Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My husband and Alexander agree that C. was in good spirits yesterday. She is still in the High Dependency ward, with medical attention concentrated, I think, on the lungs. My husband seemed rather low in spirits yesterday evening after the visit. I’ll phone our niece tomorrow – she works Monday-Wednesday. Alexander would like to come again, if we can persuade the hospital – once C. is back in a regular ward – to let him come half-an-hour before formal visiting hours, in order to escape from Edinburgh before the rush hour.

Angel, in any other circumstances I would have started this post by saying – it was from you that I learned, yesterday, of the royal engagement. I will hold on to that thought in the months to come. Rachel and Ed were married in ’81 amidst general excitement about that year’s royal wedding, Charles and Diana. We had a nice bride’s-side low-key buffet the night before – the British don’t do Rehearsal Dinners, thank goodness. I persuaded the local off-license to let me pinch their notice: “Specially Brewed for the Wedding”, and I propped it up against the beer bottles on offer.

Maybe Thomas-the-Elder will pluck up courage to follow in his parents’ footsteps next year.

My husband pointed out – paying unusual attention, for him, to an item of royal news – that by the time I was Kate Middleton’s present age, I was mother-of-four. I feel mildly unenthusiastic about her, especially because she seems to have spent all the years since graduating from St Andrews doing bugger all. Rather a waste of a decent degree.


Brighter news here. I had a good session with the scarf. The second ball of Cocoon is very near its end and the scarf is three feet long.

And VKB #7 turned up, so heavily packaged that at first I didn’t grasp what it was. It’s a remarkably fresh copy, surely never knit from. Sent Recorded Delivery, although only First Class had been promised. Perhaps the seller was a bit taken aback herself by the price she got. I’m pretty slovenly about leaving feedback on eBay these days, but this time I did, and also sent her a note of thanks.

It’s a rather undistinguished issue, pattern-wise and photography-wise. Lots of what would be called nowadays “little blouses”, despite being an autumn issue with ski-ing and “the country” featured. Is that why it never – until now – turns up in anyone’s attic?

What struck me, as never before, was the range of colours available in some yarns. I think only the J&S Shetland jumper weight palette is anywhere near comparable today – they seem to offer 89 shades. (Jamieson’s of Shetland is pretty good, too, but they don’t make it so easy to count.) Several advertisers in the VKB in ’36 claimed to have 100. The editor’s note at the beginning is all about selecting one’s colours with care.


  1. Your remarks about yarn colours reminds me of the days when I used to get my yarn mail order from R S Duncan, and Hermit - I longed to do some colour knitting but each type of wool came in such a limited range of colours, none of which really spoke to each other.
    I still take the Jamieson's shade card out from time to time just to gaze at the colours, even though I have nothing planned.

  2. I have found this wool from Denmark in 120 colours (most if not all beautiful):

    I haven't (yet) bought any, but have filled several dummy shopping baskets, and the prices and postage work out very reasonable.

  3. I am very surprised to learn that there used to be a wider range of colors available. I was under the impression that there used to be far fewer. Glad to hear your VK arrived safe and sound.

  4. glad to hear the more uplifting news... day by day (but that is hard).

    i am endlessly fascinated with ROYALS - do agree with you about her life after uni - but Tina Brown has an interesting article on THE DAILY BEAST (her webzine) about KM being "groomed" . maybe they didnt want her to do anything in order to avoid ANY controversy etc...

    TB also points out that KM basically had to prove to HRH that she IS NOT at all like Diana.

    and there is an interesting para about why Wills insisted on that ring.

  5. Anonymous6:54 PM

    I have always wondered, quality-wise, if there is any difference between Jamieson & Smith's yarns and Jamieson's yarns. Is one preferable, or more prestigious, over the other? I knit myself a sweater out of Jamieson's last year (because that's what the pattern used, and I wanted the exact same colors), and liked knitting with it. The sweater has become my favorite, and I feel so great when wearing it.

    Mary G. in Texas