Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

More Scarves November 25, 2014

Filed under: Scarves — Janet @ 8:07 am

IMG_4492 Scarf number 5, a work in progress

IMG_4488  another view of Scarf 5


jigsaw puzzle falls victim to knitting November 3, 2014

Filed under: humour,Knitting,radio — Janet @ 10:14 pm

IMG_4386 I’ve decided to just pack up this puzzle without finishing it.  I just haven’t found the time to work on it – partly because any spare time is spent knitting,  And the table where we have the puzzle is too low.  I was developing a sore back and the physiotherapist thought it was due to working on jigsaws at this table.

On a different note, there was a footer on CNN to say that one of the Cartalk brothers had passed away today, age 77. from complications of Alzheimers.  Cartalk started in 1977 and was taken over in 1987 by NPR.  The brothers stopped doing live broadcasts in 2012,  We used to listen to Cartalk every Saturday morning and had many a laugh over this crazy programme.


More Poetry October 9, 2009

Filed under: Knitting,Poetry — Janet @ 4:29 pm
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The Knitting Poem of the Week 9 – from The Poetry Society, celebrating their centenary.  The Poem is by Jo Shapcott and is titled Robert Watches Elizabeth Knitting – here it is from The Poetry Society website:

Knitting Poem of the Week 9

Jo Shapcott
Robert Watches Elizabeth Knitting

It will be found that DNA mentions nothing but relations… The relata, the end components of the relationships in the corporeal world, are pehaps never mentioned. Gregory Bateson, Mind and Nature

Knitting is a bore but Elizabeth
nods and smiles and clicks to herself
as if it were more than just useful.
She goes happily about the task,
moving in and out of it without haste,
perfecting tension, cabling, ribs.
She looks forward to the sewing up
but not too much, knowing how to mesh
the pleasure of the final thing,
all sensuality and wholeness,
with the independent life of every stitch. 
Where does it come from, this compulsion
to call her a whole list of things
other than what she is? The string-winder,
the long fingered, the sitting clock,
the fur maker and on and on and on.
From shanks by sharp shears to Shape Shoulders
she is what she is, my shank shifter,
the one who weaves and stitches up wool.
The needles click in a rhythm I can’t get at:
part and whole, part and whole;
two heartbeats, a breath, two heartbeats.
Her lips silently move to mark
the four or five last stitches in the line. 
Elizabeth’s pattern is cut small
and pasted in her diary: a book of days,
a book of stitches; lunch dates and meetings,
Right Border and Neckband, Left Front.
There is no picture, only the long strings
of phonemes – purls and plains
made unpronounceable by the feminine science
of the knitting pattern. She bows
her head to translate the printed page
into this odd manipulation of sticks and string. 
I can’t get my mind around knitting.
It starts to have everything
when you come down to it – rhythm,
colour and slow but perceptible change.
The meaning is all in the gaps:
a pattern of holes marked out by woolly colour,
a jumper made of space, division and relations.
Strange to see these youngish hands,
with no puffiness and no obvious veins,
repeat the banal and tiny motions
over days over weeks over months.
I ask too much and am too hasty;
this knitting is an exercise in trust.

From Her Book: Poems 1988-1998 (Faber and Faber, 2000).
Permission given by Faber and Faber Ltd www.faber.co.uk


What are you knitting? August 20, 2009

Filed under: Hats,Knitting,Lawn bowling — Janet @ 4:43 pm
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What are you knitting?  That’s the question I was asked as I knit while watching the Ladies (Lawn) Bowling League of Ireland Championship matches.       

The answer…..a hat.  Oh.  That was just about the end of the conversation.  Well, I knit and I knit and I am still knitting ….hats.  And today I have been doing a finishing blitz to sew the ends of these hats and get them ready to take to Kilternan Market on Saturday.  I sold 1 hat last Saturday, maybe if it’s cool I’ll sell some more.

