Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A tough day. I had a routine dental hygiene appt first thing this morning (Helen came in and steered the ship) but was also aware that there was something amiss, and asked to see the dentist as well. As so often (at least at my age), things were worse than I thought. A tooth was broken, a root was extracted.

So not much was achieved for the rest of the day – a good thing the tax was already done. Knitting went forward fairly well, when I wasn't snoozing. I’ve reached row 75 (of the 86 rows of the borders of Mrs Hunter’s shawl). And I have also realised, belatedly, that some arithmetic looms.

I will have 145 stitches in each of the four borders when I finish. The centre is a 20-row pattern, to be repeated 11 times. Somehow or other, at the beginning, I thought that worked out rather well. But of course it doesn’t. If I knit the centre back and forth, picking up a stitch from one side or the other at the end of every row, I will need to have only 110 stitches per side to pick up – a substantial reduction will be needed when the border pattern is finished.

(Corrections of my arithmetic would be very gratefully received.)

My first thought was just to wing it. But that’s ridiculous – I must reduce. I easily found a website which told me how to do it. It seems like a lot of stitches to dispose of, but I comfort myself with one of my favourites of EZ’s dicta: Knitting is forgiving stuff.

I have continued to think about extravagant expenditure at the EYF. Page 17 of “Laine” – see yesterday – says that a short version of the Ancasta pattern can be knit with Baa Ram Ewe yarn – and, hey! they might even be at the EYF. But the pattern section at the back of the magazine says nothing about Baa Ram Ewe that I can see. The basic pattern is for a dress, and the only concession to shortness says to stop increasing – you’re knitting from the top down – when your sweater measures approximately whatever. Not good enough, at that price.

My current fave is “Declan” from Wool People 7.


The BBC News website this evening says that Japanese researchers have established – the wonders of science never cease! – that cats are as intelligent as dogs. Just because I prefer to remain here by the fire, while you go out into the dark and the sleet to help Ian Duncan with the lambing, you think I’m less intelligent? 


  1. Dietdiary tools are great for the non-mathematically inclined, aren't they? Sorry for the dental discomfort. I have terrible teeth, so much sympathy on that front.

  2. If I understand you correctly: you will have 145 sts across the bottom/ top of your center -square-to-be and 145 rows of sts on either side. Your 20 row repeat can go into your 145 stitches 7 1/4 times. If you decrease 5 sts, it will go into it 7 times exactly in he vertical direction. You don't mention how many sts wide he pattern is.
    Where does the 110 come from?

  3. Anonymous8:13 AM

    I agree with weavinfool that you need to decrease 5 sts per side of the shawl. But surely each 20 row repeat will use just 10 sts of the side, so you will have 14 pattern repeats after you have decreased? Hope this helps! Stella

  4. I always thought Cats were a lot smarter than Dogs. After all, Dogs have Masters while Cats have Servants.

  5. Sorry to hear about the teeth Jean - feeling for you as I too have had loads of work and problems with mine!
    The intricacies of shawl knitting are well beyond me so I can be no help there, but cats? Oh yes we do cats - have had two or just once three, for the whole of our 42 years together, and have never, ever doubted that they are MUCH more intelligent than dogs.
    As Sharon says, we are servants to our cats, and they pretty much do as they like!!

  6. =Tamar1:53 PM

    The centre pattern is 20 rows repeated 11 times: 20x11=220 rows total, not 110. That won't fit nicely into 145 rows. As weavinfool said, seven repeats will fit into 140 rows.
    If the pattern from side to side requires 145 stitches, well, a 5-row difference among 140 rows will block out easily to make it square; row gauge is even more flexible than stitch gauge, in my experience.

  7. Anonymous3:36 PM

    At present I am attending a traditional Shetland hap knitting class in Shetland. We have learned that the number of rows required to be knit for the centre of a shawl is twice that of the number of stitches remaining on the border. I believe you are knitting the cat's paw pattern which is a 8 stitch x 20 row repeat pattern. I don't have a copy of this shawl pattern, however I would do the centre like this. Rows 1 & 2 knit. Row 3, k1( k3, yf, K2tog, k3) 18 times (145sts), Row 4 knit.... Continue until 14 1/2 patterns have been worked which = 290 rows or 145 ridges in garter stitch. You can attach the centre to the side borders as you knit if you want. It should all work out perfectly. A good blocking is all that's required. Hope this helps.

  8. Looking at the pattern brochure online it looks as though 143 sts by 222 rows was square for the original designer. Garter stitch is easy to stretch or compress in length, so I'd go with Elaine's suggestion.