Saturday, November 18, 2017

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. It must be a difficult moment in any bereavement.

Today was a good day – successful knitting, exciting rugby. Scotland came that close to beating the All Blacks.

I figured out what was going wrong with the shawl edging last night. Can I explain it?

In my (admittedly limited) experience of lace knitting, the knitting of a shawl edging begins at the inner, straight edge, whether you are knitting the edging onto an otherwise-finished shawl or, as in this case, knitting it first. The pattern stitches are done on that first, outward-headed row, and on all subsequent odd-numbered rows. Unless you’re doing a really fancy-schmancy lace with pattern stitches on both sides.

I assumed that that was the case here. I have, perforce, bought the kit from Jamieson & Smith, which includes charts. I am glad to have them. Amedro didn’t chart her designs. The new chart clearly shows the scallops to the left, as the work faces you for the first row.

But that's not right. By the time I had finally finished two pattern repeats, it was clear that the knitting started out at the scalloped edge.

Now that I have grasped that, all is going well. I’ve done eight scallops, 10% of the whole. The danger now is inattention due to the easy pattern. The answer will be (as so often in life) little-and-often.

It has left me wondering, how does the knitting know which side to put the scallops on? For the first eight rows, you are increasing; then, for the next eight, decreasing. The chart, as printed, looks curiously upside down. But why? The symbols are correct, and following the chart will produce the desired result, if not the expected one.

I did a bit more of the Soutache, too. I am tempted to knit the Blue Sky Fibers slouch hat again. It’s been cold here lately, and Greek Helen has been wearing the one I knit for her last year. It’s certainly attractive. It makes a good, if rather expensive, Christmas present. It’s ideal winter solstice knitting. It would be something straightforward and simple, on days when both the Soutache and the shawl seem too much of a challenge.


  1. Anonymous8:12 PM

    I hope you have some family with you tomorrow, as you celebrate the first "his birthday" without him.

    Beverly in NJ.

  2. It's always good to have a simple project to fall back on when the other things seem too challenging.

    I hope tomorrow you have some pleasant memories to think of, and some cats to fight over your lap and your attention. Cats are great distractors.

  3. Days like tomorrow will never be easy, so be kind to yorself.

  4. Anonymous2:43 AM

    Birthdays... yes, they're hard, and this is the first. Hope your day goes well.

  5. Perdita is a sweetie.

  6. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Cats do seem like a good idea and maybe out to lunch with someone? Would it help to think that your grief is evidence that you were lucky enough to have him in your life? So many people, for whatever reason, never had that chance.
    Compared to me, Jean, you are a lace knitting pro. However, I did complete one smallish shawl by only demanding of myself two rows per day, one of those being a rest row, and the sense of accomplishment being just the same. Take care, we are thinking of you. Chloe

  7. Anonymous11:50 AM

    By "chance" I meant the luck of having a long happy marriage. Hard sometimes to be both succinct and clearly understood. Either way, we are thinking of you, Jean. Chloe

  8. Hope the day is gentle and only good memories...

  9. thinking of you today.. i realize its 8 pm but reading you now ... having just seen Susan Calman advance to week 10 of Strictly... amazing fan base and her attitude of humility is amazingly refreshing among all the others... its my first year watching because of her alone... am a huge fan for hers. JK Rowling was there tonight (its Blackpool week). anyway, it was my birthday on Thursday and i celebrated alone as i usually do ... no partner and its a workday and my only local relative has children so.. nothing unusual in that. one can find solace in one's one company and with pursuits.

    hope you take time to read some of those lovely books you recently purchased as a treat. Perdita and Paradox will help you thru too.

    now back to the third set of the ATP Finals sans Roger (sob)