Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Here we are again. All you Americans are busy getting ready for tomorrow. Have a great day!

Not much at this end. I never did finish that hat – maybe today. But I am edging forward towards London, including cleaning out the refrigerator and printing the Awesome Hat pattern. Today I mean to go to Waverley Station and buy my tickets. I remain scared stiff.

I hope you read the Harlot's recent post about the dangers of travelling in an under-yarned state. I think I will be fully occupied with the last three Dunfallandy triangles – one for each train journey, the other for the days I'm there. And with Loop on the agenda, there's really no need to worry. But I'll take the hat anyway. It remains to sort out needles, yarn, and, I see, stitch markers.

I've advanced somewhat with the Sous Sous. It is embarrassing to think how slow-witted I was about what is happening here in the front. I sort of thought that that scooped-out front was achieved with decreases, and when each right-side row of the front began and ended with a decrease, my thoughts were confirmed (I thought). But in fact there are compensating YO's, far from the decreases. I am knitting trapezoids, very much as for the Tokyo shawl.

Sorry -- no illustration. "A network change was detected", the error screen says. I have no idea what that means.

I'd better post this while the going is good.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Onwards – into a new week. I am nearly paralysed with terror at the thought of London next week, what needs to be done in advance, what could go wrong in my absence. It's time to start thinking hard, at least, and making a shopping list. Helen has drawn up a wonderful program for the carer. I must edit and where possible simplify it.

Today must be devoted to ordering a book in a series on French artists to which my husband often subscribes. Everything else in the world, I buy with my credit card. That won't do for the French publishers, nor will a cheque in euro's, even, unless drawn on a French bank. I must get a virement from our bank and then trudge off somewhere to post it, post offices no longer being handy.

Tomorrow an old friend is coming to see us. That leaves Wednesday-Saturday, effectively. Should be enough.

Knitting was not too bad yesterday – I finished my stint on the Tokyo shawl, as hoped, and reverted to the Sous Sous for a row or two. I think today, however, I'll finish off that hat.

I sat down the other day during my husband's afternoon nap and dealt with 10 days' mail. I who used to snatch it up from the mat and rip it open at once. I was rewarded with nothing much except the new IK – the Winter 2016 issue that you had patiently explained to me. It came with an announcement that this was my last issue. When did I renew? Fully a month ago.

I haven't the oomph to trawl through their website. I'll wait and see.

I thought the issue rather a disappointment after so promising an approach – heirloom knitting updated. Was it that the colours and the photography were a bit on the dull side and didn't do the patterns justice?  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sorry, again. Once the day begins around here, it's two steps forward, three steps back, all day long. And it begins early.

I may not have blogged, but I got a bit of knitting done yesterday. I spent half an hour in Kathy's Knits, very quiet despite being a Saturday, and reached the crown-shaping rounds of the hat. I did a bit more Tokyo shawl, and reeely should finish the stint today. That will leave four bands to do, and a narrow garter edge. And, of course, blocking – but it could add up to another FO for '15.


I have started worrying, rather seriously, about whether Helff and Safety would approve of leaving an employed stranger in charge of the primitive heating arrangements in this house. But if I do get to London, Peggy, it will be a delicious bonus and hardly Cinderella – I've been to Athens this year, and Matt & Hellie's wedding. And I live in Edinburgh, no small thing.

And that's it Рthe day is now raging. Maybe I could try writing down little knitterly thoughts as they occur to me from time to time.23 ێ3333333333333333333333333 Final remark from Perdita.

Friday, November 20, 2015

There is nothing to report this morning except that we have arrived at the beginning of another day in more or less the condition in which we reached the last one. Times are hard, here, so that's an achievement worth mentioning.

I continued with the Tokyo shawl. I might even finish the current stint today, Band 25. n bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbxc (comment from Perdita). Next should be Dunfallandy, but there are movements afoot to get in some respite care here (no small thing) so that I could go to London for a few days. I could see Rachel's new house! I could go to Loop! I could see the Goya exhibition! And Dunfallandy squares would be perfect travel knitting -- so maybe I'll go back to the Sous Sous for now.

I've been to Loop, once, with Shandy, years ago, to sit at Franklin's feet and learn useful and interesting things. But I got to see nothing of the shop that day, except for a sense of an Aladdin's cave of wonders.


One thing achieved yesterday was to plant daffodil bulbs in pots outside the front door. They were a recent supermarket impulse buy, and if a friend hadn't nudged me, they would still have been in their supermarket package when spring came. It is nice to have their cheerful faces to look forward to.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Today is the actual 90th birthday.

