Sunday, February 06, 2011

We met our niece as we were parking yesterday – she said we would find C. reduced. And so it was – she was thinner, paler, more frail, slightly dishevelled. Her spirits have reverted to their depressive norm. Not comfortable, but not I think in pain. Is this how it will be? No Dunkirk, no morphine, getting weaker and weaker and finally more or less starving to death, like our old cat? She is trying to eat, without much success, and to sip high-calorie supplements which she says taste terrible.

I suggested wine, and she said that the pamphlets she has been given about Living With Your Stoma recommend it (full of pictures in which everybody smiles). But she won’t try because she is terrified of dhiorhea – (I can’t even spell that well enough to persuade the spell-checker to help. I was puzzled, as a child, when people said that you could use a dictionary to find out how a word was spelled. How can you look it up if you don’t know how to spell it? I could walk along the passage and copy the answer from something in the bathroom cupboard, but I think I’ll leave it.)


Good progress yesterday – I am attaching the back of the RtB to the shoulder, and I think I’ve got it right. A 180 degree twist was all too likely. This is the point where the thing really earns its name. I was right to be suspicious of Meg’s numbers (I think) – when she says to knit back up 16 stitches from the corner, and then start the attaching, she doesn’t mean 16 stitches so much as four-inches-worth, 24 stitches in my case.

I think.

Front view:

Back view:

The DVD is not as much help as it might be on some points (including that one), brilliant on others, including the forthcoming grafting of back to sleeve – how to graft garter stitch, how to decide which colour to use when, as here, two are involved.

Both DVD and printed pattern haven’t much to say about knitting the second half mirror-image. We shall see. But it’s fun.

Shandy, thank you for saving me from the shame of commentlessness yesterday. As to projects, large and small, my salvation has been the discovery of the concept of “locational WIPs”. That goes back to my days on the Knitlist, and I don’t remember who to thank for it (“whom” is strictly called for there, but “who” sounds better). A sock on its needles by the telephone, sort-of-thing.

So now I have a sock, always, in an Edinburgh Botanical Gardens carry-bag ready for out-of-house knitting – waiting rooms, trips to London. I left it, one dreadful day, on the 159 bus in Regent Street, but it came back to me intact. And a Strathardle WIP – the idea there is boring, boring, boring, for knitting by the fire after a hard day in the field when I can scarcely stay awake. And something usually slightly more demanding, for here, as we watch our soap and the news in the evening while my husband has his tea.

The Japanese shirt will be a Strathardle project. I’m thinking about yarn. I’ve got lots and lots of Shetland jumper-weight, but not enough of anything. I think this will need a single batch of yarn. I might allow myself a look at the Posh website today.


  1. grannypurple12:07 PM

    I was thinking, as I started reading just before 7 am our time, that you might right now be having Sunday lunch! And DH is heading out to remove yet another substantial snowfall. We feel as though we ordered a winter, and half a dozen have been delivered, one after the other! Now if only that would happen with orders of particularly beautiful yarn... I always have a sock- or baby hat-in progress in my purse, a knitting bag near the television and others elsewhere for variety. Too many WIPs, but I feel an urge to finish coming on.

  2. I like the notion of "locational" knitting, and seem to have adopted it without knowing the concept, in part because of your previous posts describing town and country knitting. I usually have a cotton dishcloth in with my laundry supplies for trips to the laundromat, and always fly with a sock. Complicated knitting gets left for home.

  3. Today's post has shocked me to the core. Your command of the English language is so impressive I find it hard to believe there is a word you cannot spell.

  4. Catching up on blog reading. Your Japanese jacket is very fashion forward. I just saw a picture similar one by Jil Sander somewhere this week. Minimalist fashion, not prison wear! (As if I know anything about fashion.)

  5. Anonymous4:35 PM

    Jean, the word you were searching for is "diarrhea". My former husband (an intelligent man with multiple degrees) had the same complaint as you regarding the dictionary. Spelling was not his forte, so he always asked me (6th grade Spelling Bee Champion, LOL!) how to spell difficult words.

    I'm reading with interest your adventures with the RtB, as I've had the pattern and yarn in my stash for probably 6 or 7 years now. I ordered it as a kit from Schoolhouse Press, and I don't remember what yarn it is, but I do remember how scratchy it is. (Think at least 4 times scratchier than Shetland wool, which I adore.) Whenever I do dig the kit out from my stash, I'm hoping that the yarn will soften considerably with washing and blocking.

    Mary G. in Texas

  6. I can't resist - diarrhea if you want to write American English, but diarrhoea for the British English version. Truly it is such a dreadful word to spell that I think it would be better to use the colloquial "squitters" or, back to my childhood when quite a lot of houses still had outdoor sanitary arrangements, "Back-door trots". Hope this is not too graphic a comment for a Sunday evening!

  7. Anonymous10:40 PM

    I am still loving those stripey brownish sleeves on the RtB. I know you plan to rip them, but for me, they just MAKE it.


  8. Something that might help C- years ago when I had a broken jaw and spent 10 weeks on liquids only, my mom devised a way to keep me feeling full- she would make smoothies with yogurt (soy in my case as I cannot eat milk products) and fruit, but then throw in a few spoonfuls of soy protein powder. That way the drinks did not taste like "medicinal" drinks (I hated those too- Ensure was the bane of my existance) But the soy protein powder made the smoothies more substantial, and you barely noticed it was there if you used a lot of fruit. You can get the unflavored variety at health food stores or even a large supermarket.
    It might help.