Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thanks for the suggestions yesterday. I am pressing our niece hard to get in touch with a domestic agency to see if they have Mary Poppins on their books – someone who would, exactly as you say, Beverly, shop and cook and do some laundry as well as clean. C.’s diet is very limited – the cooking isn’t demanding. Someone to be there to serve it attractively and coax C. to eat and maybe to laugh.

I can’t do much about this myself, except offer to fund it. I have involved another niece, though – F., who lives in Glasgow. She has a stern, practical bent and agrees that her sister needs help.

I wonder if the authorities are congratulating themselves on enabling C. to live alone – technically, that’s what she’s doing, although it entirely depends on her daughter.


Nearly there – the cowl has seven rows to go. The new skein has been wound and joined in.

Meg, I do have “Twisted-Stitch Knitting” – and the same thing over again, in German. When I went to Camp Stitches in ’99 – just the other day – I did a class with Candace Strick on the subject, and she told us about those books. That was before there was a translation, when you needed the three little volumes in German. She said that one of her sons was going to Europe that summer, with strict instructions to come back with them.

She didn’t look old enough to have a son who could be allowed to go to Europe on his own, but apart from that – how fast things have changed! Now one has but to sit in one’s untidy study and click! and the world comes.

Shandy, thanks for the pointer to Wendy’s twisted-stitch Aran. Wow! I have at least added Rowan “Calmer” to my brief notes on this topic. The other contender is Rowan Extra-Fine Merino DK. And Wendy’s wonderful sweater rather confirms my impression that the way to go is to choose a shape, choose a yarn, find some stitches, and swatch.


Fishwife, I’m sure you’re right that those bricks in yesterday’s pictures are to house beneficial insects. C. is a passionate gardener, and very concerned about hedgehogs and toads and frogs and such. I tend to regard nature with a more sceptical eye – it’s out to get me, and my job is to beat it back.


  1. I saw Wendy's sweater the other day- it is extraordinary. Glad to hear the cowl is going well, and glad you are getting help for C's niece. My mom, who is not that old or ill, but is disabled by horrible arthritis has a cleaning lady. She comes once a week and gives the house a scrub-down. My dad just picks up and does laundry during the week and my mom can still cook from a wheelchair-- but having the cleaning lady is such a big help. She's worth every penny. My mom got the referral from her aunt's church.

  2. In my experience, finding an agency to provide domestic support will be the easy part. Getting the needy person to accept the help is the hard part, especially if they feel that they are being independent, when in fact someone else is bearing the burden.