Viewing the matches was great knitting time.  But even more enjoyable was playing in a couple of matches myself.  The first match was the rinks (4 team members) semifinal.  Much to everyone’s surprise, our team won.  Two days later was the final – another win – hooray.  We emerged the Senior Ladies Rinks champions of Ireland (the Republic of Ireland that is).  Now we go up north next week to Coleraine for the All Ireland matches. 

the team  The winners, from left to right, Janet, Marie, Laura, Alice

bowling 2009 033  The models for my hats

bowling 2009 029  My hats


bowling 2009 032  More hats


A Plethora of Socks July 3, 2009

Filed under: Knitting,Memories,Rhubarb,Socks,Words — Janet @ 11:07 am
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A Plethora of Socis These socks plus the baby beanie are what I have been knitting lately.  I just love the Regia Kaffe Fassett colours sock yarn.

Now I want to write a few words about rhubarb – unrelated to socks as far as I know but I just feel like writing about it.  We have rhubarb growing in our garden.

Move to Seattle 2 200  rather pathetic isn’t it but it’s early days yet for the 2nd crop.  Then Ian will make a delicious rhubarb and apple and raisin pie.  Meanwhile we’ll depend on store-bought rhubarb for those pies.

I subscribe to a service called Word a Day.  A few days ago rhubarb was the word for the day.  To quote from the site: 


noun: A heated dispute; brawl.


The origin of the plant name rhubarb is from Greek rha (perhaps from Rha, an ancient name of the river Volga on whose bank rhubarb was grown) + barbaros (foreign), but why the word developed this slang sense is unknown. We do know that this usage was popularized in baseball. The Oxford English Dictionary has the first citation from 1943:

“Mr ‘Red’ Barber,.. who has been announcing the games of the Brooklyn Dodgers, has used the term ‘rhubarb’ to describe an argument, or a mix-up, on the field of play.” (NY Herald Tribune)”

The name Red Barber caught my eye.  I remember him from the 1940’s when I was a keen fan of the Boston Red Sox.


Shopping in Hong Kong February 28, 2009

Filed under: Baby knitting,Books,Knitting — Janet @ 4:25 pm
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hat-knit-in-nepal  Bettina asked if I found anything of textile interest in Hong Kong.  Well, this hat was one of the first things to catch my eye in the street market in Stanley near Repulse Bay.  Most of the items in the market were made in Hong Kong or the Chinese mainland but one lady had a table full of hats knit in Nepal.  Remembering the snow we left behind in Dublin, I thought one of these hats would be just the thing.  You can see it was done in a knit 1, purl 1 pattern.  I think it’s great but it’s now too warm to wear it back here in Dublin.  I’ll save it for next winter.  

Other items of textile interest were the clothes – I bought several pairs of slacks and a blouse.  I kept looking for knitting magazines but that quest drew a blank.

Shopping for books

miscellaneous-ian-041  In one of my visits to a Dymocks book shop in Hong Kong I came across a book about cats by Doris Lessing.  I had a sneaking suspicion that I already had the book and sure enough, when I got home I found it on one of my shelves.  At least that time I resisted the temptation to accidentally buy a copy of a book I already had.

Knitting in Ireland

miscellaneous-ian-043 Today at Kilternan Market, one of the senior members had this baby cardigan for sale.  I thought it was so nicely knit I couldn’t resist.  Sort of like coals to Newcastle since I could knit a cardigan like that myself but hers was already knit and cardigans take more patience than I feel at the moment.  Besides I like this member and was delighted that she was knitting again, even though her items might compete with mine.


Scarf Season February 8, 2009

Filed under: Knitting,Scarves — Janet @ 12:12 pm
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yellow-scarf-09-2   Encouraged by recent sales of scarves at the Saturday market, I have just completed knitting another scarf.  My main colours were the yellow Norwegian Heilo yarn, some Donegal/Kilcarra yellow tweed, plus odds and ends of other colours to give contrast.  It certainly is scarf weather here in Dublin.  We have had snow and cold temperatures for several weeks now.   We were really fortunate though last Wednesday, the day of the concert – that was the one day when it didn’t snow and there was a bit of a thaw – no problems for anyone to get to the concert.

