Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Much excitement yesterday, some of it involving knitting.

James and his family are now safely established in Strathardle, and my husband and I have a quiet day to regroup before we join them.

Much needed. My sister-in-law has conceived a desire for a particular item among the family papers which have travelled with us in cases and boxes from house to house in the 49 years we have been married, but have never before been otherwise disturbed. I have been putting her off with the legitimate excuse that we needed a strong man to help us get them down. Yesterday we had James.

The walk-in cupboard hadn't been turned out -- why should it be? -- in the 11 years we have been here. Yesterday, it was. I have scrubbed the shelves and floors, and today will replace some of this stuff. The rest will have to wait until the item required has been found or despaired of. That's a long time to have a mess like this around. She owes me.

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On the brighter (=knitting) side:

-- My sister recently bought me, on eBay, a WWII “Hand Knits for Men in the Service” booklet. It arrived yesterday, in prime condition (I suspect it has never been knit from). And it’s fascinating. The socks are finished by “weaving” which I take to mean Kitchener’ing although the word is not used. For once, the non-appearance of the word is interesting. The book is dated 1942. I suspect all the more strongly that when we finally track “Kitchener stitch” to its source, we’ll find ourselves in Canada.

The patterns are basic and useful-looking, and all illustrated on men dressed as civilians. Why? A sudden re-packaging, perhaps, of a Men's Knits booklet of 1941?

--IK turned up. I have no doubt at all that it’s the best of the mags at the moment. There are several things to tempt. Old ladies can’t wear the wide, low necks they suddenly seem to favour, and long, narrow sleeves on several of the exemplars make adaptation difficult. But I am strangely tempted by “Glasgow Lace” – why Glasgow? – whose sleeves could be widened for wearing over a shirt.

-- I’m half-way through the Hexagon panel on the Long Shawl, the last major panel.

-- That VKB is up to £12.60, with more than 24 hours to go. An early bidder came back in, at 20 past midnight today. Does that suggest an American with bottomless pockets? The price is now, I think, about as high as a dealer could go with any hope of a profit, so the field is open for us loonies. I added a bit to the already preposterous sum I have authorised my friend to bid for me. Maybe there won’t be any other snipers. Maybe we’ll get it for 50p more than the then-high-price. Maybe.


I suddenly bought myself a skirt yesterday – size 14! It fits, but there’s no slack. I trust the thought of it will keep me on the straight and narrow – an appropriate metaphor.

Obligatory grandchild photos below. From left to right, Alistair Miles with his Gameboy, and his sisters Kirsty and Rachel, watching television.

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