Sunday, July 29, 2007

I seriously wish I had done the insertion the way you did, Kathy, knitting it as given. Row 11 was OK: that’s where the stitch count was increased back up to the base line. I’m toiling through 12 and fearing mess.

It’s a simple k2tog, YO row in itself, but for part of it I’m not properly aligned with row 11 which will affect the appearance of the base of the second rank of laurel leaves. Part of row 11 had its own difficulties because, as attentive readers will remember, I changed gear after about the first 80 stitches of row 10.

I started out all right in 12, then – oh, most basic of errors when the knitting is too easy – got confused about which end of the row I had started from and “corrected” what I had been doing. I corrected back before the half-way point. But oh dear.

Added to this, 12 itself is difficult in the most basic way – it’s hard to get the needle through the stitches after the fancy-schmancy stuff in row 11 which increased the stitch count and formed the bases of the new laurel leaves.

I think I should be far enough along to see how bad things are before we scoot off to Strathardle, probably on Tuesday. And, hey! I have walked along the banks of the Peneus, the very spot where Apollo pursued Daphne until she turned into the world’s first laurel bush. I bet Sharon Miller has never done that.

It’s August

Helen and the Boys from Thessaloniki will be here this evening, insh’Allah. James phoned yesterday, not from Beijing but from London. He is keen to get his children started on their entries for the Games. It’s all about to begin.

I’m still reading “Lisey’s Story” at a great clip, less happy with the supernatural parts than the ones solidly grounded in Maine. Kristin Nicholas has been re-reading “The Egg and I” and said something on her blog recently about how much more interesting it can be to read a book which actually comes from a particular period, than reading books about that period. She expressed the idea rather more neatly.

I have recently re-read one of my all-time faves, Pamela Hansford Johnson’s “The Humbler Creation”. It is gloriously evocative of post-war England: what genteel poverty felt like, the pleasures of smoking, the genteel-poor attitude to sex. I think, a century hence, Stephen King will be read with interest for his grasp of the texture of turn-of-the-millennium non-urban American life. He was wise to stay home in Maine after he hit the big time.

Some old friends from Leicester – where we lived in the late ‘60’s – came to lunch yesterday. We had a great time. She is my age, within a few months. He is maybe as much as a year younger than my husband. They seemed vastly spryer.


  1. Mary Lou1:16 PM

    I made a note re. the Egg and I after reading Kristin's post. I do enjoy reading fiction from a particular time period rather than history because I think you do get a feel that can't be replicated. I enjoy reading contemporary fiction in translation for the same reasons. Currently plowing thru Henning Mankell's books.

  2. Beverly2:51 PM

    This is one step removed from contemporary fiction.... but in the 1940's Elswyth Thane wrote a series of novels following a family in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, early 20th century, etc. Not surprisingly, her writing ABOUT the Civil War in the '40's reveals a lot about social attitudes in the 40's!

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