This morning when I woke up around 8, it was snowing heavily and the cat was frantically pawing at the window and mewing to come in.  I took pity on her.  Then I went back to bed to finish my book, The Archivist’s Story by Travis Holland.  A very well written first novel – I recommend it.  By the time I had finished it the snow had stopped and it looked o.k. to walk to church, being careful not to slip on the ice underneath the new snow.   I was rewarded in my walk – I was able to watch a beautiful thrush eating berries from a hedge – a lovely bird.  The birds are especially enjoyable to watch against the outline of the snow on the tree branches and the bushes.

Meanwhile Ian is monitoring the weather reports and the flights leaving Dublin and Amsterdam.  Last week Dublin Airport was closed several times because of the snow and icy conditions and many flights were disrupted.  The long queues for rebooking sounded like our experience in Chicago at Christmas time.  It’s hard to imagine ourselves in Hong Kong later this week.  Son Andrew ran the Hong Kong Marathon today in termperatures in the mid-20’s centigrade.  Sounded very hot for running a marathon.  Well done Andrew!


Recorder Consort Class meet the Viol Consort Class February 5, 2009

Filed under: Music,Recorders,Scarves — Janet @ 1:26 pm
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Last night was the night of the concert.  Our class of 4 recorder players plus our teacher joined the viol consort class of 6 viol players plus their teacher.    We played to a small but appreciative audience.


The recorders played 5 pieces:  Ah Robin gentle Robin

                                                                 Riu riu chiu

                                                                 Heth sold een meskin garn om win


                                                                Privilegi della corte

Then the viols played 2 long pieces, both by John Jenkins:  The Bell Pavan

                                                                                                                         Fantasia a6  (no. 12)

To conclude the concert the Recorders and Viols played together:  Canzona “La Nuvolina”

Then we all shared wine and cheese and other goodies.  A very pleasant evening.miscellaneous-ian-019  Recorder consort

miscellaneous-ian-024  Part of the viol consort

miscellaneous-ian-029  Completion of the viol consort

Now to knitting.  It is snowing heavily and is quite cold so this is definitely still the season for scarves.  Here’s my latest.     scarf-1-2009  Hard to see, but the main yarn is a purple tweed from Kilcarra in Donegal.


Another baby sweater January 29, 2009

Filed under: Irish language,Knitting,Music — Janet @ 8:32 pm
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baby-sweater-moss-green-with-blue-sleeves  Another baby sweater completed.  For this one I used moss green Mission Falls wool for the front and back and blue Norwegian Heilo wool for the sleeves.  The broad neck is designed to make it easy to put the sweater over the baby’s head.  I used a pattern from Liz Lovick, who hosted the knitting and spinning and dyeing week in Orkney 2 years ago.

Today my Irish class resumed for the 12 week Spring Term.  There were 20 of us, some new faces, and most of the original group dating back a couple of years.  It was nice to be back.  I do appreciate our teacher’s enthusiasm.  We meet in a rather drab room across the road from the new Town Centre.  The instant coffee on offer during our break is equally drab and so today I brought my own take-away coffee from Starbuck’s – very enjoyable.  I still become rather tongue tied when it comes to saying anything in Irish, but I do enjoy listening to the language and seeing it written down.

Today was also rehearsal day for a small choir with which I try to sing.  We are rehearsing to sing at the Ladies Dinner at the Kenilworth Bowling Club.  The dinner is scheduled for February 21st – the day after Ian and I are due to get back from our trip to Hong Kong.  I hope I don’t feel too jet lagged and can stay awake to participate.  Here is our repertoire:  When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

                                                                          Dublin Can Be Heaven


                                                                          Night of Stars and Night of Love, Barcarole – Offenbach

                                                                          Sleepy River

                                                                          Any Dream Will Do – Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

                                                                          Thank You For The Music – Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus


A Knitted Ferrari November 3, 2007

Filed under: Knitting,Stash projects — Janet @ 9:37 pm
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I have been listening to a very interesting clip from a BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour programme.  It was an interview with a knitter who knit a Ferrari – have a look and a listen.

Now to news of my knitting projects.       pink-and-yellow-scarf-finished.jpg  Pink and yellow scarf finished

eccentric-blanket-finished.jpg  Eccentric blanket finished

Now for the final day at the Knitting & Stitching Show tomorrow and then I’ll blog about that.