Sunday, December 16, 2007

A better day yesterday. The serious Christmas cards are done, the notes to old friends – what remains is just to write the token ones saying howdy-do to the people one sees anyway and says howdy-do to on a regular basis and to my husband’s family, mercifully small in number, who would be mortally offended not to get cards as well as presents.

I got a bit more than my assigned length of Linked Ribs done yesterday. MaryJo0, I wouldn’t dream of setting myself a daily knitting assignment were it not for the pressures of the season. My Principle of Life has always been not to allow Christmas stress to intrude into knitting, but this year things have run away with me.

[MaryJo’s blog, if you follow the link above, contains a link to Ann from Norway's blog (in Norwegian) which in turn contains a link to a pattern (in English) for Latvian mittens which Ann says are “min første egendesigna” – surely, “my first own design”. Isn’t language wonderful? – and isn’t the Internet so, too?]

Part of seasonal gloom could be dispelled by being outdoors more, in the brief hours of daylight. But that’s hard to achieve when there are all those Christmas cards to write. I did try to observe scarf-wearers when I was out shopping for food yesterday. Some of them wear the scarves on top of their coats and of course wrapped generously around the neck. I think the Linked Ribs would look rather well like that, two layers of links around the neck and not much tail.

It’s perhaps slightly odd, when one stops to think about it, that there are no pictures in “Knitting New Scarves” of the scarves being worn by human beings. My husband intervened again last night to say to be sure to make it long enough. The pattern specifies five feet; I might add an inch or two.

So today I probably ought to work on the gansey – this could be my last chance before the Iowa primary. But instead I will think of the small hat which I have added to the schedule just to increase stress – I hope to wind the yarn and cast it on. We are going to lunch with my husband’s sister tomorrow to exchange presents. I’ll take the hat to knit. I am not normally allowed to take knitting when we go to see her, it is ill-mannered, my husband says, but needs must, this time.

Bletchley Park (yesterday’s blog, plus comments)

They’re said to be very clever there. They took the money right at the end of November, and maybe they did it because they saw that the card I had paid with was about to expire. I’m sure I’ll get the stuff in the end. I’ll go out on Tuesday or Wednesday, if nothing has turned up, and get some make-weight presents, with the thought of sending the real ones on to Thessaloniki and Beijing in due course.


  1. Given my topsy-turvy schedule, I generally have to rely on my drive home from work in the morning to get my dose of sunlight. As it takes me an hour, it's usually sufficient, but given the recent spate of wintry weather and accompanying clouds have made it a bit more difficult. Which is, I think, why I've not been very productive of late. Just under a week until the solstice, though.

  2. there is a lot of discussion about whether it is polite or not to knit in public or when visiting over at ravelry. in the 70es and 80es i would knit everywhere. even in school where we were permitted to do it if we could prove we could listen.... i could. i went to a talk with a danish ethnographer who said she despised women knitting in public because she didn't like that women thought they always should multi task. i stuck to that for a while. now i find that i need a lot of peace and quiet to knit the things i challenge myself with and i don't like flashing my purple readers. but i would never say it is ill mannered and i have noticed that some men find it very sweet when women knit.

  3. Jean, I recently heard a good rule-of-thumb, which says that scarves "should" be as long as the wearer is tall.

    Which is tough if your recipient is on the tall side, but certainly an ample length.

  4. I had a good laugh about your principles of life not letting you get too Xmas-stressed: I've been putting off my Xmas baking until tomorrow with a mental diversion of doing a custom fit knit glove. I have it down now -- narrow wrist, long fingers, man's medium size palm/hand -- I switched needle sizes constantly after some frogging, but definitely have been happy for the .... ummm procrastination/diversion. Tomorrow is another day. says Scarlett -- for baking. I also make my own peppermint bark with white chocolate chunks and bittersweet chocolate.

    But I'm definitely going to start the Earth Wrap stole very soon -- the dpns for the gloves wreck some havoc with my upper shoulder issues and it's NOT fun. Anatomy is quite interesting in this case! MaryjoO