Friday, 25 January 2008

A better knitting week

After a low point on Sunday when I began to despair of my current project, things have picked up on the knitting front this week (excuse the pun, it's purely intentional!). There was a moment, though, sitting in traffic on the M25 on the way back from a visit to my in-laws, when I would have happily given up on the whole thing. Having unravelled and re-knitted my North Star lace scarf I don't know how many times, the yarn broke in the middle of a row and the whole thing started to disintegrate before my eyes. Not the place to try and rectify things, I thought, and switched to my Rowan shawl. Managed to get to the end of a row on that with 86 stitches ("even I know that equals happiness" said my other half who has dutifully read last week's entry).
And that was the turning point: I got home and salvaged my lace and things have moved forward with only one minor setback since. I'm going to have to stop soon and wait for some new yarn to arrive from Shetland, though, as I don't have enough of the pink shade (Candyfloss) left to complete the project. And of course I've ordered other stuff as well - some more 2-ply Ultra in Moorit and Natural Black as I want to make another cockleshell scarf in the traditional Shetland colours for show at the Oxford Weavers, Spinners and Dyers' open weekend at the end of May. And while I was at it I ordered some 1-ply Cobweb in Natural White, which is the finest lace-weight yarn you can get. I thought I should be ready for the time when I feel able to face up to the challenge of a "wedding-ring shawl". You can see all these yarns (and buy on-line) at
Confusingly there is another Shetland company with a similar name, Jamieson and Smith, who also do a Cobweb 1 ply, in a wider range of colours, as well as a Shetland Supreme 'worsted' lace yarn in 1 and 2 ply (on cones only) in Natural White, Fawn, Grey, Moorit and Shetland Black. Their website is at and is definitely worth a look - not least for some lovely pictures of lace knitting. Jamieson and Smith's website contains a rather defensive-sounding statement that the company is "Not to be confused with other companies of a similar name". There must be a story behind these two different companies but I don't know what it is. I'll try to find out when I go back to Shetland this summer.
I really have not a shade of an excuse for buying more yarn at the moment: cupboards and drawers are over-flowing with the stuff. But hey, what can I say? It's a pretty inexpensive habit compared with Other Half's photography and travel fixation. On the other hand it may possibly be the case that I have now gone past the point when I could use up all my stash even if I knitted non-stop for the rest of my life...
The other really good thing that happened this week is that I now have the loan of a spinning wheel from the Oxford Guild as well as someone to teach me (thank you, Carole). So, who knows, perhaps my next order from Shetland will be a fleece!