Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dentistry went well. I'm not at all sure the root canal was necessary, and it was certainly expensive, but at least he's done no harm. He said there was an abcess.


General gloom. The rUK – indeed, the rWorld – has woken up to what is happening here. They flew the Saltire in Downing Street yesterday (silly) and today the three party leaders are coming to Scotland. That is likely to be counter-productive and if they make fools of themselves, as is all too likely, it will be disastrous. Mr Salmond must be smiling. There was some talk at the weekend of the Queen making a direct appeal to the people of Scotland. She quite rightly squashed that idea yesterday.

Alexander writes that he has moved their cash out of the Bank of Scotland. I'd better do so too, with ours. I feel much as I did during the week of the Cuban Missile Crisis when I heard that all the nuclear submarines in the Holy Loch had put to sea.

Thank God for knitting.

I'm doing the fourth stripe (sholmit) on the inside of the border of Rames & Yowes. I could even finish that stripe today if I press a bit. There are nine altogether.

The little book H. recommended turned up yesterday – “Knitting Brioche-Stitch Socks”. It sounds perfectly simple and looks luscious; I am eager to try. I knit a couple of rounds on the Pakokku sock yesterday while waiting for the dentist. I'd have to polish that pair off first, wouldn't I?

I've had a nice time, too, thinking about a shawl for a great-grandchild. There are some tempting possibilities in Stove's “Wrapped in Lace” – especially once I master the Fleegle system for garter stitch in the round. But I am greatly taken with the idea of re-knitting the one I made for Rachel before she was born.

You've heard the story before. It was a Paton's leaflet. The shawl was designed by Mrs Hunter of Unst, it said, and was knit in six parts – edging, four borders, centre – and sewn together. I doubt if that is the way Mrs Hunter did it. It is the sort of thing pattern-publishers did to EZ's work in those days, flattening her circular patterns into back-and-forth. So she started publishing on her own, and changed the world.

But anyway. I lost that Paton's leaflet and for many years sought for it in every charity shop I passed. I finally found it, to my great joy, at the annual Christian Aid booksale. It would be fun to knit the shawl again in one piece.

Interestingly, Stove has that same leaflet and knit from it when she was expecting her first child (page 25 of Wrapped in Lace, with a picture). But she chose the other design.


JAG, I agree with Judith that guising (on Halloween) is best done in a familiar community or not at all. I sort of think, as Tamar's note suggests, that Scotland invented it. The English prefer Guy Fawkes to Halloween. The little boys on Loch Fyne love it – but they live in a rural community where everybody knows everybody.


  1. Glad the dentist went ok. Halloween is increasingly popular down here but more as an adoption of the US way of doing things. Guising does sound more civilised and safer in a small community where everyone knows everyone.

  2. Jean - I too have a copy of that Patons leaflet, given to me recently by a friend who had been clearing out her late aunt's house.

    As for the referendum - I have come to realise that I don't think I mind very much which way it goes (although I will vote!) because either way there will be considerable change. I would have voted for devo-max had it been an option - but it's not.

    I think it's all quite exciting that so many people are talking about it, on doorsteps, at the school gate and at work - and its not just something that campaigners and politicians are interested in.

    I tend to look on the bright side. Whatever happens we will all just have to pick ourselves up and get on with it. It will be an historic moment either way. And, either way, it will have significant implications for the whole of the UK.

    Professor Paul Cairney at Stirling University has been writing about indyref on his blog.

  3. Paul Krugman wrote a piece in the New York Times on the risk to Scotland of being independent without their own currency.