Friday, May 06, 2016

I’m pleased about the results in the Scottish election. When it comes to Nicola Sturgeon, I am rather like a 1930’s Republican, fulminating against That Man in the White House. And yesterday she didn’t have it quite all her own way.

And speaking of politics, one thing Mr Trump has achieved is to knock the “woman card” out of Hillary’s hand. Hillary-the-doting-grandmother, Hillary-the-smasher-of-glass-ceilings, doesn’t stand a chance. She can only win in the role of Hillary-the-competent-president, and quite right too.


I spent a bit of time yesterday looking up the websites of the independent dyers profiled in the current issue of “Knitting”. Some wonderful yarn. Some websites were better than others. Today I hope to move on to interchangeable needles.

I’m sure I bought some yarn from Shilasdair many years ago, pre-internet, and it was a crashing disappointment. Dullsville. Something must have happened there over the last quarter of a century – the yarns are now luxurious and the colours vibrant. They were at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival but I didn’t even look, remembering that old disappointment. Next time, I will.

The Neap Tide shawl is now about 60cm long – we’re aiming for a metre, at the half-way point, but blocking can be counted on for at least 10cm of that. There are still 38 grams left in the ball. So I must knit on until the ball is nearly finished, or the measurement is 85cm or so, and then declare that Half Way.

I pressed ahead yesterday with my idea of re-reading Walling’s “Counting Sheep”. There is a fascinating account, early on, of the seaweed-eating sheep on North Ronaldsay. “Some attempt has been made to sell [the meat] as a gastronomic delicacy…If this were France the meat would be given an appellation controlee and sold as a gourmet product.”

As it happens, I had been exploring the possibility of ordering some North Ronaldsay mutton for my new slow cooker, only the other day. No dice, but I learned during my search that NR mutton has applied for official protected name status. Did Walling give them the idea?


  1. I took a peek at the Shilasdair website. It says their yarns are all dyed with natural, rather than chemical, dyes. Getting good, vibrant, consistent colors with natural dyes is difficult and there must have been a learning curve there. I took a natural dyeing class once and everything I did was dullsville, for sure. (Cannot even think or speak about the Donald at the moment. Too sickening.)

  2. skeindalous4:10 PM

    Have you seen Kate Davies newest post? She speaks of the lace shawl from the famous Patons pattern. Suggests there will be interesting revelations concerning this in her new book!

  3. I'm with you Mary Lou, too sickening, and it promises to get so much worse. On the subject of interchangeable needles, I have tried them but somehow just do not trust them. Must be a quirk in my personality that expects disaster to strike at any moment!

  4. The problem with interchangeable needles - I love mine for certain things - is that they unscrew as you knit. And it doesn't matter how tight you fasten them, if they don't have swivel joints, they will eventually undo. I have learned to let go the needles & let them relax at the end of every row to prevent the problem - it mostly works.
    I see the Donald has done as predicted, he mowed down the competition with his circus & will probably get elected because no one took him seriously. I'm not sure HE took it seriously. Maybe he's exactly what the Americans need.

  5. I dont know why, but all the types of interchangeable needles i have tried come undone, usually at a crucial moment. I use Addi long lace fixed circulars for everything now.

  6. ChiaoGoo interchangeable needle sets, come in small sizes, from USF 2 through 8. They are the only ones that I have seen with sets beginning with size 2. They are stainless steel, which has a little more tooth than Addi Turbos, which are too slick to my liking.

  7. After yesterday's discussion I visited knitpick's website; and bought 6 sets of fixed circulars in small sizes and enough yarn for a cardigan... I should know better.