David is home from hospital, out there in Athens.
A neighbour helped me in with the groceries yesterday and asked me to be in a promotional video he is making for Age Concern. I think all I would have to do is sit in my sitting room looking old, for a handsome fee. I didn't quite get around to discussing this with my husband yesterday – I managed an opening sentence or two but then we got swept away on a tide of elderly concerns, as so often. If it happens, I think I'll get the Tokyo shawl. He can have a book.
Busy day today. My right eye – my “good” eye – is getting increasingly cloudy. The oculist said last time that this is because the plastic lens, inserted when I had my cataract operation, has clouded. It could be cleared with laser treatment, she said, so today I am going back to her to ask to be referred. And then in the afternoon, tea with a neighbour even more elderly than I. Many stairs to climb, and no nap.
I finished Archie's first sleeve yesterday, as hoped. I think the red hem is an excellent touch. And, Lou, I'm sorry – I didn't do anything with the yarn in advance, I just knit it. I am more than a bit bogged down in winter (much as I love this time of year) and care. All I wanted was to knit. That's why the Unst Bridal Shawl is lying there unfinished. That's why, having polished off one sleeve, I went ahead and picked up the stitches for the other one.
It didn't go quite as well as the first time. The stitches left behind on waste yarn seem to be one stitch short, although I can't see why. Having left them behind, the instruction was to cast on 22 to bridge the gap and complete the cylinder of the body. Now, I was to recover the abandoned stitches and pick up 22 along the cast-on edge.
This process threatened to leave little holes in the corners such as you get when picking up stitches along the heel flap of a sock and then knitting across the instep. On the first sleeve, I did what I did for socks – a friend in Brookline, MA, taught me this – and picked up an extra stitch from the horizontal bars in the corner, grabbing two or even three of them, and twisting before knitting. Then you get rid of the extra stitch on the first real round.
This worked splendidly for the first sleeve, less well last night. There's a wee hole on one side. Not a fatal error.
Ellen, I was enormously grateful for the comment you wrote yesterday, about knitting with linen. I have looked at the Louet website – apart from other considerations, they offer a colour called Navy Blue, which is what I was asked for. Rowan doesn't. Is there a UK source? Should I just order it?
I knit with a Louet sport-weight wool once (this is wholly irrelevant). It was a scarf pattern in IK with stripes running the length of the scarf, six or seven, which then detached themselves from each other at the ends to form a sort of fringe, being finished in different lengths. I found out somehow that the yarn was produced in England – I even wrote to ask if it could ever be purchased at the factory gate. But, no. It all went to Louet. My sister brought it in for me, a bit puzzled as to why she had to carry in English yarn.
I gave the scarf to our niece C., on my husband's urging. I think he was afraid I was going to wear it myself. I must ask her what become of it. I remember it as rather successful.