Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My swift

I can't start knitting the Marging Colors for awhile, but I took a couple of baby steps yesterday in that direction. First of all, I need access to the swift, which has been occupied for fully a year by a half-wound ball of Helen's Lace in a beautiful shade called Pioneer. I bought it for Thomas the Younger's shawl, and decided it was too dark for a baby and so knit the shawl of something else. Winding a skein of Helen's Lace is no joke, and I had no incentive until now to finish the job. (Such winding as I've had to do in the interim, has been done on my knee.)

I got the swift from an antique shop a few years ago -- my husband likes that kind of shopping, I do not, but there it was. I admired it, but it was only as I thought about it afterwards that I decided I wanted it, and went back. It's been very useful, and it looks kinda nice too, I feel. It's certainly nice to have a swift that can serve as part of the furniture and doesn't have to be dismantled.

So now I'm winding Helen's Lace. It'll take a while. My major design books -- Vicki Square's Knitting Great Basics and the Vogue Knitting book -- are in the country assisting with Rachel's striped Koigu, but I think I can start to make some tentative notes about the Merging Colors sweater anyway. Hoffentlich, by the time the decks are clear and I'm ready to start knitting, I'll have something to knit.


... but sort of following on with the theme of shopping. Alexander (father of Jamie and Thomas-the-Younger) rang up yesterday to tell us he had recently seen a picture in a charity shop window which looked to him like Graham Sutherland (major British 20th century). He went by a couple of days later and it was still there so he went in for a closer look, and found that it was signed "GS '58". It was priced at a tenner, and Alexander tried to buy it, but the man turned it over and found "Graham Sutherland" written on the back, and withdrew it from sale.

I passed the telephone to my husband at the point where "GS '58" was mentioned, and heard the end of the story from him. He was sorry Alexander failed to get the picture, but since Alexander (who collects modern art) didn't want it for his own walls, my husband really wasn't much agitated by the near miss. Evincing thereby, I think, a genuine simplicity of spirit. If the picture is by Sutherland -- the anecdote I have related is suggestive, but proves nothing -- Alexander could have sold it for a five-figure sum, maybe six, I don't really know. My husband is not senile, nor utterly unworldly, but art is much more important to him than money.

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