Saturday, January 15, 2011

I got my brain-age down to 29 yesterday – achieved a six’er by good luck as much as good management. Practice does help. There I think I’ll leave it.

Rachel forwarded this picture to me yesterday, without comment. The man on the right with the slightly glassy-eyed smile is her son Joe, the grandson who will turn 21 in the summer and therefore needs a pair of socks to mark the occasion. The little boys are the Little Boys – Ketki’s and Alexander’s sons, James-the-Younger and Thomas-the-Younger. The man on the left is Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party.

Joe is supposed to be in Nottingham, in his penultimate term at the university there. The Little Boys are supposed to be in school at Strachur, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Mr. Miliband is supposed to be leading the Labour Party. Where on earth are they? A London tube station under reconstruction? Is Mr. Miliband really that much taller than Joe? Many questions remain to be answered.

I got my husband to his appt yesterday, but the excitement pretty well finished both of us for the day. Apart from anything else, the sun came out just as we were leaving. A friend in K*rkmichael told me once that a baseball cap helps a lot with low winter sun, and I now always keep one to hand in the car. It does help, but it’s still a nightmare. This year, I will try to pay enough attention to decide when in the year the sun is high enough that one can cheerfully drive south on a bright day. Somewhere around Groundhog Day?

On the way back, I stopped at Tesco where I found the first daffodils of the year:

and also the first Hot Cross Buns, which I eschewed. Easter is late this year – Lent doesn’t even start until March. You can tell, because the February issues of the food magazines, now on sale, don’t mention pancakes.


I thought I had mastered the cowl, and was smugly composing a little paragraph in my head for today’s blog all about EZ’s brilliant injunction, Look at your knitting.

And then I found I had completely messed up a row, by omitting the series of decreases which should have brought the latest ribbed scallop to a close. I came within inches of abandoning the whole thing – I had gone back through the whole wrong-side row without noticing the mistakes, so there was nothing for it but to pull the needle out and take out two rows and then try to recover.

But I’ve done it, and the crisis now seems invisible, at least to my fond eye. I’m about to start the next offset shell pattern.


Thank you for your congratulations on my printer-installation. I’ve always had to forge forward without help – I am my husband’s technical support. In a real crisis – getting on-line for the first time, in the mid-90’s, completely defeated me – I have to wait until a son comes to visit.

Tamar, that’s a simple and brilliant idea, finding someone who can use the old ink cartridges. I’ll do it.


  1. The cowl is looking good. At least the rows are short enough to make taking a couple back possible. I was never able to work out whether some of the decreasing was to enable the narrowing of the piece, beyond that achieved by the needle changes.

  2. I was wondering if you could share the needle sizes you are using.
    Did you add a repeat as Shan had suggested?
    I was thinking to try it in 2011 as well.
    snow here in Toronto today - should be good for knitting!

  3. =Tamar3:21 PM

    I have a pair of prescription sunglasses which are very helpful. They are relatively pale, so much so that I can see indoors with them, but they are vital for dimming not so much the sun itself but the reflections from other cars. Sometimes I have to add a pair of clip-on sunglasses over them.

  4. Anonymous5:44 PM

    As a child I was eager to try hot cross buns (not common in the US) because of their mention in the nursery rhyme. Alas, the disappointment when at last I tasted one! I have eschewed them ever since. Fortunately, there are many much nicer foods to mark the season.
    -- Gretchen

  5. I have not dared to look in the bakery section of the supermarket. The local baker ignores hot cross buns until Lent - and nobody seems to mind.
    Your youngest grandchildren are stunningly good looking!
    The cowl looks lovely and probably easier than knitting the linen with which I am currently struggling.

  6. Your remark about Hot Cross Buns and late Easter threw me a little bit. See, I live in New Orleans, where Carnival starts on Jan. 6 and runs until Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras or Le Mardi). Since we start the party season on January 6 with parades and events, it's hard to forget when Lent kicks in!

    But I also forget that the rest of the world doesn't spend all those weeks partying. (This year, there are 61 days between Epiphany and Le Mardi.)

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