Thursday, September 10, 2009

I think we’ll attempt Strathardle today. I’m somewhat better – and the big thing is, I’m not worse. I really worried a little bit yesterday about the possibility of being seriously, swine-flu-y ill, and stranding my husband in the country. He doesn’t drive any more, and would be hard put to it to walk as far as the village. And Alexander couldn’t get across country to help because a landslide at Rest and Be Thankful has cut him off from the outside world.

I knew that old folks didn’t seem to get swine flu as often or as badly as other people, but I didn’t know that we are supposed to have built up an immunity. Why are most of the people who have died of that truly dreadful thing, new-variant-CJD, so young? That's counter-intuitive. We oldies have been eating hamburger for many more decades.

And thanks for the reminders on dates. Of course the sequences I am so enjoying go on until 10/11/12 and 12/12/12. Then there’ll still be 11/12/13 and 12/13/14 (although we British won’t get that last one).

Angel, I’ll certainly take pictures of my vegetable crop. Don’t expect too much. And congratulations on the PhD -- Dr. Angel.


I did wind a skein and cast on the February Lady Sweater yesterday. Thus are the good habits of the middle years swept aside in old age. I’m not getting gauge, too small, so what I did will have to be regarded as a large swatch. There are holes at either end of the buttonhole, anyway. As far as one can tell at this stage, and allowing for the fact that it's too small, the neckline seems all right.

The yarn is heaven to handle. (Yes, MaryJo – Araucania “Nature Wool”.) I remain uneasy about the colour. It’s a fine episcopal purple -- the spelling checker wants a capital E on “Episcopal”; it’s not often actually silly like that – in artificial light and even dim natural light, but rather alarmingly acid in good light.

It occurred to me that “nearly solid” colours in yarn must, until recently, have been regarded as a failure by the dyers. It was clever of somebody to see the potential. Just as it was clever of someone to realise that people would pay you to allow them to walk around wearing a shirt advertising your product.

I’ve heard from Beijing – James says he and his family can be in Strathardle (as well as Helen and hers) to coax my husband in for lunch during KnitCamp next summer. The organisers really couldn’t have chosen a better date or more convenient spot for me if they had had me in mind from the beginning.


Alexander sent this picture yesterday, with the remark “Count yourself lucky you don’t have to compete at Dalmally”. I suspect those aren’t his vegetables, although those are certainly his sons, James-the-Younger on the left, and his brother Thomas-the-Younger. Their costumes suggest that Strathardle had better weather than Dalmally on Games Day, anyway.


  1. OK I'll bite why won't the British get 12/13/14???? Is it that day/month/year thing? Ever since Canada went metric no one seems to know which way to write it. Very annoying when you work in an office.

  2. In my reading on the 1918 flu, it seems it was the same way, the young and healthy were hit hardest. Nevertheless, it seems a good idea to be cautious.

  3. Gerri3:18 PM

    Not sure what was meant by the hamburger's something on the immunity: Also, I think the deal in 1918 was that the younger bodies were able to work hard to fight off the infection, and they worked too hard, causing more serious harm.

    Anyway, enjoy revived health in Strathardle. Go easy at the harvesting and make time to rest. Rest cures a lot.

  4. Anonymous4:01 PM

    I'm anxious to see your February Lady Sweater progress. I think the yarn is a lovely shade that should look good on you. I hope that you will provide modeled photos when one of your lovely children is around...

  5. =Tamar5:52 PM

    I remember when people first began wearing t-shirts with advertising on them. It was when teenage boys could pump fuel at a service station in order to learn by watching how cars were repaired; they wore the station's official t-shirt and it gave them status among the other boys, as being employed and, by implication, knowing about car mechanics. That was how "brand name" t-shirts became a status symbol.

    Knitting: Have you come across techknitting blogspot com? He has a good pair of tutorials on buttonholes, Dec 26, 2008 and Jan 28, 2009. If I ever knit another buttonhole, I will use that method.

  6. I got the news today that I tested negative for swine flu, which is only useful to the extent that I know I need to get the vaccine this fall. Still have a bit of a lingering cough, though.

  7. Judith in Ottawa2:46 AM

    CJD is a prion, which is totaly different from bacteria and viruses to which our systems can develop immunity. Prions act in ways we don't understand to fold proteins into knots. Very nasty things that can't be killed in a petri dish, because they aren't really 'alive'.

    I started the February Lady Sweater last week after your initial mention (it had been in my mental queue for a while). I have a slight stoop at my back neck, so I jammed a bunch of short rows in the back section of the yoke between the raglan lines. Gained about an inch of extra depth to keep my neck warm and the back bottom edge from riding up.

  8. thanks for the color note, Jean.

    Hope your family in Beijing stays well -- friends of ours at the US Embassy says there is flu in the elementary school and they are keeping kids home -- and school just started. All the kids are being tested, sigh. She has 4 kids there and someone always seems to be sick!

  9. Thanks for the congratulations Jean- and I am sure your garden will yield up something fun. The aphids have taken down my herbs for good now, so I have to start anew in the pots out by the front porch...

    The flu is spreading around the university where I work. I keep telling my sick kids not to come to class, but I fear I will get it soon. You know my grandmother was one of the survivors of the 1918 flu (it almost wiped out her family.) My best friend caught the H1N1 last week, (she's a doctor and works in a hospital) and was out for a week. She said that it is miserable and that she had not been that sick in a long, long time. Ugh. Bad stuff.

  10. Anonymous8:34 PM

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