Friday, October 23, 2020


I’ve cast on the Evendoon. (Is that what it’s called?) Kate Davies’ Schiehallion yarn  is splendid. She describes it as a “DK, or heavy sportweight”. That seems about right. Certainly heavier than the Shetland jumper-weight I’ve been involved with recently. It produces a beautiful, smooth fabric and is lovely in the hands.


Elaine wrote to ask whether it smells sheepy. Alas, I can’t answer. I’ve lost the sense of smell. Don’t recoil in horror – this happened a couple of years ago, at least, and can be given some sort of date by the fact that I couldn’t smell a thing when Archie and I visited the fish market in Catania in late ’18. I know the sheepy smell Elaine means, and I love it – but it causes her discomfort. I suspect the answer is no, no smell, but someone else will have to testify.


The Evendoon s top-down, and that means there are a lot of things to do, right at the beginning. I am feeling rather inadequate, but all is going well so far, I think. One has to maintain the stripe sequence while carrying out the other instructions, but goodness, I ought to be able to manage that. I don’t understand the next thing I have to do, a few rows ahead, but maybe it will be clear when I get there, and if not, there’s the Ravelry group, where lots of people have tackled it already.


One thing worries slightly: the neck ribbing isn’t done until the very end, and the written instruction for which colour to use for it is clearly wrong, judging from the pictures. (Mercifully, my printer has produced a perfect copy.) Are there other mistakes?


Thank you very much for your rant, Chloe. (Comments, yesterday) I think you may be on to something, in your idea that autumnal colours – which indeed I favour – are less congenial to white.


A feeble day, although I got around the garden with Helen. I cancelled my Italian lesson again. I resolve to do better.


I didn’t watch the debate last night, after all. I got up at 2:20 a.m., put on my spectacles, started to struggle with the sleeves of my bathrobe – and then decided to go back to bed. It doesn’t sound nearly as entertaining as the first one. I’m glad I saw that.


I’ve nearly finished my Trollope: “Is he Popenjay?” It remains entertaining to the end. He’s very good, amongst much else, at distinguishing characters. With other authors, I often use (and rejoice in) the Kindle search feature, which lets me quickly look back to the first appearance of a puzzling character. With Trollope that is never necessary. Perhaps because of publishing in installments?

It's terribly exciting, Linnell (comment yesterday), to hear that you know Hopper's gas station in real life.


  1. Allison10:02 PM

    "I think you may be on to something, in your idea that autumnal colours – which indeed I favour – are less congenial to white."

    Jean, What about cream? It's warmer than white and also less stark. Wouldn't it blend nicely with warm autumn colors and yet fulfill the role of white elsewhere?

  2. Allison10:26 PM

    I had another thought and went back to your comments about a previous item where the white was overwhelming.

    If I found the right painting ( ), it was indeed done by Ingres. But! I copied it to my photo software and could not actually find a spot of white in all of the smoke over Vesuvius.

    It looks white and serves as white but all I could find were grey (ranging from absolutely palest grey to (ahem) smoky grey) and a few patches of brown (pale ecru, ecru and something almost khaki).

    Which is a very long way of saying that very light shades of grey or ecru might also work with your autumn colors giving the look of white without blasting your other colors into oblivion.

    Now I'll go away and try to shut up on the subject.

  3. White does not "go" with autumn colors. Use an off-white or cream.

  4. I was thinking about why Kate Davies design is so appealing. It reminds me of a rugby top with the white appearing at regular intervals. It would look good with a white collar.

  5. I prefer knitting bottom up.You can work on the sleeves separately and don’t have to haul the whole thing around. I don’t think that trying-on-as-you-go is all that accurate, since the garment hasn’t been blocked. That’s the only benefit I can think of. However, that’s what knitters want. Muriel, my newest pattern, is a top down circular yoke.

    1. Anonymous3:30 PM

      Mary Lou, for my vote you can design everything bottom-up and in flat pieces to be seamed. Okay, stranded sweaters can be knit in the round, but still bottom-up.
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

    2. Mary Lou, I've never knit a top down (in 65 years of knitting) -- if I really like a pattern, I just "turn the directions upside down" and knit from the bottom. I haven't knit in pieces since 1972, when Bernat put out some patterns in the round. No seams! I was hooked! I just keep converting patterns to suit my egocentric self! Cam

    3. I don't mind seaming at all! I am not sure why it is so feared. I've taught a class I called "Finishing for the Non-Finicky" to appeal to the fearful.

    4. I probably wouldn't mind it now, but when I was 8 or so (1957), we didn't have the wealth of information and how-to's that we have now, and my seams looked clumsy and badly done to me. So, when I was 20 and discovered knitting in the round, it solved a problem.

    5. Totally agree about knitting bottom up. I find I also have a great deal of enthusiasm at the beginning of a piece, and just when I am about to lose interest, wham-o there's the yoke with its ever-decreasing rounds and the interesting texture/colorwork. I try to knit the sleeves first and then attach them to the yoke. Those sweaters always seem to take no time at all and the time spent is so enjoyable!

  6. I'm another fan of bottom-up. I haven't yet found a good set in sleeve top down, and I find it harder to get shoulders etc the correct size. Plus some sleeve styles (e.g. the puffed ones) really do look better seamed.