Friday, April 29, 2016

At least there’s knitting to talk about today…

Kristie alerted me to the latest news from the Vintage Shetland Project. “Publication date” is now mid-August, with the manuscript to be finished in July. I can’t entirely remember my own progression through belief to irritation to despair. I now don’t believe anything she says; I won’t be disappointed again.

If you Google the VSP, you won’t learn any more. What puzzles me slightly is that no negative note appears, at least in the first five pages. Endless praise and excitement from 2015. No references to (for instance) me. Could I be the only crowdfunder in the universe to be expressing doubt and irritation on-line? And even if so, why not cite me? I often find references to myself in Google when I look for something I’m interested in. Not this time.

What a contrast, all this, to Kate Davies’ hap book. It is already approaching the page-layout stage, and I am absolutely sure that it will appear later this year, as promised – and she doesn’t even have crowdfunders to please.

Yesterday I thought that what I needed was something new. We’ve all felt like that. So I got out my packages from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I wanted something that started small and simple and got bigger. I settled on Mary Lou’s “Neap Tide” pattern for which I had bought two skeins of glowing yarn (50% merino, 50% silk) from the Old Maiden Aunt.

Most of yesterday’s knitting time went into winding a skein of it. It wasn’t exactly tangled, but it wasn’t exactly straightforward either. And 400 yards is a lot of yards. But I got it done.

Then problems presented themselves. The pattern says “fingering weight yarn”. There must have been something about the yarn which suggested to me, that day at the EYF, that it was fingering weight. The label doesn’t actually say so. Mary Lou’s recommended yarn is 255 yards to 100 grams. Old Maiden Aunt (see above) has 400 yards. I hadn’t previously taken that in.

Old Maiden Aunt recommends 2-3mm needles. Mary Lou says 4.5mm. Swatching is for wimps – at least when we are talking about shawls. I went for 3.5mm and am delighted with the fabric I’m getting. But I have knitted enough to determine – no surprise – that if I persevere with the pattern as written, my shawl is going to be on the small side. I think the solution will be two extra repeats in the First Increase Section, where I now am. 


Thank you for your comments about my sudden swoop into the Greek alphabet yesterday. I wasn’t doing anything fancy at the time. CKP, you may well be right that I hit Alt-Shift as I was sitting here thinking what to say next. I won’t try it again, just at the moment. And I enjoyed the Wikipedia entry about “lorem ipsum”. I have often wondered. It must have been very satisfying for the scholar who identified the passage in Cicero which has been rubbished to furnish that text. 


  1. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Your shawl gauge experience is a powerful example to me to keep on experimenting if I don't like the fabric. Often I just take the suggested path figuring the pattern author knows more than I do. Or maybe it's just laziness:-). Knitting can be a quixotic adventure sometimes, as you often illustrate. So many variables, including the time of day I decide to cast on, and whether it is sunny (more optimistic) or not (great for robotic knitting, but not for casting on). Thanks for the steadying hand, Jean. Cheers, Chloe

  2. I knit my very first lace shawl, an EZ pi, in shetland fingering on size 6 or 7. It is light and drapey and warm and squishy. I still love it and use it more than any I have made since. Gauge is a personal decision that doesn't seem very important when knitting a shawl.

  3. I've used a fair amount of OMA yarns and that is definitely fingering weight. If you have a look on Ravelry Neap Tide actually uses a sport weight yarn. Again on Ravelry, other people have used 3.5mm needles and even more have used 4mm for shawls knit with OMA silk/merino. I'm sure it will look lovely as Lilith's colours are just sublime.

    Lovely blog Kristie and lovely grandson.

  4. Jean, I'm honored you are making Neap Tide. You can certainly increase away, in fact if you weigh the yarn as you go you can work some extra repeats in the center as well until you are close to half way through the yarn.

    1. I just went to Ravelry to check out Neap Tide and added it to my favorites. I really enjoy sideways shawls/scarves and that's a really pretty one. I see one by Christal made with sock yarn that's very pretty and is 63" by 13" which is surely a nice size for a scarf. I'll be doing this one day; goodness knows I have lots of yarn in the stash that would be great for this. Thanks for the design and thanks to Jean for making it. (I do not need another project just now, though. Alas.)