Friday, January 18, 2013

There’s no snow yet in the Second New Town.

Hat, you’re quite right – those are winter aconites in Drummond Place Gardens, not Wooden Enemies. We planted some in Strathardle two years ago but they didn’t come up. We should try again – they ought to be easy.

Yesterday was a day of arithmetic. I have finished the Interest section of the Income Tax. For some sources, all the information was provided. For others, I had to do some work. If an account has earned £8.72 in net interest – and that is the sort of sum I was dealing with – how much was the gross interest given that tax has been deducted at 20%?

The spreadsheet could do the actual arithmetic, but I had to frame the question. The solution (I think) is to divide the net amount by 0.8. It is slightly alarming to reflect that if Asbury Park High School hadn’t been up to the mark on basic algebra, I would have to pay hundreds to an accountant.

Knitting was much the same. I worked out how deep the yoke would be, after decreasing once every three rounds, when I got to the point where half the sleeve stitches remained – half of the maximum number, at the top of the sleeve. And then how much would be added by the saddle, formed on those sleeve stitches.

The answer came out an inch shorter than the total I was aiming at, so I added a couple of plain rounds and am currently putting in a couple of short rows to raise the back.

It was only late at night, doing the final washing-up when you wouldn’t think any synapses would be firing at all, that I realised what I had done wrong. Those sleeve stitches are coming in from the side, so to speak. To calculate how much they will add to the total length of the sweater, I need to consider the stitch-gauge (about 5.5 to the inch) rather than the row-gauge (about 8.5).

So I’ve got to go back and re-calculate. And very likely, take out the plain rounds I knit yesterday.


Alexander turned up on the doorstep yesterday. He had come over to see the Bellany exhibition, which he had enjoyed. He looked well and cheerful. He said that shingles remains extremely irritating, but is somewhat less painful than at the beginning. He said he hoped we’d come over to Loch Fyne at Easter – I had wondered whether he would ever attempt a house party again.

In that case, I ought to be able to deliver the sweater to Ed personally. Last year I sent Rachel her birthday present by post and it wouldn’t go through the letter box so the postman took it away without leaving a card. Eventually it was returned to me, marked “Not Called For”. I can’t risk that with a madelinetosh sweater.

I decided not to worry about sleeve length. If it’s not right, there are adjustments which can be made and a couple of days at Loch Fyne should be sufficient for the purpose. 


  1. I have to remember the wooden enemies! for some reason I always run into trouble, when trying to pronounce anemones in english! in german it's easier, the o is emphasized, but in english it always ends up as a stutter and stumble:) wooden enemies - that's it for me now!

  2. Have you seen this blog post about Edinburgh and more importantly have you seen the Secret Edinburgh Wild West? I am dying to know more.