Sunday, May 15, 2016

I am grateful for all your sympathy – especially for yours, Judith, which came so quickly after I had posted last night about my disaster with the Sous Sous.

The danger of its becoming a UFO is high. My current plan is to address the steps I mentioned last night, one at a time. Today I unpicked the grafting that held the ends of the neck edging together. Tomorrow I will unpick the edging itself from the back neck. Then one shoulder seam. Then the other.

And I will certainly go see what people are saying on Ravelry, as you advise. I don’t use that resource nearly enough, nor do I contribute to it as I ought.

I have a dreadful confession: after that talk the other day, mostly my own, about what-are-we-going-to-do-while-Kate-Davies-closes-the-shop-down-for-a-wee-while, I went and ordered the kit for Miss Rachel’s Yoke and Gauntlets. It reminds me of a VK pattern I knit for our Rachel long ago, when she was a young teen-ager. It was the pattern in the doing of which I suddenly discovered that I could do Fair Isle – drop-and-throw, as ever, with my right hand; continental picking with the left. I can’t do continental with my left hand by itself, only in conjunction with a different colour in the right hand.

That’s fine, as far as it goes, but I have far too many projects in the yarn cupboard already. Perhaps giving away all that stash was a mistake. Perhaps it kept me grounded.

Maybe I could restrain myself more effectivly if I wrote down a list of the projects I have acquired – remembering that my sister is soon to arrive with the discontinued madtosh DK for my husband’s (much-needed) long-sleeved v-neck sweater. And I must certainly resolve not to order yarn in the evening when such judgment as I retain is distorted by exhaustion.

As for actual knitting, I went on with the Neap Tide shawl. If my vague calculations are roughly right, it will be about the size the designer intended, and will use the same weight of wool. But it will involve vastly more knitting. In the straight centre section upon which I am now engaged, the designer (our own Mary Lou) asks for six pattern repeats. I will have knit 16. On many more stitches.

Literary criticism

Perdita often sits on the kitchen windowsill, looking at birds and making little chattering sounds while thrashing her tail. We think often of Gray’s wonderful poem, “her conscious tail her joy declared”. My husband and I saw the very vase in an exhibition in London not all that long ago.

But today I decided, and will continue to believe, that it wasn’t as bad as all that. Selima was a perfectly healthy cat. She climbed out of the vase, wet, furious and embarrassed as cats are when they have made fools of themselves. Gray made a better poem by providing a different ending.


  1. Oh, here's hoping you can get Sous Sous back in line and on track to go together properly!
    You won't be sorry you've ordered Miss Rachel! I made her and did the gauntlet pattern on the lower portion of the sleeves. She was to be for me, but I foolishly pinned a picture of the proposed project to Pinterest where my elder daughter happened to spy it. She fell in love, so now I have one knitted Miss Rachel to be her birthday present, accompanied by the resolve to take myself to Edinburgh next year to get the makings for my own kit.

  2. Jean, I suspect that you would enjoy this book very much -- and the price can't be beat.

  3. I am happy to have been of service! I was in London during the past week and did an obeisance to the Sous Sous sample still hanging in Loop just days before yours went rogue. It really does look worth it all, so please don't abandon all hope.

  4. arent you using Ravelry to track your WIPS? you can also add Future Objects of Desire... then when you are feeling the need to purchase something new you will look at all the lovely projects waiting to be started..

    love the image i have in my mind of Perdita on the sill chatting to the birds .. my two each have their own spots... the bigger one has a stool where he sits and watches the birds and squirrels (running along the fence along the alleyway). the smaller one Isolde has all the other windows as she can jump onto the sills. her favorite are the ones on the front porch where she can see all the people and cars and activity on the street

    cats ! endlessly amusing!

  5. Do not be so hard on yourself regarding WIPs. Knitting is also a process, not done just for the item itself. We do not know how much we will enjoy the process until we have worked on it for awhile.

  6. Anonymous2:59 PM

    Well, you have given Sous sous a very short time out and you have a plan - I think that's good progress. Thanks for the link to the Gray poem, which had a further link to Gray himself - I only knew him from his Elegy. Ravelry for keeping track - some of my UFOs are so old I don't want to put them up, but I do have a spreadsheet which helps (somewhat) to keep me focussed, and it has my stash - I know others use Rav for that purpose. I like it for project notes to myself. A lot of underused capacity there.
    - Beth in Ontario

  7. =Tamar4:11 AM

    I just investigated my various bagged USOs and UFOs. Alas. I have a new project begun already... and another one planned for after that. I also shopped for longer dpns, to no avail. I have some roughly foot-long dpns but not quite enough in the sizes I want. My local yarn shop went under a year ago and the craft stores around here seem to have forgotten long dpns existed.