Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jenny, thanks for the early tip-off yesterday that my links weren’t working – and just when I thought Blogger had given me an easy ride, for once. I went in and fixed them right away, but when I called yesterday’s post back for editing, it came without most of the last two paragraphs – it broke off in mid-sentence. Something’s wrong at Blogger. (I had, as usual, already saved the thing here on my desktop, so that was no problem.)

A good day with the shawl yesterday. I picked up all the stitches, knit back, and did the first pattern row. It was so easy that it was fiendishly difficult – an endless series of k1, YO, k2tog. Except of course that it wasn’t endless, it was interspersed with occasional k3tog’s and the special treatment of the corners. But I got it, after an agony of stitch-counting and marker-placing, and all seems to be well. I’m now halfway back across Row 2, on which virtually nothing happens. It’ll get easier yet as the pattern begins to be visible. When I finish this row, I’ll attach a second ball of yarn and start Fleegle’ing.

For a while, I couldn’t think how the work would ever be connected into a circle. In Fleegle’s demonstration, she uses a tiny shawl knit centre-outwards, so she is already knitting in the round when she starts her wonder-working. The answer is (I think), that when I get to the end of the row I’m going to knit with the second ball of yarn, I’ll need to reach across to the beginning to get the other ball to knit back with. Fleegle herself will join the thing into a circle.

This is such an exciting juncture that I hate to abandon it, but we’re off to St Andrews today, there’s no help for it. Back here Sunday, DV.

I’m worrying about time. Now that I have taken this major step forward, it seems safe to estimate that the borders will take the better part of two months. I can’t possibly finish the whole thing in time to knit an Aran sweater in time for the Games (4th Saturday in August, as always). I hate knitting against the calendar. What to do? If I lay the shawl aside to knit the sweater, will it then languish like poor Kaffe whose jacket suffered the same fate last year? And never be resumed? Surely not.


I have resumed work on a project mentioned here long, long ago – scanning the yellowed pages of an unpublished manuscript of my mother’s so that I can publish it on-line. My new printer seems better at character recognition than the old one, and I am moving forward steadily. The book is called “27 Wives” and is about Brigham Young, the early Mormon leader who married that many. My mother started work on the book when we lived in Salt Lake City in the ‘30’s. She had a successful career as an academic and writer of both fiction and non-fiction, but she never found a publisher for that one.

I’ve never read it before, and am finding it rather interesting – not so much for religious history or Women’s History as for an unvarnished account of settling the west, so familiar from so many preposterous movies.

The original plan was to use some space on Alexander’s server, and I may go with that. But free or near-free webspace seems to abound these days. Can anyone recommend a site? I don’t want to profit from this enterprise in any way, just to make the book available.

Something completely different….

As we watch the waxing – at last! – of the Paschal Moon, here’s a tip I recently acquired for determining which direction any given moon is headed in. I’ve learned various ways of remembering that in my lifetime, and have forgotten all of them. I think this one is a keeper.

Hold your right hand out in front of you, palm forward, thumb extended, rather as if you were trying to stop traffic. If the moon fits roughly into the shape between your index-finger and thumb, it’s waxing. Do the same with your left hand. The moon that fits there, is waning.


  1. Anonymous9:36 AM

    I was in our local B&Q yesterday and spotted the Royal Wedding Gnomes - actually quite cute but we couldn't think of anyone we could buy them for, oh and there were rather a lot of them - not many takers or just stocked up?

  2. I think your comment that "it was so easy that it was fiendishly difficult" sums up the knitting experience quite nicely. Simply being able to count to 4 can give me trouble in my knitting.

    You might want to look into publishing your mother's book through Amazon in a Kindle friendly version. I have heard it is a fairly straightforward process.

    Thanks for the trick for figuring out a waxing vs. waning moon. My problem will now be trying to remember which hand goes with which one. :-)

  3. From some longago-read novel whose plot and title I have now forgotten, I learned: "If the light is on the right, / Soon the moon will grow in might. / If the light is on the left, / Soon the moon will be bereft." Doggerel, but I use it all the time!

  4. I am so glad you are continuing with your mother's manuscript. I will be keen to read it when it makes its appearance. You are honouring the past, in more ways than one.

  5. Anonymous7:23 PM

    It's easy! 'Wax' = 'pax' (= right-hand salute)

  6. Thanks for the tip on the moon! I knew there must be some way to remember or determine it, but I'd never seen one before.

  7. free blog places have their limits - you may want to sign up for something like Typepad. very easy and they will migrate all your blogger stuff over. not that expensive for what you get.

    or you may want to try one of the blogger posting programs - blogjet is one i use or scribefire if you use google chrome web browser (its an extension which adds the program into the browser so you compose right in a window and see how it looks.)

  8. A blog is more accessible, but it is possible to have a book at LuLu and not charge - you have to pass out the URL, however. For example, my father-in-law's memoir is there:

    The thing I had not realized is that it can be downloaded (for free). I was thinking it had to be read from the site.

    Back to the Kindle suggestion - there are a few authors who have been putting novels in ebook formats. They would surely have advice for a newcomer, look around at

    Good luck with your mother's project, these are always interesting. I may be able to dash off a few limericks for my descendents to find!