Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A good day, yesterday. My husband and I enjoyed the tedious routine as rarely before, talking about current affairs over lunch, resting in the afternoon, watching “our soap” while knitting and reading the newspapers, eating supper off our laps while watching a video (“True Grit”, which turned out not to be the movie either of us expected). All’s well. We should be more enterprising today.

I’ve just read Swapna's blog entry based on Janet’s comment here yesterday. But isn’t there a specific Hindu day for fasting for one’s husband? I heard about it on the radio once. A hospital consultant was asked whether it wasn’t a backwards and superstitious practice for a distinguished woman like herself, and she said that, given the importance to society of stable marriages and happy families, it was a good deal better than beating your husband about the head and shoulders with a blunt instrument.

I wonder if Ketki does it for Alexander?

Emma in France, I’ve never tried multistrand knitting for lace. In general, I like it, both for the colour effects that can be achieved – Kaffe uses it a lot – and for the sort of fabric produced. Would it be tricky, though, for lace? I’ll be interested to hear how you get on.

Go Knit In Your Hat has a good current blog-entry about the joys of Ravelry. She pointed me to one I hadn’t considered, the way it can be used to look for a pattern, when you have a vague idea of what you’d like to do for someone. It is endlessly fascinating to see how the same pattern turns out in different hands, with different yarns, and the cross-referencing in Ravelry is perhaps its strongest feature.

Although there doesn’t seem to be a way to get a yarn out of Stash and into Projects – it does occasionally happen – without deleting it from the former and starting afresh in the latter.

My sister hopes to join, once it’s open to the public, just so she can wander around and see what Franklin and I are up to.

I ordered Ptsilised Koekirjad this morning, inspired by missalicefaye's blog. Estonian lace patterns, I think. Book-buying doesn’t feel as depraved as yarn-buying. Miss Alice and I are friends in that alternative universe called Ravelry.


  1. I find Ravelry pattern searches (almost) endlessly fascinating. And useful: see what yarn substitutions have been tried, find out what the garment looks like on a real person, what alterations people have made to the pattern. There's a sweater in my queue (there's another feature that I'm beginning to find useful) that wouldn't be there if I hadn't seen someone's revised version.

    Yarn searches, on the other hand... it's like peering through a window at a fabulous display of pastries!

  2. That book is full lots of interesting and beautiful patterns--a worthy addition to any lace knitting library, I think. I will warn you about the production quality of the book, though--the photos aren't such high-quality and the pages have a tendency to fall out. And in case you haven't found it already, there's a translation of the symbols here:

  3. Pulling a yarn from the stash category and putting it to use in a WIP is definitely on the list of updates and improvements. I'm looking forward to that bit!

    I've also found the pattern searches fascinating - for me, it's all about body shape: since sample garments are usually shown on a svelte young thing in photos, it's nice to see them on different bodies.

  4. Of course there's a special day to fast for your husband...we need holidays for everything. Basically, the weekly fasting that I was mentioning in my blog, depends on which god you are praying to. For instance, most Shiva fasts occur on Mondays, and I think it's more tradition than anything else. However, I think the specific fast you are speaking about is called Karva Chauth, where women all across India undertake a day long fast for a continuing good relationship with their husband and for his wellbeing. They break this fast at night when they hold a silver tray up in the air and attempt to see the moon's reflection in it. The actual origin of the holiday and fast is rather sweet. Long ago brides were very young when they left their families to live in their in-laws homes. Once arriving there they would have another girl become their 'god sister' and these two were to remain friends forever. The idea was because the girl was so young, she needed a friend in the early days of her marriage. Then later they also added a special day where the god-sisters in the area would all come together for a day of fasting and celebration and in the process they decided it would be nice to say this was for their husbands good health.

    But the story does not end there (sorry!). The tradition of looking in the silver plater comes from a story that I'm a bit hazy on, but basically queen Veeravati decided to fast for her husband and on the morning of Karva Chauth observed a strict fast. But, she was a fragile weakling and felt horrible as the day progressed. Her 7 brothers felt so sorry for her, they decided they would trick her so she could eat, so they reflected light with a mirror through the trees and she believed the moon had risen, so she broke her fast. Upon breaking her fast, Veeravathi was informed that her husband had suddenly fallen ill and was dying, as she rushed to his side, she came across Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati, who told her that her husband had died because she broke her Karva Chauth fast. Parvati, seeing Veeravathi's distress and learning she was deceived, told her that the king would be restored if Veeravathi promised to follow the strict rigors of Karva Chauth from there on in..which she did and everyone lives happily ever after.

  5. Oops I forgot the most important part of the story, so from there on after, women no longer looked for only the light of the moonrise, but also looked for the reflection of the moon in the silver platter so they could be sure they were not being deceived.

    Okay that's really the end of the story!

  6. carlarey2:06 AM

    I want to know what version of True Grit you saw. Were you expecting John Wayne and got something else instead?
    I can't quite picture the two of you settling down for an evening with that particular "Duke".