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?

Saturday, November 07, 2015

So – the sleeveless vest is finished. It fits to perfection, and I have kept adequate notes. Not only could it be replicated, but I could knit a full scale sweater for my husband without much further cogitation. As long as I knit it in madtosh DK which is no hardship.

It has seemed so long since an item has been subtracted from the WIP list that I scarcely know what to do with myself. In fact, I have cast on the front of the Sous Sous – 179 stitches by the long-tail method, and I wound up, first try, with an end about 8” long. I was rather proud of myself. I have knit the preliminary rows and established the cable pattern. The plan is to work on it for a few days, finish the first full pattern repeat, perhaps, or run out of yarn and have to wait for the package from Webs, and then resurrect the Tokyo shawl in similar fashion.

Then return to the Dunfallandy blankie – I'd like to have the cabled bits finished and assembled before the end of the year, as I've probably said before. I don't understand why mailing myself that picture of it from the iPad didn't work. Perhaps I should try mailing myself a different picture. It goes off with the usual WHOOSH and then disappears into the void.

The hat will take care of itself. All it needs are a couple more sessions in Kathy's Knits.

Gosia and I made a good start on the stash cupboard yesterday, but didn't actually get as far as discarding any yarn. It is a walk-in cupboard off the sitting room which also serves as a stationery store. Whenever something arrives in a sturdy cardboard box which might be re-used, that is where it goes. I had far too many cardboard boxes. Our first job was to cull them, and that is done. The top shelf is empty. Think of it full of nice clear plastic containers of yarn.

As for grammar, the shorter Oxford says that “knit” is a weak verb, end of story. That means, if I've got it right, that the past tense is “knitted”. Webster's derives a lot from the OED and I thought that maybe so womanly as verb as “knit” would be undeserving of Mr. Webster's full attention. But that was to underestimate him. He says that the past tense of “knit” is “knit or knitted” – with “knit” first, note.

I am myself confused by now. The difference certainly isn't one I noticed when I first came to live among the British. Maybe I use both – “I knit the Princess shawl a few years ago”; “I knitted all through the lecture”.

I have never cared for calling verbs “strong” or “weak”. I feel it simply encourages misbehaviour. When the nice German woman found “knit” as a past tense in the book she was reading in Kathy's shop, she said, “I didn't know 'knit' was an irregular verb”. That is the way I would prefer to approach it.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Sorry -- another day got away. And I have so much to tell you -- the sleeveless vest is finished! What did I do next? How did Gosia and I get on in the stash cupboard this morning? What are my reflections about strong and weak verbs where the topic impinges specifically on the verb "to knit"? It will all have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

I feel as if I'm holding on to the edge of life by my fingernails, but still, here I am. I had a very happy half-hour at Kathy's Knits yesterday and finished (without mishap) another pattern repeat on the hat. At home, I polished off the fifth Dunfallandy triangle, also without mishap. Today, perhaps, the v-neck vest.

Mailing the Dunfallandy picture to myself from the iPad doesn't seem to be working this morning.

I hope to have a serious look at Woolly Wormhead's KAL hat today, too. It will have to be the Dunfallandy yarn, I probably have too much, I usually do, and if not, it came from Loop and isn't dye-lot-conscious, so it can be replaced.

Here's a linguistic titbit for you. Kathy is being helped for a few days by a delightful young German woman, here in Edinburgh to improve her English which seems fine to me, and doing “work experience” in the shop. She was looking at a book in a quiet moment and was surprised to discover “knit” as the past tense of “knit”.

Kathy agreed that “knitted” was commoner. But there was an American customer in the shop at the time -- she and I agreed that we would be more likely to say “I knit that hat last year”.

I'll try Webster's International and the shorter OED today.

Mary Lou, I didn't mean to imply that culling the Shetland yarn would mean giving up Fair Isle knitting. Au contraire. It means more room for Jamieson & Smith's Shetland Heritage yarns. Gosia will be coming tomorrow. We've got to get the spare room ready for people who are coming the following weekend for my husband's birthday. It's a tip at the moment – “Archie's room” plus everything there isn't a place for elsewhere.

But she and I ought to have time to make a start on the stash cupboard.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Alas, the day has escaped my hands already.

De-stashing: I have no intention of depriving the LYS's of the world of my custom. The idea will be to make more space. And there are whole categories of yarn that can go: I used to like hand-painted lace yarns. Now, if I ever get back to lace, it will be to Jamieson & Smith's Heirloom stuff, whatever it's called, in white. Another bridal veil.

That decision eliminates a whole bin-ful of yarn, I fear.

What about all the Shetland yarn? That could be culled, at least.

I'll keep you posted. I think my natural tendency is to buy perhaps 2 1/2 times what I could actually ever possibly knit -- and the most recent purchases are always the most attractive.

