Saturday, March 17, 2018

The weather sounds almost as nasty out there as it did during that famous passage two weeks ago – and it’s almost as cold, too. We’ve had snow…

…and it was snowing at Twickenham as Ireland beat England. St Patrick will be celebrating with his mates in heaven tonight. It was the first time in several years that England have lost at home, and it means, as I said yesterday, that Ireland have their grand slam. Scotland won in Rome, but only just. Italy outplayed us for much of the match.

I didn’t pick up Archie’s socks, after all. I cast on Alexander’s vest and started on the techknitter part at the beginning, which is pretty easy knitting. I feel I’ve got an awful lot of stitches. Somewhat-too-big is a good deal better than somewhat-too-small, but there’s a limit.  It’ll be a while before a judgment is possible.

I have half a feeling that I recently read about a nifty trick for avoiding the Fatal Twist when joining knitting for the round, but if so, I can’t find it. Anybody? I tried YouTube but all I got was a couple of pleasant ladies telling me to be very careful to get it straight before joining.

I think I’m all right, but it’s not entirely easy to tell when you get up into hundreds of stitches. I got it wrong once, knitting a shawl edging-inwards. That time, I took the scissors to it.

I’ve heard from Jimmy Beans that they’ve shipped that yarn to my sister, and she has born with good grace the news that she’s got to find room for it in her suitcase. Maybe by the time she gets here I will be far enough forward with the vest that I can allow a couple of days a week for a second WIP.

The kitchen is getting on nicely. But it was sort of peaceful, not having the men here today. I gather that I will be without water in the kitchen at least through next weekend. I braved the weather and got up to Marks and Spencer this morning and bought some ready meals. It’s not so much the cooking – I’ve got the Aga, and evenings are peaceful when they finally go away – as the washing up.


  1. I don't know that it will work for corrugated ribbing, but what I do to avoid the fatal twist is to work back and forth for a couple of rows and then join. Having a bit more work to look at seems to make al the difference. Then when the object is complete I sew up the little opening.

  2. Anonymous10:38 PM

    Hi, Jean.....after several times twisting corrugated ribbing, I went to the drug store and bought a set of small hair clips......put them every two or three inches as I went around. I could not tell if there was a twist in my 294 stitches, but I could see from clip to clip as I went around. It was a pain in the neck, but not nearly as painful as ripping out 3 inches of corrugated ribbing the second time! Good luck....

    Barbara M. In NH

    1. I have done the same with clothespins.

  3. Ready meals - a really practical solution to your temporary situation. Presumably you are able to boil a kettle in the dining room? Stay warm, Jean.

  4. Anonymous12:07 PM

    I have done the knitting several rows straight before joining and it only involves a few stitches grafting at the end. But depending on the thickness of the yarn you might need to knit a few more rows when using a thinner yarn to make sure you can see that it is indeed straight, especially with so many stitches to spread out. I I'll keep hunting to see if I can find what you are looking for. Also, for at least some convenience, is there someone who can bring you a quantity of bottled water to keep in the kitchen? By yourself, it would be pretty hefty load. Chloe

  5. The hairclip idea is a good one! I'm with those who work a few rows flat before joining when there are a massive number of stitches. The few rows sewn at the end are not noticeable at all.

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  7. I always use the longest circular needle possible to spread my stitches out, I find it much easier to see if there are any twists this way. The hair clip/clothespin/removable stitchmarker/coilless safety pin trick is also a good aid, I know I’ve heard Amy Detjen recommend it.

  8. Anonymous2:51 PM

    About your sister and luggage: have you thought of getting her some of those vacuum sealed bags? Like zip-top plastic bags but with a gasket; you use a vacuum cleaner to suction the air out. Not ideal for long-term yarn storage, but if it helps with packing and is for a short while, it should not be a large problem.

  9. How much yarn did you buy, Jean??? I have found that tucking a few skeins here and there in my suitcase was not too much of a problem; even inside shoes. But if you bought enough for a blanket....that's a horse of a different color...
    I enjoy your posts every day! Please stay warm.