Friday, March 17, 2017

American holidays which afford shopkeepers means of making money, are insinuating themselves more and more into the British calendar – Mother’s Day, Halloween. Even Easter seems to me to have suffered a new and excessive accession of chocolate rabbits in recent years. And Christmas, which was scarcely noticed in Scotland when I came in the 50’s, has become unspeakable.

(All the holidays I mention were observed in Britain before they became commercialized. But they were observed without all that stuff which now fills the shops for weeks in advance.)

But today is one we are spared. Each nation celebrates its own patron saint – Andrew, David, George. Although the English are not all that interested in George. Patrick is a bigger deal than any of them – but only in Ireland. Today was a bank holiday there, and everybody in Dublin is drunk, but the rest of us can go quietly and thankfully about our business with no need to drink green beer. (Rachel’s younger son Joe is in Dublin for the match tomorrow, so I have information about conditions there at first hand.)


Kathleen and Mary Lou are right about the Knitter’s Almanac (comments yesterday). I knew you were right as soon as I read your comment, Kathleen. The sweater in question is EZ’s “open-collared pullover”, October’s offering. I think I followed her instructions all the way through, and the result is highly satisfactory.

I got on nicely with Tannehill today. The ribbing is finished, the increase row done, the body commenced.

I am soon going to have quite a lot of left-over madtosh DK: Composition-Book Grey, from Archie’s sweater; Whiskey Barrel; Roast Hatch Chillies; and, soon, Tannehill – if the Sweater Wizard’s estimate of how much I will use in this sweater is accurate. How to combine them all?

I have gone on thinking about Fair Isle. The swatch-scarf can serve several useful purposes. Colour, of course, and the provision of an accurate gauge swatch -- one must calculate the length with care so that the pattern does something sensible when back and front meet at the shoulder. And in addition, I have forgotten what needle size I use. I know that I knit tightly when I am stranding two colours, and therefore use a larger needle than I otherwise would for Shetland Jumper Weight. But how large?


  1. Hmm, I wish we (in west London) were spared what US retailers appear to have taken to calling "St Patty's Day" *shudder*
    Lots of people in green and orange jesters' hats and orange wigs etc. Pubs much busier, lots of ambulances buzzing around presumably catering to the inebriated...gah!

    1. Oh dear! Oh dear! I spoke too soon -- or too late. You have all my sympathy.

    2. So sorry to hear that Tricia!

  2. Anonymous10:47 PM

    You wrote: But how large?

    This is why I am now religious about posting my projects on Ravelry. All the info right there, easy to find, and a picture, too.

    All that MT DK sounds delish! And what about Tart? Was it DK and is any left? It could really spice up those other colors!

    Beverly in NJ

  3. Great result on the half brioche sweater, Jean.
    Why not plan a stranded pullover in the DK you have left over? It would be warm, at least.

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  5. Something striped, drapey with pockets?

  6. =Tamar5:28 PM

    I don't mind the costumes; people can wear what they like and it serves as a warning to the rest of us. I do mind early closing banks and traffic issues.
    The "St. Patty" nonsense is probably because "St. Paddy" is now non-P.C. despite being closer to the actual name Padraig.
    If the colors you have left over don't work for Fair Isle, maybe they'd work for a Kaffe Fassett design.

  7. In defense of the Irish on St Patrick's Day. For many years I celebrated St Patrick's Day in Dublin - no one was drunk that I saw either at the Parade or in smaller towns or villages. (well almost nobody) Now I celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Seattle with my Irish family and friends. We do not drink to excess.