Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ash Wednesday

Perhaps, after all. no illustration today.

The eye news is as bad as feared. I'm really not safe on the roads, and will have a (very expensive) cataract operation at some point in the next couple of months. I won't, at least for the moment, go in to the tedious reasons for why-not-immediately. Waiting for the National Health Service would get me the operation free, but would mean waiting all summer.

I had thought a cataract operation involved peeling off a cataract and revealing, anew, the world. My man says that it involves, on the contrary, OPENING THE EYE (mustn't shout) and replacing the lens with a plastic one. I will even have some imput, as we say, on choosing how myopic my new eye is to be. Could this be true? Is the man sane?

I am fortunate that my life is a fairly structured one. I cannot fall upon the floor and shout and scream. There are beds to be made and meals to be cooked and a general understanding that too much fuss is not to be made. But oh! dear.

I don't know what we'll do about Strathardle. Take a chance, I suspect, when my seed potatoes arrive and need to be set out to chit; perhaps pick a moment when we can stay a whole week; and then, once we're safely back here,  wait. My eye man says that in some American states it is possible to get a restricted license, allowing one, for instance, to drive in broad daylight but not at night. I think he thinks I'm more or less all right for that sort of thing. But the Worst Case Scenario is when something happens and the insurance company says, you-didn't-tell-us-your-sight-was-that-bad.

Enough of that. I've resumed knitting the Fair Isle jacket. I was wandering around the internet yesterday and discovered that the Knitting Curmudgeon (http://www.knittingcurmudgeon.com./) recommends the book "Sweaters From Camp" for its pages of technique. I own it, and got it out, and indeed it's pretty good. I will soon need to know how to deal with steeks. I'll need to cut (and secure?) the armhole steeks, in order to knit the sleeves. Even before that, how to shape the neckline? I had thought that I would switch, at that point, to knitting back and forth, cutting the yarn after every row and starting again at the other end -- I've done that at some point in my past, and I believe that that's what they do on Shetland. What I (and the Shetlanders, as I understand it) refuse to do, is purl.

But Meg says in "Sweaters from Camp" that a steek will work at the neckline, too. I don't quite see how, but I'll think about it. I have, in my day, knit a sweater right up to the neck, defined a v-neck with first basting and then machine stitching, and then cut it out. Worked fine.

I've been in touch with a website which offers commenting facilities (and is used by both Queer Joe and the Curmudgeon). I've copied the necessary code, and I've printed out my template to CONtemplate. So maybe that's progress.

jean@jeanmile.demon.co.uk

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