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June 5, 2006

Current Knitting (and other stuff)

I’m again busy knitting fiendishly – gifts for friends on the trip.

The first item finished was a simple blouse scarf in Berocco Glitz. It got cast on before Alexandra and I went to dinner on Friday night. She had an unplanned rehearsal that kept me at the stage door waiting, so I was glad for something to do, but it presented the incongruous picture of a me in a Canali suit and Turnbull and Asser shirt, sitting at the stage door with some unidentifiable piece of fluff in my bag (and occasionally picking pieces of it off my trousers) with something growing from bamboo needles. I don’t like knitting in a suit (it ruins the illusion!) but I hate having nothing to do more. I’m glad I suited up for her, though. She came down in a cream wool ensemble looking like two million bucks, and we went to Rules for dinner.

The scarf was presented to my friend Judith at tea. That was also delightful; the first time I’ve had tea in London, and not the more artificial High Tea, but afternoon tea with cake and conversation at a friend’s home. I hadn’t finished the scarf, so it was knit as we talked about dance – Judith’s husband John is an eminent dance writer and biographer so the conversation was quite amazing; so many things I’ve read about where he was at the premiere. I had to ask him, who was on the list of dancers he wished he had seen, but had not. His answer – Vakhtang Chabukiani. The top of my list is Tanaquil LeClercq – he had seen her, “Lovely.” The scarf grew quickly and got finished before I had to leave for the evening performance at Covent Garden.

Earlier that morning after a few abortive tries I had cast on a simple cabled cap for my brother. I hadn’t brought a 16 inch circular needle in a size 8, so I needed to change wool to one that could be used on a size 6 needle. It’s just six stitch cables separated by four purl stitches. The one useful trick to report is a way to cast on a neat cabled edge: Instead of casting on multiples of ten (6 st cable + four purl sts), cast on the four purl sts and only half the cable sts (3) – in this case multiples of seven. On the first row, pick up the other three cable stitches in the back of the first three stitches. The edge will wave and curl less.

A good chunk was knit on the bus to Bristol, and I hope it will be finished on a drive to Wales today. I’m going with family, but also hope to visit my friends Emily and Brenda in Cardiff for an afternoon of knitting in Cardiff Castle. We’re going overnight, so I’m packing one change of clothing and four knitting projects.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at June 5, 2006 3:40 AM

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