Well, the cheerleading squad has assembled, both my mom and dad are now in attendance, and every day I wake up to “is she here yet” “are you still pregnant” and from my mom – “have you had any contractions?”.
Still nada, niente, nothing. I’ve had some twinges on and off, I had a single contraction yesterday morning, and nothing at all since then. Little Miss Blueberry is certainly taking her sweet time! Must admit I’m quite fed up with the pregnancy – especially the itching. It’s like Chinese water torture. A little bit at a time, but completely unrelenting. I just want to be able to be still, lie or sit down and not have my skin hurt! Cranky, moi?
I did get some goodies in the post to brighten my day – my Cookie A sock club parcel, with a glorious red yarn. A big yarn order from Woolen Rabbit for a jumper for me (same yarn as hubby’s Christmas jumper except in a happy red orange colour), my amazon book order and a lovely little jumper knit by my friend Marja. Now for the stork to bring me another little parcel….
I’d been waiting on tenterhooks for The Principles of Knitting, an updated edition of a reference book that has nearly legendary status. It’s a huge tome, and does have quite alot of information in it… having said that, I have to admit I am a little ‘meh’ about it – compared to my Montse Stanley book, I’m not at all convinced TPOK is all that. There were only a few techniques in there that I hadn’t come across (like doing a double stranded tubular cast-on to get a 2×2 rib cast-on, a different approach to the one in the Montse Stanley book), although it was a plus to have a plethora of techniques in one tome. I also like the use of the sewn bind off (EZ’s sewn bind off, called the half-hitch cast-off in the book) to finish a buttonhole using waste yarn (like an afterthought heel).
I’ll spend more time working through the techniques, so hopefully I will find some more nuggets of inspiration in there. There are chapters on garment sizing, schematics, and calculations for pattern design which I’m looking forward to getting stuck into. I like the info about cleaning and ‘dressing’ which is washing and blocking in modern parlance. Useful reference.
I will say that the needle size chart at the back caused me to suck my breath in horror. They are listed in metric, US and British sizes (which really should be ‘old’ British sizes as they are all metric now!) Why am I horrified? Well, first off, I have never seen needles in the old British sizes… despite having lived in England for over 12 years, except at the Victoria & Albert museum. I have also never seen metric knitting needles in 2.3mm, 2.8mm, 3.125mm, 3.3mm, or 3.8mm sizes. For what should be an updated and revised edition of this book, this information is woefully outdated. And what shocks me even more is that 2.5mm and US1.5 needles are not even listed! This is supposed to be a comprehensive, updated reference guide… maybe as a sock knitter I am biased, but given the popularity of sock knitting, and the widespread use of 2.5mm/US1.5 needles I find it a pretty glaring oversight. So … initial thoughts? Huge tome. Lots of info. The directions are rather wordy and unless you’re very good at visualising text based instructions, you may have difficulty with figuring out how to work the technique in question. The use of totally different names to common names for techniques without any reference at all to other ways of referring to those techniques is weird and kind of obnoxious. Like me suddenly deciding to call short rows something different like ‘syncopated knitting’ and not mentioning at all that some people call them short rows.
My take is that if you’re a curious adventurous knitter… it is likely that much of the information regarding techniques will be something you’ve already come across – or knit already (especially Knit Love Club members!), and that much information you’ll already know, especially if you have a decent library including Clara Parke’s books, Anna Zilboorg’s Magnificent Mittens or Nancy Bush’s Folk Knitting in Estonia, and Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books. It is nice having all the info in one place, but it takes away the enjoyment of spending time with other authors… who are rather more engaging to read. I’ll withhold comment on the Pattern Design section until I’ve had some time to work through it and see if that itself is worth the price of admission….