Monday, May 09, 2016

Tamar, I will never doubt you again. This, this morning, from Kate Davies herself:

I noticed this morning there had been some discussion about the identity of the various bits of Mrs Hunters knitting at the KCG on your blog. The guild has several pieces which are identified as being knitted by Mrs Hunter - one is the tree of life hap which you knitted, and another has an old shell / feather and fan border.  Its this second hap that has the sacrilegiously stapled label - which is of course part of its history as it suggests how these textiles' Shetland 'authenticity' clearly carried value for Patons' and their customers.  Both these haps are identified as being knitted by "Mrs Hunter" and were acquired by Norbury around the same time, and there are a few more as well - which were similarly used by him as the basis of his baby shawl patterns. 

I obviously didn't make it at all clear on the blog post that I was looking at several haps - effectively a whole Mrs Hunter collection! All these pieces are beautifully knitted and are to my eye the obvious work of an Unst knitter of considerable skill and experience.”

So that's that!


Marilyn, you’re right! A daily walk! The circuit of Drummond Place Gardens is about ¼ mile. (Why do I think I know that?) I did two circuits yesterday, and will try to keep it up. Devoted readers will remember that I used to do four before breakfast, at a very fast walk/slow jog. No longer.

However, probably not today. A Television Man is coming at some point between 12 and 4 – and I had to use the hour after the carer arrived at 11 for some essential local shopping. Many days are like this one.

I also did some doorstep gardening yesterday – got my beans in.

We have pretty well decided that our television crisis is Richard Branson’s fault (= a defect somewhere in our Virgin cable system). Our kind and energetic friend battled through the system yesterday and actually spoke to an actual human being on a telephone, and booked the engineer mentioned above.

My sister has posted some engaging pictures on Facebook of her new apartment in DC. After what must be about 30 years in CT, she and her husband have returned to DC and moved into a retirement community. I envy her, for having gotten rid of all the stuff. It has been a tough, uphill job, I know, but now it’s done and there they are in their nice apartment with nice rugs and nice pictures on the walls. Who needs stuff, in these days of iPads? Except, of course, for one’s stash.

Knitting, again

Not much knitting has been done of late, but I continue very pleased with the Neap Tide shawl:

 Garter stitch is notoriously difficult, and I am a notoriously clumsy knitter, but the overall effect is good, I think, and blocking will improve the few glitches, at least somewhat. Old Maiden Aunt’s beautiful yarn (50-50 merino and silk) is rather gently twisted. Split stitches are a danger – the one mistake that can’t be fudged, according to EZ.

At present I have done about 72cm, and I think you will agree that it needs the full metre if one is to be able to flip it with insouciance about the shoulders. The moral is, when substituting yarns, to pay a lot of attention to the ratio between weight and yardage, as given on every ball band.


  1. I'm curious why you think garter stitch is difficult - the only thing I don't like is picking up stitches in it. Those often look wonky. But blocking heals all. (Having Kate Davies clarify the point reminds me of the scene in Annie Hall where Marshall McLuhan steps in.)

    1. Anonymous6:05 PM

      I had the same query about garter stitch - maybe hard to make it nice and even? (Very pleased at the way the centre of my very first hap - Gudrun Johnston's Hansel - blocked out smoothly yesterday.) Love that scene in Annie Hall and I notice it's often cut when the film is shown on TV. Of course in Toronto we have various McLuhan memorials, including one of the Catholic high schools and an audio walking tour. Yes, Jean, just a bit of daily walking is such a good start, and walking for errands (do they call it "doing messages" in Edinburgh?) does count.
      - Beth in Ontario

    2. Personally, I agree about garter st. Unless done in purl. It may be that my technique of working sts is to blame: when knitting into purl sts it is easy to split the yarn. Easier to purl a knit than to knit a purl!

  2. Anonymous12:58 PM

    It helps to have a friend who lives nearby to walk with, at least in the beginning, to help get you get back into the habit. i would love to read that you are walking daily these days, even for 15 minutes. Chloe

  3. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Of course it is highly unlikely that you wouldn't have a friend. It is just so important to get started, that I am emphasizing it. Chloe

  4. Shopping counts as some walking, too. Glad you have made a beginning!

  5. Dear Jean,
    I hope you don't mind if I plug a project I have just read about on a bluestocking knits: It is a crowd funding request to enable the scanning of all the WVS reports during the war, and make them freely available on the internet. I am sure many of your readers will be interested.