Monday, May 25, 2009

I pressed peacefully onward with the Princess yesterday, enjoying it even more now that I’ve fixed that mess and decided not to try to finish before I start the Games-knitting.

The washing machine passed its stress test – except that there was an appreciable amount of water on top of it when the job was finished. (It’s a front-loader.) How is that possible? It is miles away from the Downstairs Lavatory, at the other end of the house.


Thank you for your help, especially Beverley who has actually done it. Tamar, your indefatigable research was very useful (although fashionsthrutime denied me access to the image you found).

I wrote to James – there’s no use pursuing this idea if he wouldn’t wear one. (Alexander wears his kilt to the Games, and for mountain-climbing, but would never ponce around in lace, I fear.) James said:

“It would be something of a fashion statement, but we do go to the St. Andrew’s ball most years which is quite formal. Googling it just now, I see reference to jabots being normally worn with Montrose jackets (not sure about what the distinctive features of those are) – which I don’t have. Do you think I could get away with it?”

That sounds to me like a man who could be persuaded – and St Andrews Night is still to come, in Ought Nine.

I went to the kiltmaker we patronize in Blairgowrie, and found him gone. Now a coffee shop. Change and decay in all around I see.

So I went to the other, fancier one.. They were extremely kind and helpful. They didn’t have a jabot made up – I think if one wanted to buy one, they would whip one up in the back room. But they tried to describe how it’s done, and even made me a sketch. They take a single layer of lace, and run an s-shaped line of stitching down it to gather it in. I partly understand, but only partly. I’d prefer a double layer of lace anyway, as Beverley did for hers. I am going to have to face up to visiting a snooty Edinburgh kiltmaker.

I can hold out the prospect of bringing James in for his Montrose jacket if they’ll help me make a jabot now.


The big family news is that Rachel’s daughter Helen-the-Youngest – Hellie, in fact – has a job. With Penguin. She graduated a year ago, with ambitions to get into publishing. She acquired an temporary dead-end job on the fringes of the industry, but gave it up to go traveling with friends, as the young do. She hadn’t taken a “gap year” before university. Her anxious grandmother felt that this was no time for anyone to give up any job.

Hellie is second from the left in the Grandchildren picture in my sidebar, next to Archie Drake of Athens and Mt Pelion.

A friend in London heard of the opening at Penguin, Hellie applied from somewhere in South America, was called for interview, flew home a bit earlier than planned. And got the job.

Here is an artistic picture of the shadows of Hellie and her friends, somewhere in Chile.


  1. Water on top of your front loader? After being serviced? Check that all the hoses into and out of the washer in the back are properly tightened. Perhaps there is a small leak that sprays water from the back onto the top of the washer as it is filling.

  2. Love the shadow picture! Like something one would see on an urn...

  3. =Tamar3:57 AM

    I think the S-shaped line of stitching will gather the lace so that it will make two layers, each of which is ruffled, with the ruffles alternately shorter and longer. Try it on plain cloth first to see the effect. The gathering thread becomes the top edge, which is sewn to the supporting piece in back.

    I agree with Lynn - the shadow picture looks like an ancient urn or rock painting.

  4. Good Lord! Who's about to be pitched off the end of the precipice? The spear carriers seem very fierce, even monochromatically.