I heard no more from Morningside yesterday. Emily, yes, my sister-in-law is somehow or other signed up for the Marie Curie hospice in the south of the city, and a hospice nurse visits regularly. I have urged my niece to draw her aside, this week, and try to talk about the Larger Picture, and the possibility of respite care. But my hopes, for the moment, are pinned on domestic help. C. will surely be happier and more comfortable at home, close to her daughter.
The other daughter, F., the energetic Glasgow businesswoman, said in a message to me yesterday “I am very concerned that rather than getting the best out of what time she has with Mum [my sister] is taking on too much”. Taking on too much, perhaps, but she’s there on the spot, and somebody’s got to do it. But with F. on the job, I hope help will soon be arranged.
I have embarrassingly little knitting to report. I’m still a couple of rows short of finishing the cowl. Part of the trouble has been “Wait for Me”, the dowager Duchess of Devonshire’s autobiography, which I have just acquired as a belated Christmas present. It sparkles on every page. She is the youngest, and now the only survivor, of the famous Mitford sisters, a very remarkable crew.
When she was a debutant, in the late 30’s: “Wool shops selling a kaleidoscope of coloured skeins from Sirdar and Paton & Baldwin were a feature of every London street; there were patterns and wool for rug-making and darning, and for knitting everything under the sun, including dogs’ coats, which I knitted for my whippet Studley.”
I remember wool shops, much like that, from the 50’s. Not the modern palaces of pleasure, but small, functional shops serving a firm, useful purpose – baby clothes and socks and cardigans. Every serious shopping street would have at least one such place. Whatever you wanted to knit, you could be sure of finding a leaflet for it, as she says. “Rug-making” puzzles me – maybe in London. Books and magazines were nowhere to be seen, in such shops, and indeed few existed, except for my beloved VKB.
I did a wee bit of googling this morning in furtherance of my vague travelling-stitch ideas. Rowan “Calmer” turns out to be cotton and acrylic – no wool. It makes Wendy’s Aran even more extraordinary – link yesterday – but completely rules it out, for me. And Rowan’s Extra-Fine Merino DK shows every sign of having been discontinued.
I will not panic. That’s how stashes get too big. I’m sure I can find it somewhere on eBay, if I decide to go on down that path. I am sure I can find something with lots of wool in it and good stitch definition, if I decide to look elsewhere.
Of course I can.