Sunday, March 18, 2007

Laetare Sunday

Knittingkate, I had always assumed that “Sassenach” meant “Southerner”, on no evidence – yesterday I looked it up, prompted by your question. It is a Gaelic-speaker’s word for “Saxon”. Apparently Irish Gaelic uses it too, and the Welsh have a related word. So, strictly, it has to mean the English only, perhaps even including the lowland Scots.

Here we are back again. We had a nice time, although spring has not made many inroads in Strathardle yet. There was no new floral display to incorporate in my March calendar effort, so here is a picture of my husband working on a weedy border in front of the house. Just as we were leaving I spotted our primrose in bloom, so that is another possibility.

We passed many daffodils on the way up, but ours are not out yet. I picked a few yesterday morning to bring back, however.

Ketki’s gansey progresses. It is beginning to seem endless, but this time I really did polish off Mrs Laidlaw’s pattern. There remain only a few nearly-plain rows and the front is finished. Then we have provisional casting-on, shoulder straps, neck gussets, all the fun of the fair. One day Alexander will have to take a proper picture to show off the surface texture.

Look at that cone! The knitting may be taking forever, but this time I finished off a whole cone and attached the next one. It was gratifying to be reminded how big they are.

We were back yesterday in time for the rugby. Ireland beat Italy, predictably, in Rome. France beat Scotland, thoroughly, in Paris. Scotland has not had a very good season. Until yesterday, neither had Wales; they had even managed to lose to Scotland. The last match of all yesterday was Wales v. England, in Cardiff. And Wales won. I’m afraid everybody in the Six Nations enjoys beating England (and seeing England beaten) most of all, so it was a grand climax to the day and to the season.

While I watched, I went on with the ribbing of the Wallaby sweater for a little Miles boy in The Yarn Yard’s March club offering. It was one of those days – we’ve all been there – when I seemed to rib and rib and rib with no result. Three times around, at least, for every round added to the work. But at last I finished, and attached the hand-painted yarn. (The ribbing is in the solid yarn.) I hope to do enough today to see how it’s going to work. I’m hoping for a sort of ikat effect.

Old friends from Boston are coming next week, and the Princess, for all her charms, is not company knitting. So a couple more days of this to get things thoroughly started. I think I’m a little bit afraid to pick up the Princess – can I still do it? Will I still enjoy it? But I felt those hesitations after the last long interval; I think I’ll be all right.

There’s lots of news on the VKB front. Soon.

I’m sure I explained about Laetare Sunday at tedious length last year, so I won’t go into it all again. One word shall suffice: cider.


  1. Dear Jean, Thanks for your clarification on the word Sassenach. After my dictionary failed me, I wanted to ask a Scots resident rather than Google as Google has come up with some odd interpretations of Australian slang words in the past - ones that I have yet to meet in common Australian usage! I wanted to know what the user's definition heldit to be rather than the 'erudite' online version. And thanks for the photo of the primroses - I'd always wondered what they looked like when I read Enid Blyton books : ).

  2. What yarn is it that you have in the pink cone?

  3. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Dear Jean .. The Calcutta Cup sweater is glorious .. like primroses iand daffodils in March! Thank you for all of them .. a comfort in the midst of snow roaring in from Boston ... I hope your guests have a quieter journey in a Scottish spring.
    My word for Laetare is 'coffee'....
    peace to your house, Elizabeth

  4. My mother brought me up to disapprove of commercialized celebrations like Mother's Day, and then decided in her later years (she didn't live to real old age) that she would rather like it if some mark of the occasion were made, so I used to buy her a card and write a disapproving message inside - so we were both happy.