Saturday, May 13, 2006

Today’s excitement – second only to the fact that I am to have my polo shirt with Dolores on it (comments, yesterday) – is the annual Christian Aid Book Sale in the church of St Stephen and St George qui vicino.

It is something of an Edinburgh institution, and, I believe, the largest single money-earner for Christian Aid in the country. Thousands of books -- and this is a book-y city -- intelligently sorted. The point here is that the knitting table is usually good. I know exactly where to look, and this year I’m going to be there for the off. Other times, I’ve turned up later in the morning, and have had the feeling that the dealers have been in and taken the cream. (You can spot knitting-book dealers by their big cigars and sheepskin coats.)

I don’t think I’ve ever found anything really exciting there, although I’ve upgraded a couple of Dover reprints to the real thing. My big find – well, that was exciting – was the Patons leaflet for the Shetland shawl I knit for Rachel, our eldest, before she was born. I can’t imagine how I ever lost it in the first place, and I had been looking for it through piles of leaflets in charity shops for years.

If they have leaflets this time, I plan to buy the whole pile (after all, it’s for a good cause) and sort through them at my leisure. That time, I stuffed some money into the woman’s hand and didn’t even go on through the rest of the pile.


I’ve now reached the point where there are comparatively few stitches in the wings of my sister’s shawl – 43 in each, to be precise, just at the moment. It’s a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy: I am tempted, now – and I yield, from time to time – to sit down and knock off a couple of rows while I should be doing something else. And thus the stitch count is reduced still further, and the rows go even faster at the next sit-down. I should finish the patterning easily during this coming week, barring incidents and even if I do another one-nighter in Strathardle to get started on the grass-cutting.


Who would have thought that Ted and K. would learn of their appearance in IK here, from me? The Internet has crept so quietly into our lives, day by day over the past decade or so; it’s easy to forget what an extraordinary thing it is.

Sherri, that is interesting news indeed about the “baby elephants”. I have Walker’s books here, and will have a look myself, but if you can find it faster, I would be delighted to hear. What with my sister’s shawl speeding forward, and my hopes that the shrug for the Games won’t take all that long, I should be able to put in a couple of months on the Princess before the end of the year: that’s where elephants are wanted.

Lorna, that’s a very good idea, to look for short-sleeved shirts in the men’s shop. Maybe CafePress keeps polo/golf shirts with men’s wear, and that’s why Dolores hadn’t done one up until now. But with such a garment, there shouldn’t be much difference. One could put up with funny buttoning, since one wouldn’t have to struggle with the problem of men’s long, simian arms.

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