Ah – the secret is to turn Neil Macgregor on as soon as I’ve booted the computer, and let him talk while I read emails and look at the Lolcats and warm up the brain cells with a jigsaw puzzle. That way he's finished before I’m ready to start writing.
He was talking about a stone chopping tool in the one I listened to this morning, the oldest man-made object. And knitting could be said to feature, obliquely, when he said that it is a human characteristic to make things more complicated than they strictly need to be. (A simple woollen tube, with tubular arms attached, would keep Joe warm. The Grandson Sweater doesn’t really need patterns.) The theme of the whole series is going to be that we define ourselves as human by making things, and coming to depend on the things we make.
He said that the best thing about being Director of the British Museum is that every so often he gets to hold something from the collection in his hands. It reminded me of a passage in Diana Cooper’s “The Light of Common Day”, the middle volume of her autobiography: “He suggested on Sunday that we should all go over to Windsor Castle and see the library there. ‘No one ever sees it…It’s a bit off the beaten track. There’s an awfully good fellow there called Mr. Morshead. He’s most awfully nice. He told me the other day to go over any time I like.’”
The speaker was Edward VIII, the King of England.
I am within a scant half-inch of the neck shaping. Today should be the day.
The girth looks less alarming now that it's also got length. The bottom edge is still curling.
I’ve been studying Slicer-Smith as much as possible, in the intervals when the computer is being particularly slow. I think I’m beginning to get the idea of the Harlequin Coat. As well as wanting a day off to start that hat, I want another one to knit a gauge-square in Koigu.
I haven’t figured out yet how to alter the size. The schematics seem to show three sizes, so there must be a way. The issue there is, who to knit it for? Unless I am going to enter my Edith Sitwell phase, it will be far too dramatic for me and anyway I don’t lead that sort of life. Cathy is a possible choice, distinctly stylish, and the one among daughters and daughters-in-law who probably moves in society the most. Cathy is tiny. Greek Helen is another possibility, but she’s in line for a shawl.
The hat: Tamar, I’m going to knit it, as I did Lizzie’s, with two strands of sock-weight-wool held together. That produces a very firm, cosy fabric and I think obviates the need to line it completely.