Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I have been moved by all your messages. You guys are good friends.

Our niece and her daughter Little C. came by yesterday – after registering the death at offices not far from here – to talk about the funeral. Would we have been so considerate of them if death had taken brother and sister in the more expected order? We settled on Monday at noon, ideal for us; they phoned both the priest and the undertaker from here and met no difficulties. It seems by now that this is also OK with the other two daughters.

Greek Helen is not coming after all – the expense and the need for her husband to take two more “family days” leave to cover for her sort of piled up against the idea. Neither is James. But Rachel will have three or even all four of her children with her, and Alexander and Ketki will come from Loch Fyne so we will have a considerable presence.

AND my husband agreed to try on The Suit, instead of waiting to stage a crisis on Monday morning. The jacket is still fine, but the trousers are seriously too small around the middle. A totally unknown seamstress is coming to collect them this morning, with the promise of having them back by the weekend. There isn’t enough fabric in the generous seam to accommodate his current girth – she’s got a job on her hands.

I’ll take my camera along on Monday. I won’t guarantee to use it.

From memory, Emily Dickinson:

The bustle in the house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth.

The sweeping out the heart
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.


I had some pictures taken of Round-the-Bend while the house was full on Saturday. It’s really quite a success, although I wonder if I’ll wear it much.

And the shawl edging goes forward. This is going to be another watching-paint-dry episode in the history of blogging, but if we got through the Princess we ought to be able to manage this one.

The big knitting news is in some danger of getting lost in the sadness of the last few days – namely Helen C.K.S.’s pointer, in her comment on Saturday’s post, to Fleegle’s solution to the (considerable) problem of how to knit garter stitch in the round. Helen has no peer when it comes to knowledge of the resources of the Internet, nor Fleegle when it comes to knitterly cleverness.

I’ve bookmarked it but haven’t thought it all the way through yet. Goodness! will I even have to make a little swatch? But it’s clearly the Way to Go.


  1. I love the poem. Very apt and very true.
    I hope the funeral and all that goes with it, runs smoothly for all concerned.

  2. Anonymous11:50 AM

    I'm not sure "love is put away" when a person dies. I still love my father and he's been gone 34 years. And every single one of my dogs who are waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.

    But, I LOVE your Round the Bend! The sleeves definitely make it so special! I think you'll wear it a lot - maybe mostly for very casual occasions - like walking around the park. But for that, it is the Perfect Sweater. Well done!

    Beverly in NJ

  3. I personally love the sweater- especially the heathery green of the body. I think it looks perfect for tramping around on a foggy Scotland (or Oberlin) day.

    It is already hot in South Texas. I really need to take up knitting with linen and cotton but I just don't enjoy working with the yarn...

    I am sorry about C, but I am glad that it all went so peacefully, for her sake.

  4. It is so healing when all the funeral planning and gathering is conducted in a caring way. Sometimes, grief outs itself in such unpleasantness among the bereaved. I'm glad to hear this isn't the case. I hope all goes well.

    Round the Bend seems the perfect weight for Round the House. It turned out perfectly from my vantage point.

  5. Your Round-the-Bend is definitely a success! And your decision to stick with the striping sleeves was a good one. I think they look terrific.

  6. "Ample make this bed -
    Make this bed with awe -
    In it wait till Judgement break,
    Excellent and fair."

    I am not a believer, but I have always thought this a fine poem.

  7. Sarah JS7:07 PM

    My condolances to you and yours.

    My family also found Dickinson quite comforting after a death in our family.

  8. =Tamar8:24 PM

    I agree that the love is not put away, but the idea may have been that it isn't re-used; there is always enough more for new loves.

    The sweater looks good; I think the choice of a subtly variegated yarn for the main color was inspired.

  9. Good choice of Emily Dickinson. Another Oberlin friend, who came to visit me in Dublin in 1990, gave me a book of ED's poems. Such a lovely New England poet. A favourite. My friend's husband, Oberlin also, was an English Lit major and my friend might well have been herself.

  10. MaureenTakoma10:05 PM

    Hopefully your husband can find peace in the knowledge that C. is now at rest. See you later alligator, indeed.

    Love your sweater. The colors are great and it looks very wearable. Looking forward to onward reports about the red shawl.

  11. Anonymous12:02 AM

    Jean, condolences to all. Your whole approach seems full of honesty, wisdom and grace. Congrats on finishing the sweater - looks good.
    Beth in Toronto

  12. Thanks for showing the finished sweater.
    Looks like a very fun sweater to wear.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope time softens the pain.

    Your sweater is lovely and I hope you get around to making a swatch at some point :)