Yesterday I knit on, on the Dunfallandy triangle. Five rows -- five long, complicated rows -- to go on this one. I was afraid at one point that I would get bogged down in eight triangles, but I think not. It's fascinating work. It doesn't get any faster, but it does get a bit easier. I should be able to finish the patterned bits before Xmas. That leaves Jan and Feb for assembly and the border.


I caught up with Foggy Knitter's blog this morning -- for link, see sidebar. I wish she blogged more often. And there's another Christmas present -- I used to love "Daddy Long-Legs" 65 years ago (or so) and will certainly hope to pass that delight to another generation.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Sorry about yesterday. Bad night, Sunday.

But life goes on, inching forward. I've signed up for Woolly Wormhead's mystery KAL hat, but fear I'm falling at the first hurdle. A provisional cast-on is required which turns out not to be provisional but permanent. Am I up to it? I took the other, actual hat with me yesterday when I toiled upstairs to visit my elderly neighbour, mentioned before. I can tell you that from the ground to the first floor, at No 1 Scotland Street, there are 24 stone steps, and another 24 from the first to the second, but only 22 from the second to the third, where my friend lives. There are also 16 from the pavement to the beginning of the first flight.

I had a very nice time once I got there, and got another set of cables crossed without mishap. Then in the evening we had a small inundation through the ceiling in the room we call the Downstairs Lavatory. Constant readers will remember that we have had similar and worse visitations from the neighbours directly above in the past. They, too, live at No 1 Scotland Street so I had to run up the 16 steps from the street and then the first set of 24 again. The neighbour was surprisingly apologetic. “At least there were no books and no pictures involved this time,” I said, out loud.

We've got a new system (of which I have high hopes) which allows me to stay up for an hour after my husband's early bed. I celebrated yesterday by starting the fifth Dunfallandy triangle (of eight). On the v-neck vest, I am casting off the second armhole – it may achieve FO status today!

And I have finally sent an order to Webs for more madtosh Whiskey Barrel DK. I figure I need three skeins – call it four – to finish the Sous Sous. I ordered eight, as I am now obsessed with the idea of a vertically-striped half-brioche big cosy sweater for myself in Roast Hatch Chilli, with Whiskey Barrel in the subordinate role.

Many a WIP to polish off first, plus something for the Little Boys if we win the Calcutta Cup in February – scarves, I think is the current idea.

The young Polish woman who cleans for me has relatively little to do these days, as our private carers clean and iron, some better than others but all better than me. So Gosia and I have been cleaning out kitchen cupboards, with great success, and I think maybe this week we might move on to the stash cupboard. It is time to make a realistic assessment of life expectancy and only keep, perhaps, three times as much as I could possibly ever knit. The Koigu is sacrosanct. 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Well, you were right, Nana Go-Go. What with one thing and another, I didn't log on to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival until 2:11 yesterday, 11 minutes after the off. Marchant was sold out. So, no brioche knitting for me, half- or otherwise. I did get tomofholland and Woolly Wormhead for the other two days, and went for Carol Feller, Making the Most of Gradient Yarns to replace Marchant. The website was coping splendidly with what must have been a strain.

How about you? And Knitlass, will you be there? Perhaps by then we'll have a Calcutta Cup to rejoice over -- I feel God owes it to us.

Maybe I'll be able to have a peek at somebody's class handout from the Marchant class. I am curious to know how she can possibly be combining brioche with lace patterns. If she takes it anywhere, there'll be an article or even a book one day.

I had another very pleasant session at Kathy's Knits yesterday – Saturday morning, and more exciting than before. I think I have two mis-crossed cables in the Greystone hat as a result but I'm not going to worry about them. It's not like the Sous Sous where you were absolutely right to tell me to go back and fix it.

What a nice little object a hat is! And finished when it's finished. I might knock off another before Xmas – a Woolly Wormhead or an mlegan. I had a quick cruise around both of those Ravelry pages yesterday; there are plenty of good possibilities.

As for basic knitting, not much. I have picked up stitches for the first sleeve-hole of the v-neck vest and have done about half of the ribbing. Our current schedule has all but eliminated peaceful knitting time from the day. Bedtime is so early that the late afternoon is absorbed in planning the evening meal and having it ready to be produced when the diabetic nurses have been here to inject insulin – they can vary by as much as an hour, but my husband must eat fairly promptly once it has been done.

Kathy 's Knits helps a lot, and I'll keep at it. I'll just have to trot along with Dunfallandy triangles and Sous Sous cables and learn to concentrate.


Archie is coming to lunch today – we haven't seen him yet this term. And plans are accelerating for my husband's 90th birthday celebrations.