Knitting moves forward, if slowly. I've finished the 23rd band of the Tokyo shawl, and have nearly finished the 24th, a small one. I'll go ahead and do band 25, and the first row of 26 as mentioned yesterday, before switching to the Dunfallandy blankie. There are only 29 bands altogether – not far to go. I can't remember how many percentage points I assign to each band for sidebar purposes.

There's going to be a Yarn Festival on Loch Ness next September. At the moment, no news seems to be available about teachers or market or what's actually going to happen. Ten months is not much time – they'd better get cracking. I've signed up to hear more.

Brooklyn Tweed have published an actual, physical book of patterns. I'm afraid I don't see the point. It is still possible to buy the patterns separately. The lookbook is as splendid as Jared's previous ones, if not more so. Why pay more and take up valuable shelf space?

Non-knit, or mostly

Here are pictures from our 90th birthday celebration last Sunday.

Me in my beautiful Socklady gloves:

The group:

Most of us look unwontedly cheerful. If you're interested, from left to right:

Rachel's husband Ed; Greek Helen in Carol Sunday's wonderful “Milano” kit, but I think the knitting owed something to the Relax pattern I had already done twice; Rachel; James's wife Cathy; our niece Clare, my husband's sister's daughter; our grandson Alistair, James' and Cathy's son – grandchildren weren't meant to be included, but a few drifted by; Alexander; another grandson, Helen's and David's son Fergus; and finally James.

Perdita you know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We had a nice weekend, and a good party. Thank you for your kind wishes. Everybody is gone now, and sorely missed. Greek Helen, the last holdout, is airborne Athens-wards as we speak.

There was a dark undertow. An extremely noisy party downstairs on Saturday kept me and Rachel and Ed awake for most of the night. My husband, at the other end of the house, escaped entirely. We had a power cut for most of Sunday – we were all warm enough, and fortunately the party lunch had been planned as a cold one, but still... And there was the news from Paris.

Lynn, I got the pictures you asked for, although I haven't seen them yet. My colourfully gloved hands can be seen, I hope, clutching Perdita in the group photograph, and there are others.

Helen made this mosaic – based, of course, on the famous one at Pompeii – for a dear friend who has been at hand with countless acts of kindness to me and my husband throughout this tedious year. It was handed over during the weekend. You may recognise the dog as one I recently knit.

Not much knitting. I have had two medical appts in the last two days – both kept so promptly that I haven't even crossed the final cables on the Greystone hat. I have successfully resumed the Tokyo shawl. I left it, all those weeks ago, with the first row of a stripe done. That was a good move on my part, if I do say so -- it meant that I could start knitting without having to puzzle out which colour to use next. The colous are muted, and November is dark.

Not that the knitting police would shoot at sight if I got it wrong. I have already made at least one such mistake.

The package from Webs is here (costly, this time) with more madtosh Whiskey Barrel DK to finish the Sous Sous and form the background stripe in a half-brioche pullover with Roast Hatch Chillis to the fore.

Thank you for the tips about possible hats to knock out for Christmas using left-over madtosh Composition Book Grey, perhaps with a red stripe. I've gone for the Awesome Hat you suggested, Kristie, because it's DK (as well as being awesome). I feel sure I've had deals with Eskimimi before. When?

I found in Mary Lou's blog the link to this delicious account of the choices facing the stash-reducer – the very job that Gosia and I are devoting our Friday mornings to. Don't miss.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's are complicated, that's all. Gosia and I had another successful session in the stash cupboard, although we have scarcely reached the yarn as yet. It will be one less hell-hole for the family to clean out when I pass to my reward.

And I have done the required 12 cables for the possum hat – I will now add a 13th for the sake of slouchiness, on Skeindalous' advice. The sofa at Kathy's Knits is proving so pleasant a way to spend 45 minutes of a morning, and so productive, that I am beginning to wonder who else on my Christmas list might like a hat. It is mostly men who remain to have presents assigned. I've got a fair amount of madtosh DK left over from Archie's sweater. A plain-vanilla grey watch cap? And somewhere I ought to have the ball of brilliant red which I used for the inside hems on Archie's sweater. A stripe or two of that?

We shall see.

I finished the one remaining skein of Whiskey Barrel, exactly half-way through the second repeat on the front of the Sous Sous. So: Tokyo shawl this evening.

Rachel and Ed will be here tonight, late, outriders for the 90th birthday party on Sunday. So I probably won't be here for a while – at the worst, not until Wednesday, when the last party-guest, Greek Helen, heads for home.

Although I ought to be able to do better than that.