Friday, January 31, 2020

Kirsten (comment yesterday): I’ve got that newspaper pattern for the Baby Surprise somewhere. That was back in the days when you sent in a Stamped, Addressed Envelope and they sent you a mimeographed copy of the pattern. My one is tattered and torn and has written on it the pre-birth code name of many a person now old enough to vote. That version of the Baby Surprise is double breasted, and I rather like it that way. Except that it doesn’t quite work, and the side seams (or where the side seams would be if it had such things) are pulled slightly forward. I’ll have a look.

That was when I first heard of Elizabeth Zimmerman, that newspaper article.

The 2nd Dathan is nearing its end, but I’ll go on saying that for several more days.

I spent some more time thinking about What Next. Thank you for the tip about the Anisa Wrap, ml (Comment yesterday). But what I am really looking for – what the Spring Shawl was intended for – was something for a bride to wear. I have three unmarried granddaughters. One of them has her Christening shawl so I wanted to do something for the other two. My knitting has figured more often, up to now, in the weddings of grandsons than in those of granddaughters, but I don’t have enough lifetime left to worry about that.

I have tentatively chosen something by Elizabeth Lovick which seems to me to strike the right note of impressive but not-too-complicated. I’ve got Sharon Miller’s “Nesting Shawl” pattern but it looks alarmingly complicated. I’m tempted by her “Cameron” pattern, which I haven’t got. She says she knit it in a month!

Why does everybody want to knit their shawls centre-out? Sharon says that she has copied the “Nesting” pattern from an old postcard showing shawls being dressed on Shetland. She says that the shawl on the postcard was knit edges-in (she’d know) but that she has changed it. My idea (and I think I could apply it to the Lovick pattern) is to go back where I started and do it the way Madeleine Weston does it in her Traditional Sweater Book – knit half the edging; pick up an appropriate number of stitches for two borders; knit them; leave the stitches live; do it again; knit the centre from one set of live stitches, taking in a stitch from two other borders at either end of every row; graft the final centre stitches to the one remaining border; sew the open corner seams.

Kirsten, I found my “Sweater Workshop” on Abebooks. I’ve forgotten what I paid – about £15 I fear. There is a sticker on the back saying that it cost 99p at the Goodwill Shop.

Tomorrow it will be February I have been impeccably “dry” all through January. Now what?


  1. I so agree with you on knitting outside in for shawls. I love starting out with an enormous number of stitches and then decreasing until I have a large triangle. Rather than giving up because it seems every row gets longer and longer, after a long time of knitting, one can finally see the end in sight - and every row is faster and faster! Same idea with Yoke and other types of sweaters. I have two on the needles that are top-down. Getting to the division between body and sleeves is nice, but then it's knit knit knit endlessly. I prefer to do it the opposite way, with the more interesting, shorter rows at the very end. Hope this makes sense:)!
    Also, re: your comment yesterday on my comment the day before: I laughed out loud:)! Kept thinking about an expression a friend of mine from England told me about (we were discussing how different phrases could mean something completely different in the US and the UK). She told me about the expression, "I will do X if I have to knock up the Duke of York at 3 in the morning!" Knocking someone up in the US is quite a different matter. I believe my response was something like, "THAT I'd like to see!" ;)

  2. =Tamar10:10 PM

    I suppose some people like the idea that they can knit the basic center part and then work on the edges until they're tired of it and just stop with a more or less usable shawl or blanket.

    1. Anonymous8:57 PM

      Yes! That’s why I like Gudrun’s hap - other life things always come up when I’m trying to have a baby shawl ready by due date.

  3. There's a rather lovely shawl called Wild Swan which has appeared on Ravelry - free to download. It would be good for a wedding shawl. I'm just knitting Houlland for the second time. It starts with the edging lace, all 64 points of it.