Monday, February 22, 2010

As soon as I had had my porridge yesterday, I grasped what Pagoldh means: baste the sleeve to the body flat, so that the basting thread goes through three layers of knitting. I’ll certainly do it, and tonight could be the night. Once I’ve got an answer – how deep to cut? – it’ll do for both sides, with the lice as an utterly accurate guide.

Today’s Excitements

I lost a crown from a front tooth on Saturday. Consider yourselves fortunate that I do not have a webcam – I might smile at you. The dentist tends to keep his appointments on time, so I won’t get much knitting out of this, but I must ring up and book myself in.

We got an ugly electricity bill, also on Saturday. Lots of people are getting ugly electricity bills about now – fuel costs have gone up, and January was extraordinarily cold. But this one was bad enough that I went to have a look at the metre. According to it, since it was read in January – the reading on which the bill is based – we have used substantially more electricity than we normally use in a year.

So I’ve got to ring the electricity board, too. Will I get to speak to them, or will it be a call centre? My husband’s niece worked until recently for one such in Glasgow. Among their clients was -- is -- the American Embassy. I feel mildly horrified. It means that you can’t trust anybody.


A good session with the hat yesterday. The Fair Isle star was tough, with the double yarns: grit-the-teeth-and-knit-the-next-stitch, sort of thing. It’s sloppily done, too – there’s a half-star at the back where I haven’t even bothered to find a pattern to fit horizontally. As you can see below. And I ran low on red, but fortunately found a ball of yarn which, used with a strand of the original red, passes the old Galloping Horse test.

But now that the star is done, I think it looks rather jolly, like the ear-flap hats one sees in the streets. Not far, now, to the crown shaping. Next Sunday, or the next trip to Strathardle, whichever comes first, should pretty well finish it off.


Thanks for the pointer to EZ's account in Knitting Around of Carnival Time in Germany, Mary Lou. I thought I knew EZ by heart, but had completely forgotten that passage. And thanks for the pointer on your web page to Needled’s remarkable account of recovery from her stroke. I had already read it. It needs the widest possible circulation.

Angel, I do agree that droopy alpaca seems inappropriate for the Schoolhouse Press Green Sweater. And I note with interest what you say, Gerri, about theraineysisters giving up on it. It certainly doesn’t look easy.

Gerri, my worry about DD is that she couldn’t be all that interested in Japanese knitting if she never mentions it. I’m sure there’ll be a class of some sort, but will it be passionate? And up to date?


  1. I just knew there was another good reason to eat porridge!

  2. Jean, I am so glad you mentioned Needled's latest post. My bloglines doesn't seem to be working properly and I get very late notification of new posts.

    It was an inspiring read, so much so that I felt compelled to suggest to my recently qualified Occupational Therpist friend to consider knitting for OccTherapy.

    The hat is looking good - I bought one when I was in Prague to use up the last of my currency.

    I wish you fortitude for the steeking and the crowning to come.

    All the best,

  3. I recently learned a trick here in the states that, if you ask for a Spanish speaker when you call a call center, you'll more likely get a bilingual person Stateside. Don't suppose your electricity board offers any Scots Gaelic speaking options? :)

  4. oy good luck with the Elec Board.

    i live in an UNinsulated old fourplex house that was built at the turn of the 1900 century. there is just one layer of brick and old plaster and lathing between me and the great outdoors. and its a railroad flat - so no consolidating of heat around a central room.

    i have given up on heat in the winter - yes, i have not turned on my heat at all this winter - instead am wearing all wool mens sweaters i picked up at the church bazaar two years ago and layering with heavy wool cardigans and fingerless mittens and hats if necessary. funny i still havent knit any socks but have some very warm heavy wool i found on ebay

    thus i am armed and can manage thru most days but at night snuggled under a doubled all wool army blanket on the sofa will allow an hour or two of the electric heater.

    its amazing how one gets acclimated quickly - the rooms are on the average about 60 degrees - i also have heavy velvet curtains lined with insulated blackout material and insulated shades drawn ... as the each window (and there are SEVEN) has either a crack in the pane or the storm window - and they are all OLD OLD OLD with much drafts blowing thru. the landlord is most decidedly not interested in any fixup.

    each dec i spend a week sealing up the windows with insulating tape and caulking every pane and crack i can find.

    my gas bill (this is the heat source - baseboard heaters) is almost non existent.

    i refuse to pay to heat the outdoors.

    my elec bill fluctuates as it would due to the elec heaters - i use them as little as i can. and manage to keep it

    sigh i dream of an insulated house with new draftless thermal windows.


  5. Maureen in Fargo6:37 PM

    I was in DD's Japanese Knitting class at Yarnover that Gerri mentioned and she was wonderful. I got the feeling that she was passionate about every aspect of knitting, she was certainly enthusiastic about the Japanese patterns.

    We spent the morning learning how to decipher all the basic info for a pattern (gauge, stitch pattern, etc.) and the afternoon learning how to decipher the chart symbols. There are some pretty complicated maneuvers in their stitch patterns and it was great to have Donna show us how to perform some of them and how to figure out their instructions.

    If you are serious about knitting one of their patterns it is a must have class! I had a wonderful time too, Donna is funny and lots of fun!! I know I've mentioned that I took her class before, but I just wanted to reassure you that all will be fine and fun.