Saturday, June 04, 2011


The Aran sweater has reached the stage everything gets to at some point – I knit and knit and it doesn't change size. I comfort myself with the thought that the dropped-shoulder arrangement means that the sleeves will involve relatively little knitting, by comparison.

Disregard colour, as usual. It's much greener than that. Design-wise, it would have been better to have ribbing on both sides of the folded ribbon, but otherwise I like it. I must begin to give some thought to the patterns for the sleeves.

Thanks for the thumbs-up on Zauberball. I am even more tempted. Annie, try socks. I knit them in youth, and then there was a long hiatus, and then in the mid-90’s I got on the Internet and discovered Patternworks and Socka Colors and took some sock-knitting along when we flew to the US in ’96 for my mother’s 90th birthday. I used to sweat with terror at having to fly – sock-knitting changed that.

Ever since then, I have had a pair of socks on the go for travel and waiting-rooms. No patterns, much fancy yarn. Now that I don’t travel much, production is down to three or four pairs a year. People seem to like wearing them. And the process is infinitely calming – something about going round and round.


Thanks for comments. Jeanfromcornwall, you hit the nail on the head: I earnestly dislike the compulsion to celebrate. Mother's Day revolts me. My husband likes it, I think, on the whole (as you suggest, Shandy), although when you get to the point, Christmas and his sister’s birthday are the only two dates in the year he can be counted on to remember. He was there, after all, on June 2, 1931, and remembers being introduced to her.

We have never celebrated wedding anniversaries. Never, at all, not even acknowledging them. I felt a bit sore about this as Fifty approached. He said, with some reason, that it would be a pity to change our ways after so long. Then I realised that the Games were almost on the anniversary, and everybody would be there, and what more did I need?

God did His bit – that was the year I won the Glenisla Shield for Sam the Ram, and Rachel Miles of Beijing got the Mandy Duncan Cup for the best entry in the children’s sections. And our children did theirs: they gave us a pinus sylvestris aurea, a golden Scots pine. The perfect gift. It’s a peculiar tree, droopier than the books say it should be and currently struggling a bit, but still with us.

He’d miss me, all right. But not particularly on my birthday.


  1. Jean, I married a man who remembers every blinking anniversary in our history. I much prefer your husband's approach to "Oh honey, eight years ago today we bought the living room sofa...Remember? We saw the sale banner in that furniture store on 2nd Avenue and decided to have a look..." After twenty years there's hardly a day on the calendar he can't get misty about.

    The sweater is looking fantastic.

  2. I love the cables in the Aran sweater. I think this year's entry might bump Sam the Ram out of his place of glory. (If such a thing could be possible.)

  3. Suzy S4:57 PM

    My husband and I definitely agree with you on the "compulsory celebrating" We do not feel obliged to support the economy because someone has declared a "special day". Thanks for letting us know we aren't the only ones who feel this way.Every day is a gift!

  4. Like Wednesday, my husband also remembers anniversary dates that I don't. We were married over Labor Day weekend (giving all of our out-of-town relatives an additional day for traveling, etc.) I have trouble remembering the exact date. But I remember every moment of that day.

    I especially hate compulsory celebration days that I think were made up by commercial enterprises - administrative assistant day, grandparents day, sweetest day (what - Valentine's Day isn't enough?), etc. And don't get me started about Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve.

    I don't like a big fuss on my birthday. I'd rather observe a birthday or anniversary doing something we don't ordinarily do - attend a play, visit a place we've never been to. Low-key and minimal fuss.