Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Today’s knitting was somewhat impeded by a purring kitten, but, on the other hand, I did make some progress. I should finish the second ribbon of Miss Rachel’s Yoke tomorrow, and have something to show you. I’m slightly worried about the danger of running out of the main colour, but I’m sure KD has more in her shop and a change of dye-lot matters little in the middle of a colour pattern.

I grumble about the pattern being so easy that it’s difficult, and so it is – but it’s a brilliant interpretation of the woven pattern KD is referencing.

I continue to enjoy the Craftsy spinning class, and I’ve also watched a few shorties on YouTube. And I’ve been thinking about Unst. The yarn for that amazing lace had first to be spun. I think (from the knowledge I have acquired in the last 48 hours) that very skilled hands might have been able to go on spinning in the dark months (and it’s very dark, up there). And leave the actual knitting for when the light came back.

I think I’ve got two knitting books arriving tomorrow: one by Liz Lovick which may contain a pattern, glimpsed on Ravelry, for a possible hap for next April’s great-grandchild; and one, completely unknown, about knitting in North Russia. Sometimes, when all else fails, I wander through the knitting books on Amazon. That’s where I found it.


Perdita was crosser than ever today, but I think that may be because Paradox is becoming bolder in offering friendship.

My kitchen door is an endless source of fun for kittens. You can open and shut it with the push of a paw, and push things underneath and rush around to the other side to see if they are there (rather like playing Pooh Sticks). Perdita has largely outgrown such childish pleasures, but I think this scene from this morning shows elements of game-playing, however much Perdita might choose to deny it.


  1. Perdita wants to play with the kitten; she is just not ready to admit it.

  2. Aww, cute!
    I'd suspect the spinning got farmed out to less expert knitters/kids/shepherds, and also that lace can be knitted in the dark (I have done this, with simple lace on a sock. Other than somehow managing to accidentally bo and then co in the middle of the pattern, it was pretty good). I know the Orenburg tradition had less experienced knitters do the plain parts, I'd guess Urst did the same.

    Re Long tail. It was the first CO I learned (if the cat's cradle method is slip knot on needle, wrap working yarn and tail around finger and thumb, and do some over under thingy, that's what I learned), but I use the knitted cast on for just about everything now. My long tail tends towards the too-tight, and my knitted is just right.

  3. A wonderful cat photo.
    I've seen the game played under the door here at my house, it's a good one.

  4. They look so cute together!

  5. Anonymous6:25 AM

    Well I, for one, am dying to know more about “North Russia” knitting... it is a gaping hole in my knitting knowledge and I am eager to know what has piqued your cultivated interest among the obligatory Amazon offerings!

    Elizabeth in Oregon

  6. Such a pleasure to see two beautiful calico cats!

  7. Ah agree with the first poster. Perdita is slowly coming around. Paradox’s personality is certainly winning and she will triumph. We had that kind of door too on my childhood home but alas no cats to play with it

  8. Anonymous3:10 PM

    Is it too naive/stupid a question to ask if there is electricity, and therefore light, on Unst? Chloe

  9. What a wonderful photo. There is hope for Perdita yet.

  10. =Tamar7:38 PM

    They do resemble each other strongly, don't they.

    I've read that in some parts of South America the spinning is done by children who often specialize in a particular direction or weight of thread. Those who aren't good spinners will buy the thread and specialize in knitting. Perhaps there was a similar division of labor on Unst. I would imagine that spinning the laceweight yarn might be a specialty.