Tuesday, January 07, 2014

I reached the first corner of the Unst Bridal Shawl yesterday, and have made a good start at steaming along the second side. It looks as if I might be able to finish the edging this month – I hate thinking about knitting in terms of time but occasionally time intrudes.

I worked hard yesterday at associating in my mind each of the twelve rows of the lozenge pattern with its corresponding one of the four rows of the little pattern on the shawl-side (so to speak). I did pretty well. I don't think the frequent mistakes in the first repeats detract much from the effect of the whole, but on the other hand a run of near-perfect repeats is a pleasing sight.


Two excitements yesterday: Archie was here for half an hour, having travelled from Athens by way of Heathrow, mercifully not delayed by storm winds. He needed to pick up a bag full of books before getting another taxi to take him back to school. He seized the opportunity to finish off our New Year's roast beef – it had already done four meals for us, winding up as rissoles. I was glad to see the back of it, and Archie said it was very nice. He seemed in excellent spirits.

We've got some picture-hanging and light-bulb-changing in mind for him. Somehow there was never a calm enough moment during the Christmas excitements. He says he'll come for a weekend soon.

And the other thing was, I bought a rather good old Kirkmichael postcard. It shows the smithy with an actual horse about to be fitted for new shoes. Now that the auction is over, I don't seem to be able to download the image – we'll have to wait until the object turns up. There are endless cards to be had of the main street from one end or the other, of the bridge and the church and the river, of individual houses (including our own). I suppose in the days when a smithy was as necessary and unattractive as a petrol station is now, it wouldn't often occur to the postcard-makers to photograph it.

In the recent old days – I've said this before – eBay let you know the code names of rival bidders. That's been stopped in the interests of privacy and security, and it's rather a shame. I am sure I have only one enemy when it comes to such items, and he was active yesterday. I had to pay quite a lot. I know it's not Angie who has converted the old hotel into Kirkmichael Apartments, because I asked her once. She has some interesting old postcards enlarged and displayed, but she says they came with the hotel when she bought it.

I had a nice note this morning from the seller. I've asked if he knows the rival code-name.

Kristie has rather a good idea of choosing a theme-word for the new year, in lieu of resolutions. Her essay on the subject is worth reading, I have chosen Order for mine, but I doubt if I will live up to its stern demands.

One of you sent me the link to this delightful tour of Jared's studio.

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