Friday, June 23, 2006

Rachel's 48th Birthday

If ever a day is The First Day of the Rest of One’s Life, it’s the day one’s first child is born. We have reached the rather alarming, and little-documented, stage of life where one’s children’s birthdays sound even more alarming than one’s own. Forty-eight? I am the mother of a woman of forty-eight?

She was born quite early in the morning, in Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow all those years ago. I was delivered back to the ward in good time for breakfast – a big bowl of sugarless porridge – and the newspapers. I bought a copy of the Express (which I still have) and looked up the horoscope for my new little baby. What it said was fully worthy of the Delphic Oracle: “not a day you will remember”.


I have picked up all the stitches for the edging of the shrug, and am knitting away. I tried to arrange it for photography last night, and got into a panic because I couldn’t find the fronts. The whole thing is sort of a tube with sleeves, and for a while I really thought I had somehow or other fused the fronts together. (I’m not strong on 3-d geometry, as I said just the other day.)

But I have carefully retraced my steps in my head, and I can’t see what could be wrong. I started picking up stitches at the lower right front, went up the front, across the back neck, down the left front, and finally across the back. Unless I’ve actually twisted it into a Moebius shrug, everything must be OK. Right? We’ll soon see.

A tube with sleeves is precisely what a shrug is, anyway.


Thanks for your note, Angel. I’ve never heard of Alan Dart patterns, but the principle is clearly exactly the same as for me and my VKB’s. I used to think sadly about how many VKB’s must have been tossed on how many skips, as households were cleared after the deaths of knitters. eBay will have changed all that. Heirs, and those ghoulish dealers who advertise “Houses Cleared”, must all now have an eBay pile – and VKB’s and Alan Dart patterns and other ephemera which will mean a lot to someone or other, now get saved.

The auction for No. 40 finishes this evening. I left my “killer bid” earlier in the week – it’s plenty for a 1950’s VKB by any rational standard. But I may bid another £1.39 in the final seconds, just to hone my sniping skills for the Big One on Monday, when the coverless wartime No. 23 comes up. There’s no bid for No. 40 yet except mine, and no bid at all for 23.

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