Sunday, March 25, 2018

I love the light as well as the next man, but it is hard, with the equinoctial sunshine streaming in the window, to believe that it’s time to make myself something to eat, and write the blog. I’ll get used to it. I have done no knitting at all today, so I need an hour with some mindless television – “Civilisations” might strike the right note – before I go to bed.

I had my Italian lesson this morning, and then Helen and Fergus came over and we all walked down to the Stockbridge Sunday market which is always fun. Fergus’ school term has already ended – the more you pay for education, the less of it you get. The walk was close to the limit of my strength.

Helen’s husband David is currently driving about Turkey with Archie and Mungo (the brother studying in Jordan). Archie and David will come back here on Friday. They’ll have a weekend of cat-feeding and, if need be, hovering over the kitchen work, while I go to Loch Fyne.

I am sure you are right, Shandy, that the motifs in an OXO Fair Isle pattern need to be offset. It is interesting how pleasant is the appearance,  nevertheless, of Meg’s vest (where the motifs are not offset) and KD’s Machrihanish (where the v-neck isn’t centered over the pattern).

It is interesting to compare the Museum Sweater, where everything is perfect. Complete patterns end at the shoulder line. The sides “seams” bisect patterns. (That is not happening with Alexander’s vest because I have nine repeats. The vest is centered back and front, but not at the sides.)

The only way that could be done – I have read somewhere recently that it was standard Shetland practice – would be to design the whole thing, starting with the size of the motifs, for a particular wearer. Or to knit with a total indifference to the question of whom it might fit.

I have got some yarn to try again with socks for Archie – two different Kaffes. I’m not entirely pleased with either, and cross that the picture on the ball band doesn’t predict the sock that will be knit from the yarn within. The same was true of the Arne & Carlos yarn with which I was knitting before (and of which I have one thoroughly decent sock). I’ll choose the less unsatisfactory one, and perhaps get it cast on before taking it with me as I head west for Easter.


  1. =Tamar10:14 PM

    I have often been bemused by how the OXO patterns, when offset, have the X's almost, but not quite, connect into an overall diagonal grid. I think I once saw one that did position them so as to make a grid, but the peerie lines still cut across so it wasn't annoyingly obvious.

  2. Anonymous12:39 AM

    Hi Jean
    I often look on Ravelry at other people’s projects in a particular yarn to get an idea of how socks will look when knit up. Often a colourway I think will look rather a dogs dinner will surprise you when knitted!
    Lynne Litchfield

  3. The vest I made many moons ago had little planning for offset or not, just to have the X in the right spot for the V neck. I went and looked at it and it is more lined up, as Meg's is, but with rounds of peerie patterns in between, so lined up or not, it isn;t obvious.

  4. The Museum sweater shown in the picture does show everything lined up. Was that one not designed by Jen A-C? I'd be interested to know whether all the sizes in the pattern also have the same precision. I seem to remember that the original had a round starting underarm and finishing on an incomplete motif.

    You do make me laugh, Jean. How did you find Mary Beard on religion and art as mindless television? When we watched it I often found that I couldn't quite follow the points that she was making, so heavily overlaid with qualifications were they.

  5. Anonymous3:20 PM

    Fair Isle: so many factors to consider. In the case of the Museum sweater the color choices are puzzling to me. People who look good in sky blue do not look good in deep red or vice versa so the sweater is only a vehicle for design lessons but not good for flattering the wearer - which seems a shame given all the work put into it. Just my viewpoint. Flattery is not important to everyone. Fit is certainly more crucial. Chloe

  6. Anonymous4:14 PM

    I am rather a big Mary Beard fan. I wish we could see the Civilisations programmes here in the Commonwealth. I have been listening to the podcasts while I wait. Also found another BBC podcast called Living with the Gods with the former director of the British Museum.
    Some of her earlier TV programs are available on youtube.
    I always learn something about antiquity!