Thursday, September 29, 2016

An industrious day, and I got it all done. The Whiskey Barrel sock must be within two or three hospital-visits of completion. I did five rows of the Uncia, a struggle, and am now ready for row 264 in Chart E. The chart ends with row 284 – that's four more days at this pace, if I can keep it up. Chart F really does look easier – considerable stretches of either knits or purls, instead of struggling with every stitch.

But that leaves Charts G and H. G, at least, is small – not many rows, shorter repeats.

And then, later on, I added another point to the Hansel Hap edging, and watched to the end of Part 2 of “Victoria”. No sign of Prince Albert yet, but he couldn’t be far away.

Shandy, what can I say? I’m not the one to turn to for advice. There must be far more competent Uncia-knitters than I. I’m finding the charts difficult, needless to say. Many of the symbols are familiar, others aren’t. I haven’t yet tried using my printer to enlarge the charts, but that might help.

One thing: a common manoeuvre turns out to be the crossing of a knit stitch either left or right, when the purl stitches which started out on either side of it, are purled together. The symbol looks like an ordinary cross-1-right or cross-1-left, with whiskers on it. I’m now used to it.

Otherwise, just the ordinary. I attach a card to the book with a paper clip, either above or below the row to be knit. I read through the right side rows before beginning, in case any fancy symbols loom.

Keep at it. Someone once said something on the lines of, It’s wonderful what we can do, if we be ever doing.

Kathy of Kathy's Knits is going -- or has gone -- to Shetland Wool Week. Will Lucy Hague be filling in behind the counter?


What’s wrong with “Oriental”, Peggy, when applied to a gardening tool? How else can you say, “of Eastern origin”? What a minefield is language! I remember how surprised I was when James told me not to say “Chinaman”.  I no longer do.

One of you wrote to me yesterday with this excellent link for an American source for the OGT.

I also remember during or just after the little lifetime of David and Helen’s eldest son, Oliver, when an old-fashioned friend referred to him as a “Mongol”. He had Down’s Syndrome, and died of various organ failures related to that syndrome, after a valiant struggle on the part of the NHS and his loving parents to keep him going. I wouldn’t have used the word myself, but it was the only available term when I was young. I wasn’t offended, and didn’t begrudge it to my friend.


  1. Your Uncia is looking beautiful!! It may well be worth all the struggle in the end. I fear I've been totally traumatized by your reports though!!

  2. Thanks for the link to the OGT. Christmas shopping shall commence. The language around those with development disabilities has changed radically. My younger brother was always described by us as Mentally Retarded, even MR. No longer in use.

  3. Your Uncia looks great. I found the knitting progressively easier as I went along. Using highlighter tape on the chart to keep my eye on the correct row was a great help.

  4. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Language evolves and changes. Perhaps simplest to say that all the reasons you were told not to use “Chinaman” are probably identical to the reasons not to use “Oriental.” With the added thought that it assumes all of the East is one vast, homogeneous place.

  5. Just went to Ravelry to take a look at Uncia. You probably already know this but there is an errata in the book. Check Ravelry in case you didn't already know. Your photo is beautiful. I would be knitting that color in the daylight ONLY!

  6. In the US "Asian" is the preferred term. "Oriental" tripped me up too. When I was in college (30 years ago), another student (she from the West Coast, I from the East Coast) told me not to use it--full disclosure: we are both of East Asian heritage. I don't think it's particularly offensive (I've heard worse!), just dated, perhaps like "Negro" evocative of a less friendly era? For this tool, I would use "Asian" or "Korean," since I believe it's from Korea.

  7. Thank you for the pointers on Uncia. Believe me, you are the person to ask since some of the completers describe it as a delight and of moderate difficulty.
    Now that I can see the pattern emerging, it is becoming easier, as I can read my knitting instead of knitting blind from the chart.

  8. For UK readers a Korean Ho-Mi tool link

  9. Dunno if this would help, but I will use highlighters and colored pens on complicated charts to make the various special maneuvers easier to see. I've found that coloring in the background of a cable cross makes it easier to keep track of which way I'm crossing, and it grew from there. Might be worth a shot!

  10. Anonymous10:28 PM

    Lee Valley has the Ho-Mi tool (they call it a digger) available with either a short or long handle,44823