Saturday, May 27, 2006


Yesterday my husband tried to find a box of New Yorker clippings which he believed was in the cupboard off the sitting-room, where my stash lives. We’re pretty sure, by now, that it isn’t, but in the course of the search we turned the cupboard out. Much of the result remains to be dealt with today.

The astonishing thing was that it wasn’t bursting with stash – although there is a lot of that – but with packing materials: boxes, padded bags, wrapping paper of all sorts, bubble wrap, corrugated paper. All items perfectly worthy of preservation – could-be-useful-some-time – but the collection was completely out of hand. So we’re throwing a lot of it away. The Flylady would be proud of us.

The stash had to come out for a while, to allow access to the empty boxes behind it. I resolved to get rid of the bags of unappealing oddballs. Shetland oddballs are with Shetland yarn, and might always be incorporated in a Fair Isle. Rowan oddballs are in a Rowan bag for use when next the KF bug bites. That leaves a lot of real junk that even the Oxfam shop would disdain. I’ll look for a charity, and failing that, I’m going to have to harden my heart and throw it away.

There are two big grey US mailbags, just there to the right of the television. We’ll never use them again, but wouldn’t dream of throwing them away.

Knitting

Here’s the finished shawl. I’m pleased with it. I had worried about size: I thought I translated Amedro’s specification of x balls of Shetland cobweb-weight into an appropriate amount of Sharon's merino lace, but something must have been gained in the translation from ounces to yards to metres to grams. I bought twice as much as I needed. Since Sharon’s yarn is said to be slightly finer than Shetland cobweb, as soon as I grasped that I wasn’t going to use all of the yarn, I was afraid the shawl would be smaller than I wanted. But it measures exactly what Amedro says it should.

I also worried that the simple Amedro roundels around the edge and across the top, would look silly so near Sharon’s more elegant ones in the wings of the shawl. But that’s all right, too: they just look different.

So that’s done. I cast on the shrug in Debbie Bliss pure silk yesterday and am knitting away.

In glancing at Sharon’s site just now, to get the URL for the link above, I discovered her new gossamer mohair, for Orenburg shawls. I think I can hold out – there isn’t time – but oh, dear! The text is interesting, too.

Pedantry

What fun! “Mitigate against” and “advocate my responsibility” are new to me, Mama Lu, and delicious indeed. I have pretty well given up over “decimate”, although it continues to grate every time it goes past. Sherri, you’re too good for me. Whenever I launch myself into a sentence which turns out to require the past tense of “lead” I have to stop and re-phrase, because I don’t know what to do.

I can add two more of my betes noires: “disinterested” for “uninterested” and “beg the question” meaning “demand that the question be put”. The Prime Minister’s son recently left his Washington internship, perhaps because he had been assigned to an anti-Iraq-war senator, but his American superiors said that he had been “uninterested” in his work, and my heart leapt up. Almost universally, here, he would have been said to be “disinterested”.

The spelling checker caught me up on my first attempt at the past tense of “leap”, in that paragraph. That was a close one!

2 comments:

  1. The shawl is lovely, Jean.

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  2. from an american perspective, and apologies for our barborous use of the wonderful language,
    the past tense of "lead" is "led".
    'he led me up the mountain'.
    it is appalling how language is degenerating. in part i find it arises from excessive cuteness on the part of advertising agencies, and then who knows.
    sometimes the being older is hard.

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