Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A more or less successful day, yesterday.

My smile is restored. Our dentist lives near Perth, about halfway between here and Strathardle, although his practice is a due passi from Drummond Place. He grows vegetables, so I asked about the state of the soil. He said it’s still frozen solid, and the snowdrops are not fully out. I think we may postpone our next visit until next week. The middle of this one and the middle of next are full of small, ineluctable appointments. The rest of March is, for the moment, clear-looking.

He went on to reveal that he keeps sheep, a remarkable and beautiful breed I had never heard of. We have known him for many years and never suspected such a thing – age must be mellowing him, conversation-wise.

He offered me a fleece, but I don’t spin, and don’t want more yarn, and anyway I suspect it’s pretty coarse wool.

And I got on pretty well with the Hydro-Board, who supply our electricity. At least the woman on the phone didn’t try to fob me off with tales of a cold winter. She even made an intelligent suggestion – I told her the number that represents the current metre reading. It begins with a “5” and she suggested that I might have misread a “3”. So I might, but I didn’t – “5” it is.

Someone is coming, by appointment, to read the metre next week. That at least will establish that it’s faulty. Then what? How can we now find out how much electricity has in fact been used? Watch this space. This couldn’t be the first wonky electric metre in the history of human endeavour.


There was a lot of running about yesterday, and somehow I didn’t get much knitting done. Or was I dragging my feet? At any rate, the second sleeve is finished and cast off. I had foolishly dropped the half-way-round marker on the body, so I did some lice-counting and found and marked the place for the right sleeve. There is an unobtrusive jump-line on the left side where rounds end and begin.

Tonight the excitement begins.

Knit-related miscellaneous

Joe has a link in his latest post to a book that looks potentially interesting. Joe made it sound as if Jared had contributed patterns, but that is apparently not so: just the photography. The main effect of my yarn fast is to breed a hankering for boxes and boxes of plain, brown yarn – there’s a stunning example in Jared’s own latest post. Such a book plays to such an interest.

Maureen, thank you very much for the report on DD’s Japanese knitting class. I’ll take along a pattern or two – one would be best – which leaves me particularly breathless with admiration, and hope for help on finding my way into it. I have done an hour of the basics with Mrs Habu in a little class at K1 Yarns but have largely forgotten what I learned.

They are having a trunk show there on Saturday of Ripples yarns. I think I would be wise to stay away.


  1. Ahem. Zwartbles fleece is not in the least bit coarse, especially if you get a young ewe fleece.


    And I could probably teach you to spin in a couple of mornings...even loan you a wheel if you like!

  2. Maureen in Fargo11:19 PM

    We had a similar problem to yours with a malfunctioning gas meter last Winter. Fortunately for us it was undercharging us but the gas company didn't take long to figure that out. We have a gas furnace and they estimated our usage based on prior usage and charged us that way. It didn't seem excessive so we didn't argue and paid, there really wasn't any alternative, we had obviously used the gas!

    DD helped me figure out a Japanese lace shawl pattern last year, the lace itself wasn't the problem but the construction of the shawl was different.

  3. Jean - when you are a patient having a conversation with your dentist is notoriously difficult as I'm sure you well know. But my woodturner colleague in the craft section at my weekly co-operative Kilternan Market in Dublin is a retired dentist. We have great conversations.