…comes around again. I’m in unusually cheerful form this year.
I had a grand time at Kaffe’s talk yesterday (didn’t buy the book, though). There was a big turnout despite the £10 charge for what amounted to a book-signing with extra talk. He is nearly as old as I am, and beginning to look it.
I met Sir Steven Runciman once, another supremely handsome man and one whose History of the Crusades and Sicilian Vespers I had read all the way through, in my more mentally active years. The line that sprang to mind when I saw him was, Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
This link, to a YouTube video, will show you what I mean.
(The same, of course, could be said of me except that I was never much to gladden the eye in youth, so the loss is considerably less.)
Kaffe is fading, but, like Runciman, remains as fit and sharp and entertaining as ever. He took us through the familiar story, Bill Gibbs, learning to knit on train. I hadn’t known, though, that he went to work for Missoni after that famous first effort was published in VK. (I was much struck with it myself, at the time, and remembered his name.) He made a funny story of the visit of two supremely elegant Missonis to his cold-water flat. He had to begin by learning the colour words in Italian.
It was good to see Helen C.K.S. too. We have been promising each other lunch for a long time now – “After the Festival”, “When this trying holiday season is over”. The year seems to contain little else. We’re aiming for January.
-- A friend of Shandy’s sent me a link to this website in which are offered natural-coloured sheep-specific wools. Oh! for another lifetime, to knit it all. As far as I can remember, the only sheep-specific yarns I have actually knit were Shetland and Wensleydale. The latter was acquired at one of those workshop-and-talk days somewhere, and it was heaven to knit. I made a sweater with broad stripes for Helen’s husband David when he was new to the family.
Wensleydale are those sheep with dreadlocks.
-- Franklin is home, and posting about his English adventure. You don’t need me to tell you that. (All I had to do was type www.t and Google Chrome knew where I wanted to go.)
And as for actual knitting, I’m getting on fine. See sidebar. The brioche scarf, which I took to Strathardle earlier in the week, doesn’t entirely please. The colour seems sort of dull, and the knitting is not flawless partly because I am terrified even to attempt ripping back.
Barring disaster, I’ll finish both scarves with time to spare for a hat. But none of the few blanks on my Christmas list will want a hat,or if they do, they had one last year, so the plan is to go straight on to Ed’s Gardening Sweater.
Christmas shopping is nearly done – all on-line or by telephone except for the knitting. One of those articles in the paper the other day by a smart 30-year-old suggested giving fewer presents. They just embarrass people. But what if you have four children and four sons- and daughters-in law and twelve living grandchildren. Where do you prune the list?