If you zoom in on the little map, it shows Kirkmichael; zoom in further and The Strathardle Inn apperas. Very cool!

    The Dunfallandy blanket looks just about perfect!

    Beverly in NJ

  4. Speaking of Franklin, I didn't know (until today) he was guest blogging at Skacel on alternate Fridays.

  5. You might try asking Perdita where the missing needle has been moved. Very much a kitten thing to do.

  6. Ooh, talking of Edinburgh yarn shops - not sure if you know that Be Inspired Fibres in Marchmont stocks Madelinetosh.....

  7. Good idea about using garter stitch for the border. I wondered whether the idea of Celtic cables took you back to the year before, when you went to a class given by Alice Starmore... I went the following day.