Saturday, January 28, 2017

I’ve finished row 84 of the borders of Mrs Hunter’s shawl. 85 is the last pattern row. I think I have decided to put in a break row – k2tog, yo all round. And I need to decrease from 145 to 141 stitches. So I’ll do the decreases in row 86, then 87 will be the break row, and then a plain-vanilla 88 to get us back on the right side, in case that matters. That’s that decided. Exciting.

I, too, failed to get the videos from Shetland to play. I am very grateful for the YouTube link, Judith, [comment yesterday] and will try it tomorrow. Well done!

A certain amount of interest is available in the text at the Shetland Museum site, without having to listen. There were more early- and mid-nineteenth century ladies’ knitting books than I knew of, many with “Shetland” patterns. I would quarrel, however, with the Museum’s statement: “Shetland lace knitters did not use written patterns, but created motifs ‘on the wires’ and knitted them from memory.”

So it usually was, I am sure.

I would back Sharon Miller’s Princess shawl pattern in any competition for the Most Complicated Knitting Pattern Ever Published. It is a simplification of a shawl presented to some princess – I’m not going to look it up just now. It was re-knit at the time, and the copy is in the Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street. It could not have been done without preliminary planning, any more than you could build a cathedral “on the wires”.

The same must have been true of other splendid shawls, including the Queen Ring shawl in Sharon’s collection. It seems to me likely that the knitters capable of that level of work, talked to each other about the planning process. Who knows? Their notes are lost. But there must have been some notes, of some sort.

I have discovered, to my somewhat embarrassment, that the thread in the EYF Ravelry group about 2016 stash, was published a year ago, when the purchases were fresh. It would be amusing, and interesting, to learn how much we’ve got left – but that’s not what is available so far. That’s one I could get started, had I the time and the strength.


  1. Jean I love how your group of friends here has such a wonderful diversity of skills. Finding the coding behind the video! Thanks, Judith. I agree about the planning process for a complicated shawl. Just because the notes weren't saved or reproduced, doesn't mean they aren't there. No one looking at my scribbles while planning an item would suspect they were useful!