Monday, 25 July 2011

Knitting First, then News

Knitting First
I finished my third Stripe Study, the watery one in madelinetosh merino light. I soaked it and then left it to dry in such a way that it would stretch under its own weight. I didn't want to block it in case it looked stretched, but I wanted it to get a bit swingy. Which it did.

It's beautiful and I wish the weather was colder so that I could wear it. It hasn't been warm, but it hasn't been cool enough to wear a wool shawl. 

And I got an extra stripe of green in the Machair Stripes. The last stripe used nearly a fifth of the ball, and I was left with four grams of green left over. I'm still on the last band.

This bit is somewhat interminable because up until now there's always been something going on, counting, or wrapping, or heading back, or making a narrow stripe, whereas this is just knitting. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

This is the best pic I've got of the colours in the dark blue Jabberwocky. I had 66 grams left for the last stripe.

I couldn't resist starting a little something something, a Palatina shawl. The pattern is only available with the yarn, as a kit, but I've hazarded a guess at how it works and I've set off. This is the Colourmart lace set which I was planning to do something else with - actually there's probably enough yarn for both, but the earlier idea has palled.

It's two rows of plain and two rows of purl, executed indefinitely with a stitch added at one end on every second row.

The Murdoch business continues to hypnotise. It doesn't look as if they got the numbers of 9/11 families, kmkat, as that story has faded away on closer investigation (it was in fairly unreliable newspaper to start with), but they did get the numbers and addresses of 7/7 families, probably from someone in the police. That's the sort of news that gives you a cold feeling in the pit of the stomach. When most people were running about making a difference, someone was making a quick buck.  It has been replaced in the rolling news schedules by the more immediately awful events in Norway. I've stopped watching the news constantly because it was so annoying, as well as deeply disturbing. When the carnage in Norway began, the interviewers all but asked, 'Did you see a dark-skinned man wearing a head-cloth running away?' It was as if we'd never heard of blue-eyed blonds causing any trouble. Or Christians.

And then on Saturday when Amy Winehouse was found, they all became experts on addiction and started second-guessing that too. A lot of them seemed to think that it would be less of a shock and less distressing for her family because of her history, and didn't hesitate to say so rather placidly, but anyone who has been close to an addict knows that this isn't true.

Let's remember her at her best instead, singing a Carole King song.

(I think I got the size a bit better this time, Zippiknits!)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Still Striping Steadily

I'm on the last stretch of the weathered Stripe Study. I sort of abandoned it for a little while when I started another Veera shawl.

'Only' an inch or so to go on the final stripe. These two shades of madelinetosh Merino Light are different yarns. I understand they changed the base yarn. The off-white one is much softer. I hope it's the later version of the yarn.

And I've reached the end of the stripes on the Different Lines, which you haven't seen at all.

The blue is from Jessie at What Housework?, who now has an Etsy shop. I think it was called Jabberwocky, which would have been enough to make me buy it even if it hadn't been a lovely colour. It's over the edge of blue and into indigo / violet, with lots of tiny particles of other shades. The pale green is from The Yarn Yard and was called 612. I think they're perfect together, like a scattering of flowers across a meadow or a machair.

I've done the 14 stripes required by the pattern, and I've paused because I think it may not be quite big enough. It's in line with the measurements in the pattern but other people's look larger: in particular, the pointy bit at the beginning looks small on mine. I know it'll grow in time but still. I may as well do another stripe anyway, because it's not as if I can do much else with the remaining 21 grams of yarn.

I would have posted sooner, but I have been absolutely glued to the television news and Twitter, following the Murdoch affair. I sometimes put the television on pause while I check Twitter, and then fast-forward so that I can catch up again.  I have been following this story for as long as The Guardian has been covering it but things really took off towards the end of last week. I think the extraordinary aspect is that there is so far no apparent end to it. People talk of drawing a line in the sand, but so far the tide has always come in and washed it away.

Usually when we're riveted by a story, it hangs on a single event and a single area of public life. Will X be elected? Will Y resign? Will Z be convicted? Once the question is answered, matters are resolved no matter how shocking they may be. But this one has leapt in unexpected directions, like the closure of a Sunday newspaper on Thursday afternoon (which Murdoch may well have been planning to close anyway) - I went out for a couple of hours and missed it - and it is still unclear which individuals might crash and burn. Will the Prime Minister suffer because of his appointment of Andy Coulson - it turns out that everyone and his granny advised him against it, but he took the line that he knew best.

On Friday when he was interviewed by the police for nine hours, did Andy Coulson sing like a canary or did he say, 'No comment,' until it was time to go home?

How many police were involved in the bribes? We used to be given the impression that it was a few uniformed plods pocketing wads of crumpled fivers, but it must have gone higher and wider. How high? Who was the most senior officer involved? How could a newspaper spend tens of thousands of pounds paying off policemen without the people who countersigned the claims being aware?

And of course there is BSkyB, which Murdoch was planning to take over shortly. And what if a spark is ignited across the pond? What did Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones, know? And which other newspapers are going to be discovered to have been doing the same? Sometimes it seems that the only event which comes close is Watergate.

And now this story tonight that they tried to get the mobile phone numbers of British victims of 9/11, with a view to hacking them. Every time we think we've heard the worst, they trump themselves.

So far there are still few prepared to say openly that the reason a lot of these people went along with the News International crew is because they would be royally stitched up in one of their newspapers if they didn't. Dossiers were kept, and dirt could always be discovered, or invented. Like J. Edgar Hoover, who could, and did threaten presidents. Perhaps one of the consequences of these events will be that they will lose that power.

Whatever happens, it will all greatly facilitate chewing through large quantities of garter stitch.